Fiction: The Secrets of Saltlake
It’s been a really long time since I have written any fiction. On Olivia’s birthday in March, I wrote and published my first ever poem on the blog. But before that, I think the last piece of fiction I wrote was the second part of The World Behind The Eyes. I loved that story.
As you will be able to tell, I have been reading a lot of teen supernatural fiction. It’s my weakness! I just love being taken into a world where literally anything is possible. Usually, I don’t reference specific places or countries but I have in this one. So if any Americans are reading and I got anything wrong I apologise and please feel free to correct me in the comments!
The Secrets of Saltlake.
The magic swirled around her head. The dust cloud emitting a vivid purple as it streaked across the skies above her head. Ariel winced as the lightning split into two at its core, striking the earth where she had been standing just seconds ago. Jonny tugged at her sleeve as he tried to remove her from the centre of the storm. She knew he had been having a bad feeling about this all day yet for reasons she didn’t tell him he couldn’t keep Ariel away.
From the moment he knocked on her front door this morning a feeling of dread set up home in his stomach and had dogged him ever since. Despite trying to distract her all day, it seemed all roads led to this point for Ariel. Yet he was convinced she had no idea what was going on. Her hazel eyes glazed over as white sparks held her attention. It seemed as if they were calling out to her and her alone. She stood rooted to the spot, flip flops immersed in the sand that had spent the past few hours buried under their picnic blanket.
He could feel his grip on her black leather jacket loosening and in that split second, he knew she was about to be pulled from him. He dug his fingers in a little harder as the winds whipped around them. Trapping them and encompassing them in a what looked like some sort of circle. Herded like cattle atop of their favourite sand dune at Saltlake beach. Named thanks to the oddly white appearance of the sand in this area. Its official name of the river was The Dewey River but locals called it Saltlake River. “Anyone coming to Saltlake today?” their friends would ask. Yet no one knew why the sand resembled salt. Folklore and town legends proclaim it was down to a lightning strike so fierce it scared the town and all it’s land so much the sand turned white out of fear.
Of course, no one over the age of 8 believed it but it was a great story to tell the out of towners that came to the fishing village each summer for the annual Saltlake festival. Well, for that and the fact you could get the best salted caramel ice cream for miles down at Maisie’s Dairy 2 blocks away on the corner of Abbey and Weston.
Right now all of that was irrelevant as Jonny fought to hold onto Ariel who, despite Jonny’s best attempts to get her attention, was still oblivious to what was going and still rooted to the spot eyes trained on the forked lightning bouncing off the sand mere feet away from her newly painted lilac toenails.
He wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold on for. As the star quarterback on the school football team, he was used to not letting go until the pass was right but this wasn’t right. If he had to make a run down the field with Ariel he would but he wasn’t letting go. Ever.
Then suddenly, just as quick as it came, the purple streaks dimmed to black, then grey, then fizzled out of the sky leaving nothing but blue skies. Not even a cloud, or an inkling that seconds before it had erupted into a colour most unnatural overhead.
Ariel turned her head to look at Jonny. “Hey, so are we going for ice cream or what? I think Emma is meeting us there too with Brianne” Jonny held her gaze. Lost for words. Did she know what just happened? Is she so petrified she is suppressing what they had both just seen? Were just trapped in? His brain lost the ability to form words and he stood there slack-jawed staring at her porcelain features, looking for something, anything that acknowledged what he had just fought to save her from. But all he saw was confusion as she furrowed her brow looking back at him like he was the one acting oddly.
Was he? Did he just imagine the sky illuminating as if it was trying to unleash something, something not of this world? He shook his head and snapped back to focus on Ariel. And he saw it. Fleetingly but something was there. In her eyes. The hazel making way for a bright purple spark as she turned her head away from him.
Ariel knew she mustn’t let him know. The guilt tore through her as he looked at her confused. His blue eyes searching hers, pleading for any indication she knew what the hell just happened. What she did know was that the sky tried to take her as it’s own once more, to reclaim what was rightfully theirs. But she wasn’t ready to go back. She had stilled her mind and fought back against the power. Then she pushed the cloud that had come to take her home far away from Earth. Back to its own time and place to leave her be once more. But this time she knew. The clock was ticking and it wasn’t in her favour.