Author's note: Since very young, my obsession with the sea has been unwavering, as has my obsession with... Show full author's note »
The Girl on the RocksThe girl they found on the rocks a few days ago, she was all I could think of all day at school. My brother had helped transport her to the hospital, they used his jeep. Both her legs were broken, she wouldn't speak to anyone, just hiss. She had hissed like an angry cat, apparently. Hadn't spoken a single word. Jakob had said she had thrashed and struggled, despite her injuries, against her saviors. The entire school was buzzing with the news of her, Newton Ferrers didn't see much action. And a strange, wild girl washed up on the rocks of the harbor was headline worthy.
"How do ya reckon she got there?" my best mate, Luke, had pondered as we wandered home from school.
"Dun know" I grunted, my mind elsewhere,
"Do ya think she'll end up at school when she's recovered?" He asked,
"We've never seen her around here. And no ones missing in the village. She'll go home."
"Unless she's an orphan." he commented, almost gleefully, I shot him a look, "Come on, Matt. She was pretty nice looking from what I hear. And washed up naked."
"That doesn't mean she'll come to school naked, you prat!" I was never quite sure why I was friends with Luke.
"I know, I know." He sighed, and shook his head, even the thought of a naked girl, injured or not, would have Luke obsessing until he got her into bed. After that she'd be dumped quickly as possible, and he'd tell the entire school what a slag she was. The poor girl would be heartbroken, and her reputation would be dragged to the lowest of the low. Three of his ex's had changed to private school, the rest of them couldn't afford it, and they had grouped together. A pack of helpless zebras, fending off an entire school full of lions. I felt sorry for them, Luke was a great liar, always managed to convince the girls he wanted that he loved them. That no matter what, they meant the most to him.
Perhaps they did, perhaps he convinced himself that he was in love with every pretty face and gorgeous body that he got his grubby hands on. I'd never slept with anyone, but I'd had my fair share of girlfriends. At least, for a seventeen year old in a tiny village, seven girlfriends seemed like plenty. Luke has had fifteen, and had sex with seven of them. At least I'd have someone to ask for tips once I did decide to go all the way. Luke found it weird that I haven't yet, he was fourteen when he first did. But then, I don't think I'm as good looking as he is. Girls go mad for him, it's insane, all he does is give them a huge grin, run his hands through his carefully scruffied blond hair, and they're all over him.
I'm just normal, brown eyes, brown hair, I don't even have a tan, despite spending forever on the boat.
Luke rambled on, telling me all the nasty things he'd love to do to the strange girl, I sent a thank you skyward when we reached his gate.
"See ya mate." I sighed, and he waved a had at me distractedly, obviously still thinking about her. He hadn't even seen her before, then again, neither had I. Apparently she was crazy, or at the very least traumatized. Who wouldn't be? Alone and washed up on those jagged rocks. She might have been shipwrecked, her entire family could have drowned. I felt a stab of sympathy, when mum had died three years ago I had gone pretty mental myself. So had Jakob, he hadn't been his steady, empathetic self, he'd shut himself up. No one could break through those barriers, he hadn't left his room for days, he'd cut class, not done any homework, gone down to the cove every day. Dad had been the same, hiding away from the world, drinking about ten times more as well. Not that he didn't drink too much before.
I hadn't known what to do with myself, I had been angry, stupid and alone. No one had been there for me, and I had acted rashly. Coming to my senses was one of the worst experiences in my life, I had taken the boat out alone. Just wanted to go fishing and forget about it all. I was pretty far out, just drifting, when the anchor had slipped off the deck and gotten caught on something. I had tried to pull it up, I thought it must have been caught on a reef or something, so I did one of the most rash, moronic things of my life. I dove in. The water was choppy, and damn cold. I was a strong swimmer, but not strong enough, no one was strong enough for the rip-current. It hit me so hard any remaining air in my lungs was forced out. My vision was tinged with red, I couldn't find the surface. I was sure, at that moment, I'd be seeing mum again soon. I had given up. Then I saw... it. Deep red that wasn't part of my lack of oxygen.
My mind was scrambled, but I thought it was seaweed at first, it drifted from side to side, seemingly unaffected by the current. Yet the strands had been too fine for seaweed, and there had been so much of it. I wasn't sure what happened next, I passed out quickly, the last thing I remembered was the feel of the soft red cloud of whatever brushing past my arm. Waking up had been my moment of realization, it was weird, I found myself in fetal position on the aft of the boat, drenched in sea water. I expelled the water from my lungs, all the coughing made me sick, the stains are still there, another reminder of my idiocy.
Checking the anchor, I found it pulled free easily, I could have hit myself. What would mum have thought of what I did? Taking the boat out without permission, then diving in just out of frustration. No one went out that far alone, not with the barometers looking the way they did that morning. It was twilight by the time I got back, Dad and Jakob went mental. Shouted at me for hours, they were right to of course, I understood that. After that I stopped moping around, tried to convince Jakob to calm down, but instead a girl saved him. Her name is Amber, she's one of the sweetest girls I know. Her and Jakob met down at the cove, she was beach combing, and he had headed down there to sulk some more.
He had come home later than usual that night, beaming. For the first time in forever he invited me into his room, and we talk. He gushed about her like a girl about her first crush.
"She's beautiful. Half African, it's like she glows. Her eyes are the colour of amber, her names a perfect fit. She knows some great jokes! Like this one about a blow fish, but I'll tell you about that another time. Look," he had held out his hand to me, nestled in his palm was a shark tooth, about the size of a 50 pence piece, "she gave me this. She thinks I should make it into a necklace." I had wanted to laugh at him, but she brought out the old Jakob, the brother I used to have. After that there wasn't a day they spent apart, it only took two weeks for them to get together. I'd have to knock on his bedroom door if they were in there together, they were both sixteen at the time, still do have to knock. Two and a half years later, they're engaged. Jakob still gushes, and Amber still glows around him. And yes, he made that necklace.
Dad always said it reminded him of what him and mum had, they met as teenagers as well, a love that just sort of warmed everyone exposed to it. Warms me more than I'd like to admit. I don't understand how Jakob found the one female that actually seems human. Girls are weird creatures, always so bloody moody. Like the time Kyra, my ex, was on her period and I accidentally spilled chocolate milk on her. She went ballistic. We broke up, and I don't think my balls want to meet her knee again.
I had reached my front door, the ancient lock was stiff as always, but I finally got my key to turn. Looked like dad was out fishing again, and Jakob would be checking the lobster pots. I dumped my bag in the hallway, and moved to flop down on the sofa, but noticed a clip board lying there. Picking it up I realized it was the medical status of the girl from the rocks, Jakob works up at the hospital. I flipped through the pages, the charts were odd. Accelerated heart rate, still signs of insanity, and unbelievably fast healing, all noted on the pages. There was a photo, taken of her huddled in the back of the jeep, a blanket and straps covered her body, and her face was mostly hidden by dark, damp hair. I couldn't tell if it were brown or auburn, but her eyes could be seen. Wide, almond shaped, full of wild fear, and a stormy sea-green. She was ghostly pale, yet it suited her feral appearance. The door creaked open loudly, and I dropped the board in shock.
Jakob strolled into the room, smiling as usual,
"Alright?" he asked, and smacked me on the back, picking up the clip board from the sofa where I'd dropped it, flicking through to the photo as well, "Pretty, isn't she?" he said, scanning it with his eyes. I shrugged,
"Did you read the doctor's comments?" he asked, reading one out , "'Patient scratches and hisses at nurses, is incredibly strong for her size, and attempts to climb out of the window during the night.' Weird, isn't she? Apparently she calmed down this morning. Like she gave up trying to get away. I was going to go visit this evening." He looked at me with a smirk,
"What? Why are you visiting?" I asked, frowning,
"She's only, like, fifteen. And I did carry her back from the rocks, I wanted to check on her. And thank her for the nasty scratches."
"You don't work in her ward?"
"No. She's being kept in the psychiatric ward."
"Oh... she scratched you?" he nodded, and rolled up his sleeves, half healed claw marks covered his irksomely bulging muscles. I'm toned enough, but Jakob always manages to beat me when it comes to a competition of strength.
"Her nails cut right through my shirt. Wild thing, gave Connor a good kicking when he tried to get her into the jeep. Want to come with me to visit?" I nodded,
"But what if, I don't know, a new face sets her off again?" He winked,
"Afraid your rugged good looks will be too much for her to handle." I groaned,
"You tell worse jokes than dad. And I thought that was bloody impossible. I'll come, Luke wants to know what she looks like any way."
"Oh god, that boy. He's not coming, I'm not having him trying to get off with her whilst she's strapped down." I smirked, Jakob didn't like Luke much, probably because Amber had a problem with how he treated girls. And Jakob had a problem with whatever Amber didn't like. Not that I blamed him, Luke was an acquired taste that I still found sour at times. I was still curious about the girl though, so soon enough I found myself walking up the front steps of the hospital with Jakob.
I hated hospitals, they smelt unnaturally clean, it made me queasy, having grown up with the scent of the sea air. Florescent lights and all that white stung my eyes, but Jakob was right at home. Every staff member we passed waved at him, until reaching the Psychiatric ward. The nurses there seemed tired, all eyes surrounded by purple rings. We made our way to room 11, and Jakob made a sign at me to be quiet as he opened the door. The room was like all the others, but the girl on the bed lay still, unlike the other patients along the corridor.
"Hello" Jakob said, gently, standing beside the bed. Those haunting green eyes darted to his face, and she muttered something I couldn't quite catch, Jakob seemed to though.
"Yes, yes we've met. Here, I brought someone to meet you." He grabbed my arm, and pulled me to the side of the bed. For some reason, I was blushing, shy at the thought of speaking to her. Jakob prodded me in the back, forcing me to croak out,
"H-Hi, I'm Matt." She nodded, blinking slowly,
"I know you, too." she whispered, I shook my head,
"No... we've never met."
"You wouldn't think so, would you?" her voice was soft, a smirk rested on her lips as she closed her eyes. "Tell me, Matt, why won't they let me go?"
"I-I don't know." I frowned, begging Jakob for help with my eyes,
"They want you to get better." He told her, carefully, "are your legs feeling any better? I heard the breaks have healed up."
"They hurt." she opened her eyes, tears welling in the corners, "Why so harsh? Sound and light and pain. Why won't they let me leave?"
"Are you ready to tell us your name yet? Then we can get you home." He said, sitting on the side of her bed, and smiling at her, she looked at him wearily.
"Gwen. I am Gwen here." she sounded like she was lying, or unsure of her own answer.
"Do you have family, Gwen?" I asked, staring at her,
"No. Not anymore." her voice caught, "I'm alone. Let me go." Thrashing, her voice became a wail, "LET ME GO! FREE ME!" Her auburn hair fanned out over the pillow, and I took notice of her appearance. She became still, exhausted quickly. Her nose was small, slightly turned up, and her pouted red lips were well defined, little and dainty, yet full. Through the typical hospital outfit, I could tell how slender she was. Yet her body was curvy, and her breasts were rather large despite her skinny body, causing noticeable shapes beneath the hospital gown. Long, lithe legs were wrapped in only light bandages. I supposed the accelerated healing had helped with the breaks as well. She'd be tall standing up, her charts had said she was 178 cm. Luke had been right to obsess, she was beautiful. Traumatized, hurt, and afraid, but beautiful.