Grace took to sleeping beneath the white cedar trees within sight of Raven Bay.
And just as the sky went grey, before the evening star gleamed bright she grasped the flint sharpened stick; lettering out her words, pushing them deep into damp sand.
Watching the saltwater trickling in; turning crimson the moment it touched her misery anger, flecked with bits of quartz glinting bright even when there was no moon. When the small fire she’d lit with a chilled breath drew toward her; following her with a sorrow all its own, defying the wind sweeping in off the waves.
She’d traced William’s name one hundred times each and every evening.
Grasping that stick in her left hand, pushing hard as blister after blessed blister rose up, sizzling when the salt water spray hit them; toughening and turning to hard calluses, forever red and rough to the touch.
Grace scrawled William’s name and harsh words of power, sleeping upon a pile of beachgrass, wrapped in Ruby Mim’s rag square quilt, pulling off chunks of hardening bread loaves, foraging wild blueberries and wood fire cooked oysters; filling her bottle from the stream running clear less than half a mile inland. She slept dreamless, awoke refreshed, spent her days watching the tide rushing in and drawing back; taking her words, her casting, with it upon a seamless journey lacking beginning or end.
Write your speech out upon the sand near water’s edge. Her mother’s words lingered clear in her mind. And sure enough Clara’s Shade moved there, just there near the rock outcropping. Grace watched her swaying in the evening breezes, the morning calm. Her shawl wrapped round her shoulders just as old, dark hair, never a grey one and isn’t that strange, in a whirl around her face; gentle smile upon her lips, soft light in her eyes.
Watching while Grace witched away the man who’d broken her heart; sending bit after bit of William Jocelyn into raveling sickness as he breathed his last miles away across that dark Atlantic. Fever wracked, yellowed and dying and never imagining the girl he’d left heartsick and moonstruck, face crimson streaked raw, nails broken, hair a tangled mass alone on a moonlit beach writing out his name in a charm so strong it hurtled against wild winds to wrap him round, squeezing tight.
The moon waxed, shone full and waned twice before Grace Halderson gathered her quilt to head home.
The streaks upon her face had healed clean, her hair, grown three inches, lay soft down her back. Raven Bay’s white sand shone unsullied smooth as she turned her back upon it, nodding silent toward her mother standing still by the rocks, her skirts untouched by the waves.
Grace walked home healed full. Strengthened and renewed. Listening to his woman’s thin wails of loss and despair threading the west bound winds. Hearing and understanding each word, listening placid; a peaceful smile upon her lips.
Linking up to Write On Edge. Inspired by this quote:
If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.
And linking up to #StoryDam