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Wednesday, 11 May 2011



"You and me?" she says. "We'll stay together, won't we?"

I keep looking out at the distant island. The sky between us and it is darkening quickly and I know that we should be getting on, but there are things that need to be said here, now.

"How do you mean together?"

"I mean..." But she doesn't seem to know what she means. When I look at her she's wiping roughly at her eyes. "I mean...I want us to stay like this. I don't want things to change between us just because..."

It's strange. For months I've slept beside this woman, lived my life on top of hers, been through the strangest and more terrifying of things with her. And now, suddenly I'm finding it hard to look at her.

"Of course," I say. "Of course we will."

There is a silence that stretches out so long and thin and fragile. The waves wash up and down the beach, slow and endless as breath. I turn to Lisa. She turns to me. Easily, naturally, we kiss. It lasts a long time. I can feel her bump pressing against me. At last we part, and she smiles up at me.

"Together," she says, and holds out her hand. I take it, and once again we start to walk. I feel lighter now, quicker. Like I've just found the answer to a question which had been bothering me for ages.

Strange how normal and right it feels. A week ago you'd never have known...

Half an hour down the main road and the marina comes clearly into view. We climb down a set of wooden steps onto the jetties. All around the boats rise and fall on the swell of the water. Time and a lack of attention has not been kind to them. I see several that have sunk low in the water, or gotten lines and masts entangled with their neighbours. I start to check any that look seaworthy, and on the fifth time I get lucky. A small motor launch at the end of one jetty still has the keys lying on the floor of its single cabin. I hold my breath as I slot them into the ignition and turn, but the engine stutters keenly to life.

It's getting very dark now, and really we should wait until morning, but the prospect of reaching our destination is too much to put off for another night. I duck back out of the cabin and find Lisa standing on the jetty clutching her stomach.

"Come on," I say. "If we..." But my words die in my throat. There's a look of terrible pain on Lisa's face, and when she looks up at me her mouth forms into the words I've only ever heard her say in my nightmares before.

"David, it's coming."

1 comment:

Teritoriole Oriole said...

In a world full of Creatures, bad timing could be fatal. Kit, you are a master of leaving cliffhangers.