This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt. Another pic from Sue’s horror rock collection.
“Paradise,” he sighed and put his arm round her, as if this was his creation and he was adding her to the picture. “What a shame we only booked a week. If only I’d know it would be like this.”
She looked from the oily waves that rose and fell, glittering red in the westering sun, to the forest that strode down to the beach. The sand was an almost luminous silver, but the trees were already full of shadows.
“Shouldn’t we find the hotel before we—”
“Lodge. It isn’t a hotel.” His voice had an edge of irritation.
“Lodge then. I’d like to get acquainted with the plumbing and the kitchen facilities before we start exploring.”
He sighed audibly and picked up two of the bags. “It’s only through the trees, I expect. What’s the panic?”
She shrugged. “Just what I said. I’d like a shower and something to eat first.”
He shot her a look that she had never seen before. Cold and glittery, like the ocean. Had the journey got to him, she wondered, made him irritable, or did he often look at her like that, and she had simply never noticed until the red, glittery light reflected it? He turned away from her, his eye caught by something on the skyline. He raised his head and she followed his gaze. A headland that rose above the beach, and on the summit, something moved, something graceful and silent and huge. Wings?
“Wow,” he murmured. “Did you see that?”
“I saw something,” she said hesitantly.
“Big bird. Massive wingspan. It must have settled up there on that rock. Give me the camera. I’m going to see.”
He held out his hand. She had no choice. It was that or start a fight. The light in his eyes, the strange, cold light was still there. She rummaged in her bag and handed over the camera. He grabbed it without a word and started off towards the trees that clung to the base of the rocks.
“Steve,” she called. “Be careful.”
He plunged, without turning back, into the obscurity. Perhaps he hadn’t heard. She saw him, maybe five minutes later, outlined black against the red sky. She saw him peer over the far side of the headland, the camera half-raised. Her cry was echoed a fraction of a second later by Steve’s, when the rock moved and she saw a face in its craggy outline, and when the giant bird, that she saw now was a hand, swept across the headland and, with stony fingers, plucked Steve from its brow.