Monday, August 15, 2011


Her Uncle had owned the bach until his death, and he had lived there on his own, after his wife, who was her Aunt by blood, had died. After her tragic bereavement, her cousin, Gabrielle, had offered her the use of the bach,which remained deserted for much of the year.

The family, now comprised of the cousins, two sons, Martin, and Kelvin, and their sister Gabrielle, and their families, used the bach for occasional summer weekends, but for the main part, the little two bedroom dwelling remained unused. The old, leaning and greying stakes, with rotting strands of twine, in the back yard, were all that remained of her Uncle's valiant attemps at gardening. It seemed impossible that he had once grown tomatoes, and potatoes in the sandy waste, now filled with Gazanias, and weeds, Pigfaces, encroaching Lupins, and tussock grass.

This area was next to the dilapidated, and falling-apart remains of Uncle Ted's shed, which he had called his Garage. The old Morris had rarely been housed there, but had stood on the driveway, leading up to the doors. Uncle Ted had gutted and scaled his fish out in the garden, and he often collected kelp, to dig into the garden, and he claimed it was the reason he could coax tomatoes and even potatoes from the sandy waste he called a garden.

She was really tired, after her long drive, down from the city, and the turn onto the side road and up the rutted old road, that led to the Beach Bach, was a welcome sign that she was soon to rest. She parked her car at the bottom of what used to be the driveway, for her Uncle's little old Morris, and which was little more than tussock and sand now, and hauled her bags up the sloping front area, that had once been a lawn of sorts.

When she unlocked the back door, she smelled the peculiar scent of stale air mingled with salt and sand. She was instantly glad she had brought her own sheets, pillows, and two quilts. She stripped the bed, and made it anew, with her fresh linen, and quilts.

It was almost dusk, and she stepped outside the back door, to smell the salty air, and feel the fresh wind from the ocean. She could see the curve of the small bay, with it's bright sandy collar, and the gentle surf frills, as each wave broke gently onto the sand. The jagged black, and smoother grey, rocks at each end of the bay seemed to sit as guardians, over the little bay.

She flipped on the Mains switch at the power board, and wondered that the local authorities allowed the cousins to keep the Electicity supply available for use when needed.

She realised how tired she was, and the fact that she had more or less forgotten about food. She hauled the cooler from her car up the slope and took out the eggs, bread, tea and milk. There was an elderly refigerator, which seemed to be working, judging by the noises it was making, once she had turned on the electricity. It had a huge handle on the door, and she put her eggs and milk onto a shelf. She found an ancient toaster in a cupboard, which had doors on each side, though only one element seemed to be working.

She decided to have a boiled egg, and a slice of toast for her tea. There were three small saucepans, and a small frypan, in the cupboard below the sink, and the electric stove had two elements that glowed red, when she tried them all. She made a mental note, to get herself a fully functional automatic toaster as soon as she could, and also buy some butter, which she had forgotten she might need for the toast. The water from the tap was very reluctant, but eventually ran clear enough for her to risk using it for her tea. The electric jug worked to make a cup of tea, but it seemed to take forever to boil the water.

She decided to forgo a bath, as there was no shower, and fell into bed, and into a deep, weary sleep.

She awoke suddenly to a loud noise, sat up in bed in alarm, and could not at first remember where she was. The wind was a howling demon, and seemed about to enter the bach. It whistled and moaned at the doors and windows. She heard the roar and thunder of the surf, hurling itself onto the beach. It sounded so loud and close, she felt it might enter the bach, then remembered she was above the bay, and it surely could not rise high enough, to flood into her little sanctuary.

She pulled the quilts about her head, and fell asleep once more.

The morning dawned clear, calm, and bright, with not a cloud or any evidence of the night's fury, apart from the stakes in the garden having fallen over, and the twine being ripped from the stakes. The Lupins at the edge of the once-upon-a-time garden had been bent and wilted by the winds, but the sandy drifts appeared to be a normal part of the landscape.

As she looked out at the sunny day, she decided to walk down to the beach, and work up an appetite. She dressed in jeans and a T Shirt and decided not to wear sandals, since it was warm, and the sand felt soothing under her bare feet.

She crossed the dunes to the sand of the bay, and noticed all the drifts of kelp, lying thick and tossed along the bay. There were great piles of kelp, seemingly ripped from the ocean floor, by the fury and rage of the storm the night before. The stipes and blades lay strewn in heaps upon the sand.

A small, sad, silver fish lay dead, caught unawares by the ocean's fury, perhaps thinking it had found shelter in the forest of kelp, before it was plundered by the storm's ferocity, and hurled from it's haven, onto a sandy, hostile shore. She saw the glint of the fish among the kelp, and realised what it was, and what might have happened.

She noted that the waves seemed to have been thrown further up the shore than normal, and the holes in the newly wet sand, told of small creatures, whose homes in the dry sand have been invaded, flooded by the unusual influx of high waters.

As she walked along the bay, looking at the great piles of uprooted kelp, she saw something glinting in the morning sun. It appeared to be silver, and vaguely familiar. A great pile of kelp lay in a mound, and she suddenly realised what was silver.

As the waves lapped their foamy edges about the thick straps of kelp, and silver, she realised it was a high heeled sandal, in fact, pale blue and silver.

Incongruously, it was strapped to a foot. As she looked closer, she could see another, unclad foot, in the sand, under the kelp.

With mounting horror, she followed the line of kelp, and saw the long strands of brown hair, the side of a face, and the knotted, silky, pale blue scarf, around a slender neck.

An arm was flung out, fingers curled towards some unseen goal.

The kelp formed almost a blanket of modesty about the obviously naked body of the female, who lay upon the beach. The ripples of the waves poured foamy edges over the kelp, and gently rocked the naked foot back and forth.

She reeled back in horrified realisation, that this was a dead person.
She remembered the howling fury of the night before.
The waves crashing and thundering on the shore.
Was it outrage at this woman's death?
How had she died?

This may or may not be continued...