Winter Morning

He walked slowly over the dunes towards the beach. It was a cool early morning, the dew from the night had settled on the sand, making the top layer damp. An icy breeze was steadily blowing from the land in the west out over the coastal strip to the sea. Anton walked with purpose. He had his head down shielding his eyes from the beams of sunlight that were slowly unwrapping the cold night. When he got to the edge of the dune he stopped and squinted, looking down the beach. To the south the bay curved round and became a sandy point-break up towards the break wall at the river mouth. The early morning mist made the river look further away than it actually was and also masked the detail of the small town. To the north a lone fisherman stood casting into the deep gutter that ran close to the water’s edge. The sun was rising steadily over the mountains and had turned the ocean into a pool of glittering gold. Waves marched into shore peaked as they hit the shallows. The offshore breeze held up the faces and created plumes of spray off the backs as the waves feathered and then fell with a crash. It was defiantly worth a paddle.

Anton shivered, the cold wind from the mountains made his cheeks and nose numb. His feet were already sore from walking in the cold wet sand. But his own comfort was the last thing on his mind now. It had been a year now since he had been in the water at this spot; the anticipation was both exciting and unnerving.

As he walked back to the car to stretch into old wetsuit that had stiffened and shrunk from the salt since his last surf in it, he passed a man coming in the opposite direction. A grunt and nod was the only exchange between them. Anton looked sideways twice at the bloke just to make sure he didn’t recognise him from somewhere in his past. No just another faceless soul up for the early surf check. He thought again of the many happy times he’d had surfing this spot with friends as a youth. Back then things seemed a lot simpler, but then again, the past always looks nice through rose coloured glasses. Who was he to complain anyway, he mused, after all he was here wasn’t he? It was just a pity none of the crew were around anymore to share the moment with him.

He dove into the water with a splash; the icy water seeped through the seams of his wetsuit and reminded Anton of the rejuvenating qualities held by the ocean. He smiled and paddled out for the first time in years. Once out the back a glassy peak rose up, as if by instinct Anton turned and stroked until he felt the wave begin to take him. At that precise moment he pushed down with his hands and jumped to his feet. The board responded and slid smoothly onto the face of the wave. He tried to drive out a powerful bottom turn but his rail did not quite catch and caused him to slide out down the face momentarily. He corrected and brought the board round and up to trim along the emerald resin coloured face of the wave. After a moment it petered out and Anton kicked off the back.

“Whooooo” he shouted out loud as he paddled back out, It was good to be back.

Winter Morning

Duncan FitzGerald

Joined October 2008

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Artist's Description

The beginnings of a murder story based on the east coast of Australia.

Artwork Comments

  • Aoife McNulty
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