Stringers – Eleventh Wave

Eleventh Wave

Showered with pellets of ice from the blackening edge of an advancing squall, he glanced back over his shoulder, seeking comfort in the security and solidity of the shore, wondering just how far he had come, wondering if he should turn back. But there was nothing, nothing to be seen, no beach, no cliff, nothing except a wall of driving rain that seemed to be chasing him further and further out to sea. More determined than ever, and filled with a fresh sense of urgency, he turned back towards the island and paddled with all his might.

Squinting into a rain that now came in sideways, the girl turned her attention to finding some form of shelter. It was her intention to see the day out, wait for the sun to go down, before giving up hope of ever seeing the young man again. Retreating to the tangle of drift logs at the foot of the cliff she stumbled across the clothes that Caspar had so casually flung to the side.

She picked each item up one by one, carefully folded them, and placed them in a pack amongst a handful of other supplies she had brought with her from the van. At the base of the cliff she soon found suitable accommodation in the form of a crude lean-to, a small hut-like structure most likely built by some creative summer vacationers. With her back to the island, the girl lit a smoky fire, added a dried twist of sage, the sweet aroma filling the confines of the make-shift shelter as she prepared to wait out the storm.

Just an outline at first, a shimmer in the fabric of the mist, a thinning of the atmosphere, a hole in the storm allowed the full form of the island to fill the frame before him. Exhausted from the extended effort, Caspar felt an overwhelming sense of relief as he reached the protection offered by the leeward side of the island. Sheltered now from the wind and rain, a surface tension returned to the sea and he found himself gliding across the water with a peaceful ease as if locked into a set of rails.

Shifting his weight back he slowed, taking a position straddling the board, as he closed the distance to the shore. Now just yards from safety, Caspar slid off the board, nudging it along ahead of him, as he slogged the final few feet of knee-deep water on foot. His back to the mainland, Caspar smiled to himself as he stood on the beach and felt more than heard the first explosion.

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