Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Cove

Opal dove beneath the waves, swimming just below the surface, the roar of the water filling her ears. Popping her head up above the water, she blinked her eyes rapidly and looked around, spotting Pearl perched upon an outcropping of rock a few yards away. Letting the current tug her along, Opal swam slowly toward the coral encrusted reef, careful to avoid the knife-like edges of the jagged rock below the surface.

"There you are! I thought you chickened out," Pearl teased. She patted a spot next to her and smiled. The sun had dried the water from her skin leaving a salty powder on her shoulders and across her freckled nose. Her red hair hung long and straight down her back, slowly drying in the piercing sun and the breeze blowing off the bay.

Opal picked her way up the side of the outcropping and settled in the spot in the sun next to her sister. "I'm not a chicken. I just got turned around." She grabbed a handful of her black hair and squeezed out the sea water, twisting it and twirling it into a bun on her head. The breeze across her neck chilled her; goosebumps broke out across Opal's shoulders and arms. Shivering she turned her face toward the sun, closing her eyes and letting the heat warm her skin. She sighed, contented to sit and listen to the rhythmic rocking of the waves against the rock.

"Look over there," Pearl nudged her sister. "Look at them."

Opal stirred, fighting the sleep that threatened to steal over her. Opening her eyes, she squinted into the sun, peering toward the beach. "Who?"

"There on the beach." Pearl pointed "The couple. They're holding hands, I think."

Opal giggled. "Ew. They kissed." She covered her eyes and laughed. The water around them lapped against the coral, sloshing and splashing.

"Opal! Get down! They spied us!" Pearl leaped off the rock and dove beneath the water. Opal opened her eyes wide, staring directly at the couple standing in the surf. The man was pointing right at her and yelling something. She squealed and plunged into the water, swimming away from the sandy beach.

Coming to the surface several hundred yards away, Opal and Pearl clung to each other giggling. "Oh! Papa will be furious with us!"

"He'll be furious with you! You're the oldest and it was your idea to sneak so close to the beach, Pearl!"

"Shh...not a word to him, okay? Please? If he finds out we swam to the cove, he'll never let me out of his sight."

Opal nodded and playfully splashed salt water at her sister. With a giggle, Pearl dove beneath the waves and Opal followed, laughing as she followed her sister's turquoise fishtail toward home.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way 
the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, 
no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
- Sarah Kay


Five-hundred words inspired by the picture above...and the quote a bit, too. My sis and I loved to play mermaids as kids. Sweet memories at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool.


  1. I loved the description and I loved the twist. Lyssa M x

    1. Thank was a fun write. One of those pieces that you're not sure where you're headed as you go along, but in the end, it's what you wanted! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Great name choices. And I loved the understanding that dawned as I read it. One crit -- I think you have a typo third line from the bottom. Should "I'll" be "he'll"?

    visiting from Write on Edge

    1. Thank you for the edit-check...fixed it! I liked the names, too. I had originally used common names and then I went back and tweaked them to give a little peek at the end of the story. Pearl and Opal just clicked. Thanks for reading and commenting (and editing!).

  3. You nailed the description. I could see the sisters, but not with the tails in the beginning. You did a great of job of keeping that hidden until later. I wondered why the girls reacted so quickly at the couple seeing them and then you gave me the answer. A very nice story and I enjoyed it:~)

    1. Thank you! It's terribly tough to write stories with a twist that are still a surprise to your reader since you know what's hidden, so I appreciate the feedback that it worked. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement.

  4. I suspected, but it was still a little delight to watch your mermaids swim away. Love the light, playful tone.


Thanks for visiting! Your comments are warm fuzzies! (And con-crit is always welcome, too.)