- Vol. 03
- Chapter 03
Image by Ville Miettinen
New-Found ShoreThey won’t turn to him, the Three Guardians, even though they’ll hear the splash.
They’ll turn to the woman.
Their poles will creak, amazing her: she’d thought them fixed. They’ll look at her with bright eyes. They’ll put their hands together and they’ll bow their round heads. Their capes will flutter in the wind.
After the splash she’ll take photographs.
Of her son’s bobbing head as he swims away.
Of his arms ploughing the water.
Of his kicking feet.
And she’ll remember his kicking feet: in nappies; the first time he played football; leaving black marks on his bedroom door; hurting his toes on the tyre of her car. She’ll take photographs until she he’s gone.
Then she’ll look up and see the Three Guardians closing their eyes.
She’ll look back at her screen. She’ll see her son, but not the Three Guardians. Only images of her son. Swimming away.
She’ll close her eyes and see him pushing himself up onto a different swimming platform. She’ll see him walking towards a young girl, his feet making damp prints on the wooden boards. She’ll see him sitting down beside her, pushing his wet hair behind his ears. She’ll see the girl take his hand and lift it high, their arms making parallel branches. She’ll hear their laughter.
And then she’ll hear the Three Guardians sigh and she’ll open her eyes and watch them quarter-turn away from her. They won’t be looking at her, nor will they be looking at her son, on his new-found shore.
She’ll hope her son will send news, from time to time.