One last surprise (short story/ kratka priča)
Tonight I will be joining writing link up organized by Natalia. As far as I know, the link up is open to everyone (and will stay open for the next six days) so feel free to join in! My short story is exactly 1000 words long. Read it if you like and if not you're not a fan of the written word, I won't hold it against you.
Večeras se pridružujem povezivanju priča poveznicom (to bi bio moj pomalo smotani izražaj link upa na hrvatskom, što ćete, pročitala sam sve knjige Nives Opačić pa moram barem pokušati) koje organizira Natalia, koliko znam svatko se može priključiti (ali jezik pisanja je engleski) u idućih šest dana, tako da se slobodno i vi povežite. Moja priča ima točno tisuću riječi, pročitajte je ako vam se da, a ako ne nikom ništa.
One Last Surprise
She opened her eyes. It was pitch dark. The air smelled faintly of sea and pineapple. Good, she thought to herself, taking nourishment from the air with both her body and soul. She wasn’t exactly disoriented despite the fact that she didn’t plan to fall asleep like this, or at all. It was just a bit strange waking up only to meet such a complete darkness. Not that it mattered. She could track her way from the beach to the rented house even blindfolded. Her legs knew the way, knew every stone on the path. This was where she used to spend her summers…and nothing has really changed. It made this place seem and even feel enchanted. Everything changes in life, everything but this place. That is why it always felt magnificently precious …but then something happened that made her realize that this place isn’t safe and this realization led to another one…that there is no safety to be found in this world. Now, she was old enough not to feel afraid to confront that terrible truth, old enough to casually let her mind return to its previous thought like it never felt the sting of that old painful memory but feeling the sting nonetheless. Learning not to run away from your sorrows is something that comes with age and practice, though it is perhaps an art that can’t be completely mastered. That must be it, she thought. That must be what made it special for me, but it wasn’t all. There was some real magic here, she knew because she could feel it. Had there been any wind or even a breeze, she could have smelled a variety of fragrances, aromatic plants native to this place but the air seemed to stand still. She didn’t mind this terribly, knowing that this absence of wind might be what caused her to unexpectedly fall asleep on the beach. Now she was glad that she did, glad to have this moment in her hands to do with it as she pleases. It felt brand fresh and new, this moment, like a spring flower picked up from a meadow still partly covered with snow. Even the sea was unbelievably silent like it was a giant snake suddenly hypnotized by a masterful snake charmer. The subtle smell of sea and pineapple was enough for her tonight, felt like more than enough. She turned her gaze towards the stars, but none of them winked at her. The clouds must have covered them completely…she tried to make them out but all she could spot was the place where the pineapples ended and where the sky began. When she was a little girl, she was afraid of the dark or so she believed. She was to learn that she was really afraid of a particular kind of dark, the enclosed dark….and the cold. The combination of the cold and the dark made her terrified, but the heat made her feel safe. Her vision of hell was that of a dark and cold place, never a hot one. The warmness of the summer night surrounded her and she could feel her skin respond to its touch. Like a cat, rubbing itself on her legs, this summer night felt domesticated and maybe it was. Maybe it took a genuine liking to her. She took a deep breath. Out in the open, she never felt afraid. Not that she needed to be here. This place was practically deserted. The house she was to return to was a solitary one in this bay and will probably remains so, at least until this place becomes popular and loses its magic. She hoped that will never happen, but knew it probably will. She turned her gaze toward the pineapples. One cricket sang a solitary song and she managed to locate it once he stopped. Darkness surrounded her, but it was friendly darkness. Tonight the darkness managed to surprise her and surprises happen less often once you turn seventy. She was never really afraid of the dark, she knew that now. What she was really afraid of was not feeling. Afraid of sterile things. Tonight, there was nothing to be afraid of. Even in the night as dark as this one, she didn’t feel enclosed, she could feel life singing its song…even the stones beneath her fingers seemed to be alive, one of them got in between her fingers like it always belonged there. She picked it up in her hand and tossed it away, surprising even herself. Perhaps it was her hand that done it, so no wonder the head was surprised. The movement was too fast for the brain, it was an old reflex. The stone touched the surface of the sea and despite the fact she couldn’t see it, she knew that it bounced at least once before it sank in. She stood up, not forgetting to stretch immediately, an old habit she always kept. Lying on the beach made her feel sore, but only a bit. Perhaps she was too bewitched by the moment to feel it to full extent. Without thinking, she headed toward the sea. That always elusive line between the sky and the sea was a completely invisible one now, but one of the islands was visible as a darker spot somewhere on the horizon….This dark spot seemed almost like a mistake, paint splashed without a purpose. She took her sandals off and continued to walk slowly, feeling the smell of the sea becoming stronger and stronger. When the sea finally met her, she felt a sudden wave of sadness. This was to be her last visit, she was sure of that. Soon she and her companion will be too old to make this journey. They don’t have that many good years left. Somehow, that didn’t make her feel afraid, just regretful. She never got to fully figure out the magic of this place. But at least tonight, she got to feel it. One last surprise?