Again, that idea: this place is like a strange dream, this place is too impossible to be real. An oasis. The island both intrigues and repels. Looking at it, it wasn’t hard to figure why mainlanders avoided the place. It was as horrible as it was beautiful.
When the ferry finally docked, she hurried off, hungering for stable land after the endless movement of the boat. Even on the steady dock she felt as if she was still swaying with the sea. She hugged the banister, staring down at the water below where a cluster of seabirds floated, trying vainly to appear comfortable amidst the waves.
She had pictured herself gracefully stepping onto the dock, her fine clothes and red lips dramatic against the surf. Instead she was hunched over, fearful of vomiting, lipstick smeared, clothes inappropriate in the frigid wind.
The narrow wood dock led to an asphalt parking lot, cracked and crumbling with age. She had hoped to get directions from one of her fellow passengers (and there had been only a handful of locals on the ferry with her, somehow even that was odd). But once docked, the passengers scattered, passing her without so much as a nod before getting into waiting vehicles, climbing onto bicycles, quickly disappearing.
As the last car drove out from inside the ferry, it honked at her, forcing her to jump aside. The driver zipped past kicking gravel her way, before it sped up the unbelievably steep road without a look back.
Then she was alone in the empty parking lot, embarrassed and angry at herself for not forcing someone to help her. She’d have to figure her way all on her own. Then again, she was used to finding her own way.
The consolation: there really was only one direction to go: up. It was an island after all, can’t go too far. So, after a brief moment to compose herself, she started on her way.
From “The Birthright” by Victoria Dalpe
Discover the dark secrets looming over Mercy Island in “Home Sweet Home – A Millhaven Anthology”.
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