Tuesday, December 20, 2011

52 Week Short Story Writing Challenge - #5

     This doesn't really have much of a background to it; I just feel like visiting a place like this and I thought if I can't, my character can.

Short Story #5: Drifter
     Morning sun drifts in through my open windows with a feeling of happiness and joy. I lay back with my hands behind my head, acting as a pillow. Birds whistle outside and the sound of the ocean is an ever-present consistency. From where I lay I can see the fishermen as they gather their rowboats and head out for the morning catch. Two are fighting over a certain spot, their boats rocking as they yell but their voices are lost to the breath of the ocean.
It has been two weeks since I arrived in Greece and I’m still adjusting to the change. My mother is still in Australia but I’m staying with a friend who’s well respected with the locals. A few know English so they guide me around when I’m in the fish market or at a local restaurant. My friend and I went searching for local ingredients my first night, introducing me to a few of her friends.
The days are so beautiful I cannot even imagine a storm tainting the skies. Most of the buildings here are white in colour, each with an individual view of the ocean from where the land slopes downward. My room faces the ocean over a few buildings before the land drops from a cliff into the ocean.
Sitting up, I push up the long white sleeves of my dress and I walk outside, shoes tapping against the ground as I walk down the path toward the water. Boats come in and out as I walk past, nodding and managing to speak clearly enough that they recognize me saying good morning. The sun beam down on my skin but the heat is comforting and welcome.
At the end of the path a boat is docking, throwing out a loop of rope that I catch and tie to a weathered log. He appears with a large smile, eyes glistening cyan as the boat stops and he passes me a woven bag. Inside are a collection of shells and pearls; he drops his snorkel and flippers as I sit cross-legged and begin to cipher through the collection.
Today is a good day,” he says as he runs a hand through wet black hair. He flicks it out, catching small droplets on the floaty material of my dress. I smile and look through, finding a pretty oyster shell with a hole up the top big enough to slip a string through. When I look back at him he passes me a leather cord that I immediately slip through the shell. He walks behind me, ties the new necklace and sits beside me with a massive grin.
He and I spend the rest of the day together and I return to my room at nightfall, watching the sunset’s final rays disappear from the sky. After freshening up I meet my friend, Katchya, in the kitchen and help prepare for dinner.
Nice necklace,” she comments as she prepares the seafood; it’s still squirming as it goes into the hot water. “I noticed that you were gone all day.”
I’m sorry –” I begin but she waves away my apology.
I knew where you were and who you were with,” she says, winking at me. “I organized it. When you first came here you told me you didn’t want me to do it so I did it without you knowing. It’s fine by me.” Fingers trembling only slightly I reached for the shell and stroked its smooth inner surface.
You’re not mad?” I say, frowning. She shakes her head and reaches for another job to do. I reach for another but she slaps my hand away, annoyed.
My grandma always said that oyster shells are lucky,” she says. “Go to the dock. There are only enough ingredients for one here.” Smiling I hug her and run outside, hurrying down the path and almost tripping over my dress in my haste. All the while I grasp the shell around my neck and know that her grandma was right. Shells are lucky.

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