It was so surreal to be here, Hailey pondered over her own traumatic recognition. So long ago, yet the fear still just as fresh as yesterday.Perhaps
it was a mistake to come here, to try to relive the good memories of being here with Sarah, in hopes of burying the bad one deep somewhere
irretrievable.She remembered the warm sun kissing their cheeks,the briny scent of the breeze caressing their hair,the echoes of their laughter off the
rocky cliffs, and the pain in her chest from her heart pounding with fear as she ran.
So vivid as she walked along the beach. She smiled at how they laughed and played here, as one salty tear fell to the sand and mixed with trillions of
other salty tears.
For two weeks they had searched,the beach, the cliffs,and as far out in the water as they could.They found no trace of Sarah.In the end, it was
decided that she must have wandered into the water,and was unable to find her way out in the fog and darkness, her body lost to the sea.
Hailey carried with her years of guilt as she walked the shoreline for the first time since that day. It was her first trip to the island, since
growing up, getting married and having a daughter of her own. Her daughter Sarah, was in every way a mirror image of her mother.
As they both walked barefoot in the sand, Hailey paused and smiled,realizing how she herself looked at that age, spending every waking minute here,
all summer long.
"Mommy, can I look for seashells?" Her voice filled with excitement at the prospect of indulging in her mothers long lost favorite hobby.
Hailey smiled and nodded as ten year old Sarah ran for the far end of the beach.
Hailey, sighed and looked all around her. Not much had changed here. The cliffs were a bit less jagged, and now more eroded. The shape of the
shoreline had changed, and what were once favored clustered of boulders for sitting or hiding now resided near a sandbar further away in the rising
water.Aside, from that...it felt the same, smelled the same, and if she closed her eyes, SHE was the same. Skinny little ten year old legs running
through the sand, counting freckles that appeared overnight from mid-summer sun, hair dripping with saltwater and sand while goosebump covered arms
reach for warm towels.
Opening her eyes she saw a glimmer on the ground;the sun reflecting off something. Thinking it may be a piece of broken glass, she approached it and
bent down to pick it up. It was glass, and it was broken, but not in the dangerous way she thought. Holding it up to the sun she admired a perfect
specimen of smoothed down sea glass.She placed it in her pocket, thinking this was a good start to more happy memories.
She began walking towards her daughter, who was now crouched over something, examining it closely.
" Look mommy! I found lots of shells! All right here!" Sarah looked down at the neat little pile of swirls. A twinge of fear shot through her like a
jolt of electricity.
" They were all right here Sarah? Just like this?"
" Yes mommy, they were. " She smiled up at Hailey so eager for approval. " The little girl over there showed them to me. She said I should have them.
But she kept calling me by your name mommy, and calling herself my name. I told her she was being silly and she ran away."
Hailey's breath caught in her throat, choking her. " Who Sarah? What girl? Where?"
Sarah, her daughter, pointed up at the high cliff over the beach. There surrounded by billows of white mist,appeared to be Sarah, her friend, in the
same clothes, the same body....
Hailey could not move, could not speak. Her daughter played quietly at her feet, unaware of the terror that just completely took over her mother.
Sarah, in the fog, floated down the cliff, like an angel with no wings, till her form appeared hovering over the beach a short distance away. She
looked confused, sad.
Hailey was sure that she was having a hallucination, but Sarah her daughter, had seen her too, spoken to her. She looked down at the young girl at her
feet. " Honey, is that the girl over there that gave you the shells?" She managed to whisper in her ear, pointing down the shore.
" Yes! She's the one! Mommy, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
Hailey hadn't realized she was, but the more she stared at the vision in front of her, the more the tears blurred her sight.
THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING. THIS CAN'T BE REAL.
Sarah, in the fog, opens her mouth to speak, but only gurgled sounds come out, as if she is under water. The density around her thickens and blocks
the view once again of the scenery beyond.
Hailey wants to bolt, but she is frozen. Just as mesmerized now, as Sarah was all those years ago. Her little girl keeps looking back and forth
between the two and her young blue eyes are now wide with fear." Mommy,Mommy!"
The fog whirls around Sarah, blowing at the frays of her now tattered clothes. She looks down at her feet, her hands, and touches her face. Looking
back at Hailey, her own tears now mixing with the salty mist, and she understands...
" Mommy whats going on? I'm scared."
Hailey knelt down to her daughter, and buried her face in her sweater, wrapping her arms tightly around her.
Just steps away, Sarah in the fog,grows. From a young girl in pig tails, her hair breaks free of the elastic. Her young body taking shape of a woman,
her breasts form and swell, and her hips curve with maturity, and her clothing gives and bursts at every seam.Sun-spotted freckles and wrinkles of
time appear across her face, and she reaches out to Hailey with a pleading look on her face.
Hailey was transfixed. To blink meant to miss years passing by in front of her. She felt even more helpless to Sarah now than she had years before.
Sarah's now long flowing hair, turned to ash grey, and her mouth collapsed inward as if all her teeth disappeared.Her limbs now shriveled and became
brittle, and as Hailey watched in horror, her best friend fell to sand in a heap of painful broken bones, taking one last breath.
Before she could move, the body of Sarah, never lost to the sea, but to the fog and sands of time, began to dissipate.Wisps floated up from it. Tiny
tendrils at first, then like thick smoke,and as it did Sarah in the fog
, became Sarah the fog
. It churned and rolled and danced in the
air.It mixed with the mist and the wind of the sea, and it moved-closer.
Closer to Hailey, closer to Sarah, her daughter.In the fog she heard her name..."HAILEY
..." and seashells began to drop at her feet.
She grabbed young Sarah,and ran and ran down the beach, far away....and never once looked back.
edit on 18-9-2013 by AccessDenied because: punctuation