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A feeble happiness

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It was a dim and murky morning and outside a small colonial house stood Julia Locket who was watching the shifting shadows of two birds and thinking ‘life is good’. Of course she was wrong, but the man that was about to crush this life affirmation was still twenty minutes away and for now she could delight in the splendid life she had basked herself in since leaving her parents.
Throughout the long hot summer of 1920 Julia Locket fell undoubtedly and irrevocably in to a teenage haze of unrequited love. It had been a short and sweet experience that had swept her up and knocked her down in a heartbeat leaving her young and broken. It had been one of those summers that transforms a person; a summer that makes you beautiful, takes your childhood, breaks your heart and fakes a smile. But, she didn’t just lose a boy that summer, she lost her family.
One day that summer, in fact the only day in which Riviera Maya experienced any storm Julia, her parents and Robert (the object of Julia’s affection and former comrade of Julia’s father) took a boat out to the Riviera. Julia was surprised by the sudden turn of events as just yesterday she had heard her father and Robert heatedly discussing a payment her father seems to owe; but an unforeseen miracle was all Julia perceived and she was simply joyous to be spending a day on the sea with her Robert.
By mid-afternoon the storm had released its first beacon of lightning, first one creeping along the dappled sky then a whole constellation breaking through the cage of the night and crashing against the sea like a billion snakes thrashing to be fed. Julia was below deck, her anxious parents had pushed her under at the first sound of the tempest and now Julia was crouched on the steps just moments away from her whole life fragmenting like the shattered sky hanging above her. Her eyes were fixed on the back of Robert’s head, his skin burning red from the bitter rain, his clothes matted against his skin. The muscle on his neck tightened as he stood on deck looking for some means of safety. But wait, there was something on his back, a large hand was positioned carefully against his spine and just as Julia opened her mouth to choke out a scream of warning her father propelled Robert in to the monstrous waves. He was gone, and in her mind so were her parents.
The rest of the summer continued, as life does even in the worse situations, Julia survived it in a blur of court hearings and lying and providing an alibi for her guilty parents. They made her lie. So, whilst she’d be their daughter, whilst she’d live under their roof, whilst she’d come back from dates and do her chores she would not forgive them, she would build her own life around truth and justice. A new life.
Two years on she had, but what this stranger was about to teach her was that skeletons would only stay silent for so long, and this closet was about to open. ‘Julia Locket I am here about the death of Robert Brown, I would like to ask a few questions. If you would please step inside?’



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