12 Days, 12 Stories, each 200-300 words. The contest theme is gifts and each day has a prompt. Today's is:
He lay in the shallows, the sea licking his skin like a lover. It was a full moon, a night for magic. He smelt it in the night air, heard it in the wind’s whisper stirring the waves. Water splashed against his lips and his nostrils flared in recognition. Three tears in the sea, a summons as old as the ancient reefs. Her taste was a fever in his blood, a compulsion. He must find her, or die.
Her husband was moving around upstairs, running the tap, shaving. Ordinary things, like nothing had changed. But it had. Barry’s cell phone sat in Jenna’s hand, a piece of dead plastic as destructive as an atom bomb.
He’s having an affair. How had she not known?
Impossible to stay staring at the Christmas tree.
Unthinkable to shred his shirts or stab the tyres of his car.
That was fantasy. Jenna dealt in reality. In keeping up mortgage repayments and honouring vows. In practicalities.
She moved before she had time to reconsider, had run from the house without grabbing the sensible wool coat hanging on the back of the door, run down to the sea, the one place in the world she had always felt free. She’d met a boy there once… but that was a fantasy too. Burying her hands in the cold sand, she wept for broken dreams.
Such a bloody waste.
If she’d heard a man approaching she probably would have run. She didn’t. Not until he stood before her in the water, sleekly beautiful, wet hair streaming over his muscular shoulders. He’ll catch pneumonia, she thought. Then she forgot to think, because his stare was liquid fire, scorching her grief chilled skin.
“Come.” He held out his hand.
“You came,” she whispered. “You’re not a dream at all.”