Tempest

The cool, almost burning scent of salt air seared her nostrils as she inhaled, her arms open wide as if to embrace the tempest storm. Long, tangled hair flew into complex knots all around her, even as the wind sent the wet strands to lash the bare skin on her back and shoulders, causing faint, red welts to appear. The sharp stones of the beach cut into her feet as she shifted her weight, impatient.
She knew she should be afraid, it was dangerous, what she was doing, out alone in the middle of the worst storm they had had in years.
They would call her crazy, all the people she knew, loved, cared about, if they saw her like this, dressed only in a thin yellow sundress, defiant against the storm.
They would say that she’ll catch her death, or that she would be swept away.
But she didn’t care anymore.
She could feel shivers course through her body, and a knot of nervous anticipation balled tightly in her gut as she lowered her arms. The storm would get worse, she knew it, she could feel it.
She could feel the song, like that of a siren, with the same alluring pull. The time was coming near, she could tell. She knew it would come for her, whatever it was, the thing that had haunted her dreams with it’s tempting promises.
She closed her eyes, reveling in the sting of harsh rain, and the bite of the winds on her flesh. She could feel the slight pull of the waves, as they broke and then retreated, against her toes, beckoning her.
She reopened her eyes, staring out into the distant darkness; the only thing she could see was the caps of white, like lace, tipping each mighty wave. Far out at sea, she thought she could see movement, like someone plunging through the rough waters. Fear crept into her breast, for whatever was coming was certainly not human – no one could be stupid enough to swim in this unnatural storm. She felt that she should call out to whatever it was, incase it needed help. Of course, she would not be much help. She was one lone girl, who was surely mad; she could never beat the vicious storm that nature, or something else, had concocted.
“Besides,” she told herself, “it’s probably just a rock.”
But when she glanced back at the shape, it appeared to have moved closer. Curious, she advanced a pace, though she truly didn’t notice. She felt entranced, like she was drifting outside of herself, the water swirled invitingly around her ankles.
‘Yes… yes… come forward sister…’ She thought she heard something in the hiss of the winds.
Another step.
Then another.
And another still, until she was up to her hips in the sea. The figure was closer now. It must be a good swimmer.
The water under the surface was invitingly warm, with only a slight tug of the currents against her legs. If she took just one step forward, she knew she would reach the swimmer. The thunder rumbled deeply, as the rain came down in thick sheets.
A step forward.
And there, the swimmer was. It reached out, enveloping her in an inviting warmth.

Tempest

Heather Harvie

Windsor, Canada

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Artist's Description

Done for an assignment at school to write a short story.

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