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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Short Story Saturdays ~ A Fantastic Short By Guest Author Katie Cross!



The beach was silent.

            The ocean swallowed the sun on the horizon. Waves lapped softly against the sand. A little girl with light hair gazed at the crumbling dock beneath her bare feet. A cascade of water and bubbles swirled around her ankles. It disappeared, leaving the wood dark and warm.

            She cocked her head to the side. Were those words carved into the board? She’d never noticed them before.

            When she glanced back to the house, the silhouette of her parents dancing in the window caught her eye. Frank Sinatra’s voice drifted into the air.

            Were they worried?

            No. They never kept track of her. She hadn’t been home since breakfast. She’d built a fort in the trees and hid, waiting for them to find her. They never searched. Now it was past dinnertime and they were still giggling over their wine glasses.

            As long as she wasn’t bothering them, they wouldn’t care what she did. They didn’t have time for little girls. She looked back to the writing on the plank.

            Papa told her to stay away from the old dock.

            “It’s deep out there,” he warned one day, extinguishing a cigarette in his palm. She liked the way his deep voice rolled, and the careless way his open shirt flapped in the breeze. “The boards aren’t safe on the far end. See how they’re sinking out there?”

            But she loved the smell of the rotting boards, the slimy feel of the sea water as it rushed through the holes. The dock rocked her, up and down, as she sat on the edge by the beach and watched the sunset every night.

            She crouched down, her white dress trailing just above the next set of waves. The water covered the words in the boards, then retreated with a soft hiss. She traced the letters with her fingertips.

            In memory of my first-

            The last word dropped off in the darkness She lowered onto her knees and crawled forward. Another wave rushed towards her in a quiet roar.

            -love. I will never forget the days we danced near the waves.

            She stopped, up to her wrists in water, and waited, pressing her face closer to the surface. The sunset was fading into an ebony sky, leaving little light.

            You died so suddenly, leaving me here.

            A wave splashed onto the little girls face, soaking her dress and arms. She shook the water off and continued forward. The boards groaned beneath her, tottering up and down in the loose swells. The wood was fluid, and sinking.

            I didn’t know how much I loved you-

            The little girl inched deeper into the water. The waves splashed her chest. Foam dripped off her cheek. Her milky dress swirled around her as she peered into the dark water. The words were barely visible. She scooted forward, tipsy on the uncertain dock.

            -until you never came back.

            The cracking boards and stifled cry faded as the sounds of Frank Sinatra drifted into the night.


Katie Cross is an aspiring writer who loves to read, write, eat cookies and hike with her dog and husband. She plans to e-publish her first book, Miss Mabel's School for Girls, sometime in the fall. Visit her website at: www.kcrosswriting.com

Or you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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