A Storm’s Coming

Wanda pulled herself under the water and felt the blue waves poking down from the surface. In another second she broke the surface, gasping in the salty sea air, and grabbed hold of the massive stone that jutted up through the waves. She exhaled forcefully and pulled herself out of the water, but even once she had settled herself atop the rock, the sea foam still washed up to her waist.

She wrung the water from her darkened hair and sat back, braced up on her hands, while the rising sun shown down upon her. By the time Wanda’s hair had dried and blew through the wind in amber waves just as bright as the glare upon the water, she saw her friend Isaac walking up the beach toward her. He wasn’t tall for his age, and not stocky either, but something about his simple smile always filled her with warmth from head to tail.

Isaac stretched when he stopped at the edge of the shore and then settled himself lightly onto the sand. “Day’s lovely, isn’t it?”

Wanda lifted her shoulders and beamed. “Always, Isaac, when you say it is.”

“I could say the sky’s dark on a Sunday and you’d still agree,” he said.

“Perhaps,” Wanda said, a sly smile painted across her face as she turned momentarily to meet his eyes. A jolt of static rushed through her and she quickly turned away to listen to the water lapping at the rock beneath her. She sat like that for a while, investigating the horizon with her eyes. The dark sea strewn with golden sun rays undulated with reflections of silver and white. The blue sky, already azure, degraded into a patch as deep as the ocean and only slightly darker, and in this blackness she could see the sparkling tendrils of lightning in the distance.

“A storm’s coming,” she whispered, and when she realized Isaac hadn’t heard her, she called more powerfully over the waves.

She watched him sit still for a second–surely he was imagining something; he always pondered so much in her presence, she felt sometimes he spoke more with himself than with her–and finally he asked, “Think it’ll be as bad as last time?”

“Certainly,” she said, glancing over the water again. The clouds were especially compact today, and the lightning flashed incessantly. “If not seven times worse.”

“Only seven?”

She tilted her head, discerning how the waves peaked beneath the black clouds. She looked back at him, smiling, and said, “Perhaps six.”

Isaac shuddered, or chuckled; over the crashing waves, she couldn’t tell. Then his lips parted and she strained to hear his words: “Think I should warn father then?”

Wanda rolled her eyes. “Absolutely not! He’ll know in his own time today, or else he won’t know at all.” She crossed her arms and tossed her hair. “All the better for him then, I should think.”

Want more? Read Sunday Sails Away for the whole story

Excerpted from In Through the Eyes


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