Another Day, Another Blog

May 8, 2007

Persephone beckons

Filed under: ficlet — iamza @ 4:47 pm

I walk the eastern shore at dawn, watch the sun rise above the waves, and the sky turn pink. The sand clings, cold and damp between my toes, and I clutch more tightly at my coat.

They say you never forget your first, be it sweetheart or kiss. Perhaps had the world swung differently in orbit about the sun, it would not be a matter of forgetting at all. Had I not met Meghan, I would not have raced to reach the stars. Had she not met me, she would still be out there, traversing the black emptiness on her way to Persephone.

In the summer, the beach is full of tourists, flocking to the golden sands like ants in a nest. The air smells of oil and lotion and sweat underlain with salt. A walk on the beach then more resembles an obstacle course, dodging children and kites and stepping over bodies burned brown by the sun.

The world is too full in summer. 

In winter, the beach cloaks herself in grey cloud and mist, and the gold of the sand looks tarnished and worn. You can stand for hours, and watch the waves come and go, hearing only the gulls as they cry out to the wind. Darkness and light become meaningless, days cycle to nights and back again, and there is nobody about to pay any mind.

Meghan left with the tourists. I woke one morning to a note on the bedside table. Persephone beckons, it said, and ended with a crudely drawn heart split in two. I ran to the spaceport, but Meghan’s ship had already left. It was days before I learned she’d not been aboard.

In the autumn, the brilliant green of the leaves fades to dull brown, and they fall to the ground. Dessicated, decayed, they crunch underfoot like old bones, and skitter across the sand to collect up against the grey shales at the end of the beach. 

It was weeks before I noticed the missing boat, and weeks more before I discovered the why and the how of it. 

Persephone beckons.

It is a call few can ignore.


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