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Of the Sea

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Jane dreams of water. The salt spray of the sea, the gentle waves of a lake. She always dreams of water.

The sea is green and violent. The waves close over her and she's swept along by the current, down and away from the shore. Someone is reaching for her, a creature of sea and earth with fingers like twigs and hair of flowers. It's calling for her, over and over again, but Jane can't hear over the sound of the water throbbing in her ears. The current releases her, suddenly, and she's floating.

She wakes with the taste of salt on her lips, and the scent of hawthorn drifts in through the open window. It makes her dizzy.

The lake erupts, water roaring and crashing, turning into nothing she can see. It's behind her and around her, eerily quiet. She only knows it's there and moving by the stench of decay, of dead seaweed and rotten fish. She knows the quietness is wrong, she waits for the howl, but it never comes.

"Simon," she says, still half-asleep and nauseous from the smell. "Do you remember..."
Her brother looks up from his breakfast. "Remember what?" he asks.
She sits down at the table slowly and frowns. "I'm not sure. It was on the tip of my tongue." She fumbles for the thought, but it's gone. She sighs. "Never mind." He turns a page in the paper. "Simon," she says again. "Do you remember your dreams?"
He bends over the article, peering at it closely. "No," he says shortly, and they don't speak of it again.

Grey water turns to mist, then a sticky, thick fog. There is someone behind it, in it, bright white light seeping out. The rays of light look like tendrils, reaching out, but they never touch her. She can feel the warmth pulsating from them, like a quiet heartbeat, keeping in time with the waves.

She doesn't ask Barney. It's not the kind of thing you discuss with a younger brother. Younger brothers are to be protected and kept safe. Besides, she's seen some of his paintings lately, and she has a feeling he knows more than she'd like to pretend he does.

"Just tell me!" she screams at them, at the creature, at the smell, at the light. But all she hears are crashing waves, rippling streams, falling rain, waterfalls and tears.

In her dreams she grasps after memories that aren't there. When she's awake she waits, for something she knows has to come.