This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Every newsletter, the winners of the Novelicious Pinterest Prompt flash fiction competition are awarded a Five Minute Fiction slot. Grab a brew, have a read!
He held the reefer out to her, his eyes centered by pupils desperate for the moonlight. She took it and sucked in the essence as his voice sang over the breaking waves and crackle of the camp fire.
“The yanks need to stop interfering in other people’s wars, this has been going on for years.”
“And Johnson wants us in it too,” replied a voice from across the flames.“No way, man.”
She followed the debate around the group. Each had their belief, their reason for loving, a path that must be taken. Her toes dug their way into the sand, its warmth fading and a dampness thickening the grains. She scratched deeper hoping for comfort but none came, only a sense of defeat as the unfamiliar ground stopped any further progress.
The sound of George Harrison’s sitar snaked out of the radio silencing everyone. Some danced, others laid back and took in the stars, and some needed fuel to burn. She watched him staring into the orange blaze. Her head swam. The waves chased behind her, she could hear them coming closer, calling her. She moved back from the fire but its heat would not leave her. She imagined the steam that would be released from her if she were immersed in the sea to rise in a haze of vapour under the indigo sky.
She stood up, unsteady, he would follow and be hers. The walk to the ocean released her from routine and order, and from the mundane structure of society’s rules. Every step, with heavy thighs, and feet that seemed not to touch the ground, was a journey in another world.
The water was cold and harsh but it was home and so she waded as far as her heart would take her. She floated until morning when screams and cries landed her body to sand again and she was confirmed to be herself and in time committed to familiar ground to rest for evermore, without him.
The square heaves with snake charmers, storytellers, fortune-tellers, men with monkeys, women applying tattoos, games of skill and chance.
The chaos of voices, many of which expel languages that have never touched my ears before, fill my head. People scurry by me. Some walk with friends, chatting. I feel a pain of longing for what they have. Others stand with a companion, looking somewhat safe, but still unsure. Some stand alone, looking completely lost and confused, like me.
Two weeks ago, I departed from Manchester, leaving my mother behind with only the ruminants of my final embrace left in her arms, and hers in mine. I wrap my arms around myself for comfort, both searching for the warmth that was once left there her, and also as a natural reaction to my current discomfort. Everything is completely foreign to me. Everyone scurries by, barely noticing my existence. I am lost. I have no clue where I need to be. I take a deep breath and turn around to go back the way I came.
“There you are,” a voice says in heavily-accented English. ”Did you get lost?”
A slight feeling of relief washes over me. He looks happy, confident, and comfortable. My new husband, Saïd.
I walk towards him, trying to exude a look of confidence.
“Of course not,” I say smiling, feeling safe now that I know he is here.
He puts his arms around me and kisses me.
“Come, I will show you.”
Later, up on the terrace, the view of Marrakech is heart-stopping: the air crystal clear, the sky cloudless; the snow-capped mountains stretching out across the horizon.
When you live somewhere, even for a short time, it’s amazing how quickly you become accustomed to the total beauty that is bestowed on you.
After I had explained to Saïd how I felt lost in being in a new place with no one that I knew. After I had poured out my heart, he only had one piece of advice, “Give it a week, Jen. If you haven’t made a friend by then, or you still feel completely lost, come to me. Whenever you need anything, I’m here.”
It can take a while before you walk through the door and finally feel it has become your home. For me, I am still waiting for this feeling to arrive. But I think it is right around the corner.