The Talking Stick

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Breathing was the hardest thing to do as she dragged her sodden body up onto shore. Sharp stones cut her hands as she clawed her way forwards. Her chest, screaming with raw pain as she sucked in every lungful of air, coughing, retching the sea water out. The force of it causing her small body to double over, then start the process once more, of trying to grab one more tiny lungful of air. Her heart pounding in her ears live, breath, live. As she knelt exhausted in the sand and foam, the screaming of her fellow passengers tormented her, the tearing apart as the boat exploded on rocks in the violent storm. Her mind spinning as she remembered the pale hands grabbing onto her, pulling, clinging, as her own body was pummelled deeply under Neptune’s deep roar drowning out any calls for help.

The dumping of her body onto a small stretch of stony beach was her salvation from a watery grave. Fingers of foam greedily stretched out to her, wanting to suck her back into the turmoil. Using every ounce of muscle she owned, she pulled herself away, looking for an anchor to hang onto. She heard another crawling up after her, retching sea water as she had done. She could not move, not yet, only her eyes took in the young man, the pain he was in, as he held his chest, blood dripped from a large open gash across his cheek, a pale cream bone poked through, his wet shirt tinged pink, mixing crimson blood with sea water.


Her slight body somersaulted over boulders and rocks, finally landing with a sickening broken crunch. A small patch of beach changed from pink to red, as her blood seeped into the sea water, the white ooze of brain squelching out of the split skull. Rose stood, looking down at her body. The sea now claiming what it had wanted from the time they were both shipwrecked, it rushed in, whirl pooling around the broken limbs, sucking it back into greener deeper depths. Rose now wandered the beach with many other shades, their moans and wails of grief echoing in and around the rock, bouncing off the barren walls, the sound was one of despair, a warning to others who would one day join them…..


‘Be careful what you wish for Tara, it just may come true’ how many times had she heard that over the years. Yet still her fingers itched for the camera, or to attack the key board as she wrote down her stories. Boundless questions ran around her mind. Why do I have this need inside me to travel? Why am I never able to feel settled for too long? Never to feel complete, at peace with my loved ones, home, or friends? These questions rattled around in Tara’s head as she woke every morning, and every night, as she went to sleep. It’s not as though she was unhappy with her life, or her partner Gordi. 

On the outside, everything looked peaceful, calm and happy. Moderate success in her novels, plus an exciting short movie made from a script she had written, her life should be gold. On the inside however, her blood ran like quick silver when her thoughts pictured her next adventure. Her eyes, always looking into the distance, her spirit always asking, what’s around the next corner? Tara at times feels like there is something there whispering to her, pulling her away from her life and commitments in Perth, to travel more, experience more, enjoy more, before it is all too late. She decides it’s time to flick off the shackles, time to discover another corner of Australia, her Kiwi bloke Gordi, as keen as she is to get back on the road. If Tara had known what was around that corner, would she have taken that step, into the unknown world of shades?  Kez-Web

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