International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes
it", he ordered her. Then again, more gently, "touch
it. It wont bite. Trust me."
And she did trust him. But could she do it? The starfish was lying
there, in front of her, just beneath the water. Attached to the
rocks, beautiful, perfect and alive. That was the reason she couldnt
touch it, it was alive.
What if it stung
her? Bit her? Did starfish bite? She didnt know, but they must
do something. Maybe it would be sharp, pierce her skin. Were they razor
sharp, those points covering its surface?
"Just touch it", he said again, smiling, encouraging her.
"Or the sea anemone. Touch that, here, put your finger here. See
how it closes when you prod it."
Never. She recoiled in fright, sick in her stomach. More live creatures,
moving, re-acting. She couldnt even stroke a cat or touch a dog
animals were filthy, covered in fleas, germs or worse.
She stood, motionless, the waves gently lapping at her thighs. The sun
was shining. It was a perfect day. And he was with her. That made everything
perfect. How long had they waited for that day. How much had they been
through to get here.
Last night, before they had met again, she had still felt the panic,
the guilt, even a slight hope that she would see him and it would be
different. She would be able to walk away and return to her stable,
secure life, without causing the devastation she knew was ahead if this
Then hed walked into the bar and in an instant she knew it was
pointless. She couldnt stop this. She didnt want to. She
came alive when she was with him, and he with her. They fed from each
other, making each one complete.
Now, here he was, standing beside her in the ocean, smiling, his eyes
twinkling in the sun and she had never felt so loved. Ahead of them
was pain and anguish. They would hurt people they loved. They would
lose friends and family. The guilt would almost destroy them. But they
would survive because they had no choice, they had to do this.
In that moment,
she looked into his eyes and saw in his heart. He loved her, adored
her and she trusted him completely. He would never hurt her or put her
in danger. Smiling, she held out her hand. Tentatively at first, she
reached under the surface towards the rocks.The fear was still there,
but she could overcome it. He made her stronger. She was protected.
Slowly, with him beside her, she moved forward. She could smell the
salt in the air, feel the waves against her, the sun on her face and
the strength he gave her. She loved him with every fibre of her being,
and knew this was right.
She touched the starfish and her life changed for ever.
© Janel Atwork Sept 2006
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