St. Helena Island, photo © Kyle Williamson via Google Maps
Every summer I relocate to my villa to flee the city’s heat: the stench of sewage and leather makers and ripe bodies, the hawkers’ cries. For peace.
The cove is empty. No boaters. No singing or laughter. I can hear the waves lapping their sweet rhythm.
The half-naked man sighs. “This place was so popular, too.”
“Such a tragedy.” I feign solemnity.
After the first deaths, they returned to witness the sea-creature spirits themselves, drawn by rumors of haunting. This last time scared them away. Too many were pulled under, screaming, never to frolic again.
He’s still talking. “You’ve been coming here since you were young…er?”
Good thing he’s handsome.
“And it’s never happened before?”
“We’ll go somewhere else, then.”
We. How optimistic.
“Or… maybe everyone will return next season.”
When he goes inside, I let the smile fill my cheeks. I wish I’d thought of this years ago.
Word count: 150. Inspired by this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Click on the link to explore this amazing island, to read the other stories inspired by it, and to join in and write your own — everyone’s welcome!
And yes, the title is a play on Dorothy Parker’s “What fresh hell” line, as I was picturing the narrator as a woman with a similar sensibility (although alas, I’m unable to recreate her wit!).
Happy 2019, everyone! This is my first flash fiction piece posted this year, and what a gorgeous location Karen gave us this week. My plan is to post one flash fiction story per week — but then, that was my plan for 2018, and it didn’t work out every single week. Ah well, life intervenes. I’ll keep trying! Hope your new years are off to a good start. Cheers!