On The Rocks
One cradles the other. Metal-studded crimson faux-leather with soaring heels. I kick off my sandals, slop a foot into each red shoe – teeter.
I think I’ve been waiting for hours. My sun-dazed skin grows cold and goose-bumped, and my stomach churns. The crooked-turreted castle he helped me to build is inching closer to the waves. It seems like a hundred years since he called me ‘Daddy’s little princess’, tucked my curls behind my ears, dabbed sunscreen on my nose.
Before the last shell window had been pressed into place, she cast her shadow over my realm, her spell over him, and while I dug the moat with my plastic spade I felt him forget me. I heard it in their laughter, loud as seagulls’ cries, as the pair of them disappeared from view behind the rocks. And I stab the sharp ends of feathers into the turrets as I wait for him to reappear, brush the sand from my feet, cram them into my sandals, and take me home to Mum.
Judy Darley is a British fiction writer, poet and journalist. Recent publications include poetry, flashes and short stories in Streetcake magazine, Germ, Farther Stars Than These and Headstuff. Her debut collection, Remember Me To The Bees, is out now. Judy runs arts and literary blog SkyLightRain.com, and tweets @JudyDarley.