Nowhere to Here and Back Again - Part 1

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Multigenerational writing collaboration. An amusing read in three parts. This was such fun! Pops went wildly off piste , setting us the challenge to reign in the storyline. Should we continue? Who is up for the challenge?

Nowhere to Here and Back Again - Part 1

Chapter 1

The beach was ablaze with glitter and sequins glimmering off the silver moonlight as they danced. Hundreds of couples laughing and chatting as they moved to the slow unfamiliar melody that blared from the portable stereo. She clung to her dance partner as he moved her expertly across the soft cool sand that was beneath their bare feet. He was tall and toned, perfectly fine tuned muscles ran smoothly under his skin. She could feel each one tremble ready for action each time he swayed her in his arms. He swooped her low to the ground, the tips of her cherry black hair crystalizing with sand. She looked up at his face, suddenly realising he was a complete stranger. He was wearing a mask covering all of his face except for his lips which were full and red even in the darkness. The mask was based on the Venetian style, a gold colour with protruding crooked nose, the cheeks were glittered with foreign markings. He smiled at her and motioned her toward the water, lapping peacefully on the sand, contrasting to the loud violent lashes it unleashed against the cliff rocks surrounding the bay. When the tide was in, the beach was underwater, but they were grounded for a few more hours yet. She wasn't sure how she knew that but she did. The water licked at her toes cooly and she smiled again. She had never felt something as refreshing, so natural and pure. The stranger spun her in toward her and kissed her so gently it was as if a feather had brushed against her lips.

"I have been calling you for so long" he whispered.

"You have?" She asked, confused. The waves crashing against the cliffs reminded her of something but she couldn't remember what. The moon cast an eerie silver glow over everything. She feels a sudden tightening around her chest, brought on by the sound of his deep melodious voice, the unexpected words.

Or were they unexpected? She has been searching so long. #

Her scalp prickles, a rushing sound in her ears. She looks down at her feet to see paving stones, pock marked with splats of chewing gum. The grating cacophony of the coin operated machines in the fairground drowning out the sound of the sea as it swirls over the shingle stones of the pebbly beach. She looks along the promenade, bleak under the grey skies.

The attempted cheerfulness of the candy stripe awnings of ice cream parlous, the cartoon cod & chips sign. A pigeon hop, hobbles hopefully over to her, one foot gnarled and deformed. She wills herself to be back. The sense of displacement so keen, she wants to be back on the moonlit beach, she needs to. Gripping the intricately carved amulet tighter in her palm she murmurs the incantation. Her diaphragm drops in a deep intake of breath. A reverse osmosis, like going from the here; that is nothing, to a dimension that is so full, so intense, so vibrant. Multi dimensional, multi sensory. Almost as suddenly, she is back on the beautiful beach, the moonlight so bright you could thread a needle by it. But now, it is empty.

Chapter 2

She opens her eyes slowly, stretching her long, youthful body. Pointing her toes and stretching her arms above her head. No pain, no arthritis. Probably back to her normal lithesome body. Slowly turns her head, black hair rustling on the pillows. Everything is dark. Pitch dark. Only then does she remember the amulet in her right hand. Of course she mutters, all seasons remote control. She quickly touches the sequence of buttons on the thing for ‘Spring Morning’. Slowly the room starts to glow and become lighter. She closes her eyes, waiting patiently for the chime that sounds when the action is completed. At the soft chime she opens her eyes to see the walls opaque and fading into the distance, the whole area filled with daffodils and oak tree woods. A rabbit sniffs at the bottom of the wall. The damn thing purses it’s lips at her like a cat’s backside, gives her a wink and slowly fades into the background with a fade-in of Bambi’s mother. She groans” If I see this druddy buck licked once more I’m gonna hurl!”.

She scrolls the remote from ‘Spring in Nursery Land ‘ to monastery 12th century Thailand and touches the screen. Slowly the walls fade back to black. As the darkness blankets the room a voice whispers ‘I’ve been searching for you for a long time.. She starts up in irritation “ That Michael doesn’t give up. This amounts to stalking “ she mutters.

The walls glow and came to life in the main hall of her favourite monastery with the monks in brown woollen habits, their tonsures covered with cowls. They are reaching a crescendo in the mantra they are singing, all swaying in unison on their sit-down pillows. The candlelight flickers every time a late arrival hurries in through the doors at the end of the church, letting in the cold winter winds of the Devonshire moors. She shivers, make sure she has the right era clothing on. The woollen dress itches like hell. She kneels on the straw pillow and joins the chanting wondering how many Travellers are in the hall. This is a popular venue for time travelling holiday makers. She was really getting lost in the mantra, her mind feeling relaxed, her body floaty. This was why she loved coming here, to lose herself in peace and get rid of all the stress on her shoulders. As is probably the case for other Travellers. She was so relaxed she didn't feel the firm assertive grip on her shoulders. "Don't make a scene" whispered the voice "just come with me quietly. Tingles ran up her neck like spiders. She opened her eyes, bowed low and got up under guidance of Michael. They left the main hall and stepped outside into the thick snow.

The monastery was on a tall mountain, so despite the humidity in the valleys below, it was always brisk up here to say the least.

"What do you want Michael?" she snarls.

"You need to find different hiding places, my sweet. I seem to find you here a lot." He smiles so sweetly at her you might even think him her lover at a glance.

"Yes, well, I shan't be coming here again." She sighs. She tries to move her hand slyly toward her hidden pocket in her dress but he grabs it away.

"Don't even think it, Princess. I'll take that I think." He digs into her pocket and pulls out the amulet, sparkling with movable gems under the sun.

"So beautiful... Shame to destroy it really." She tries to struggle out of his grip and take it back but he barely moves, being significantly stronger than her. He pulls out what looks like a shard of glass and strokes it along the amulet. The air sings with a high pitched ring, getting louder and higher until the amulet shatters with a tinkling gentleness. She screams out but it is too late. "You're coming with me now, Arianna." He pulls her down the mountain, all the while she cusses and curses.

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