from-the-horses-mouthA GIFT

By Sally Kidd

The sound of the waves clawed at her mind. The cold, grey sea stretched out in front of her.  Four miles out the pointed hills of the Isle of Wight poked at the grey sky. Another typical day at the seaside.

Standing in her costume on the edge of the shore she contemplated her options. Should she leave her clothes here, a.l.a Reginald Perrin? Should she actually swim out into the seaweed cluttered brine and hope to find the end there? She shivered. Even in late August it could still be cold by the Solent, and today there was a bit of a breeze to make it cooler.

Perhaps that would make it quicker, the cold. They said that dying from cold wasn’t actually all that unpleasant. But how did ‘they’ know that she wondered. Had ‘they’ ever tried it?  And if ‘they’ had, who had reported back to say it wasn’t so bad? And compared to what? Maybe compared to drowning. She shivered again, but this time it was nothing to do with the cold. She crouched down, as easily as her old knees would let her and sat hugging them on the shore, as if contemplating the view to the Island.

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