She was always pushing it. Always needing to go further. Never wanting to go home.
‘I’m turning back,’ I shouted. With the water up to my chest, every wave lifted me a little higher off the sea bed.
‘Aw, don’t. Just a bit more and we’ll be at the sand bank.’
But her voice was behind me. Slowly, carefully, using my whole body weight against the pull and press of the tide I made my way back to the shore. When I reached knee-depth, I turned round. She was gone.
The golden sand we had lain on had turned grey by the time they dragged her out of the water; her arm, duck egg blue, hung redundantly. When it was clear she wouldn’t take any breath the men sat back, their shoulders slumped. I moved closer and saw her face. Her eyes were wide open and her lips were parted in wonder. Then I saw her ankles. They were encircled with purple welts.
One of the men looked at his bleeding hand and tried to flick sand from the wound. ‘The weeds just wouldn’t let go,’ he said. ‘What a hold they had on her.’
© Shona Main 2010