This short story is inspired by Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt. The photo is so beautiful, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to add anything to it. I probably haven’t.
She had been walking for days with no food and no sleep. The house had been in flames, the livestock dead, her family scattered with the rest of the villagers. She hoped they had not been among the still and bloody humps she had passed as she fled in the dark. She called it hope for want of a better word. There was no more hope, just as there were no more tears.
She walked away from the place she knew, towards a place she had only ever heard speak of—the sea. The sea was wild and empty, they said. The shore is wild and empty. No one lives there; no one will follow you there. So, here she was, stumbling over a headland, into the blue light of a frosty dawn, and suddenly, it was at her feet, so much wild beauty she couldn’t breath. She had thought there were no more tears, but they poured down her cheeks. She held out her hands to the blue light and the pale ripples as a family of whales glided across the bay. The nightmare scenes of the attack were soothed away and she could almost feel peace swelling like the ocean.
Then she saw the ship pulled up on the strand, and at the same time, the voices of returning warriors drifted over the dunes behind. She cast about, but in all that beauty, there was nowhere to hide.