He’d promised to return. He’d left his gun and blade and she’d waited.
Tears slipped down her cheeks, tears of salt and ocean sparkles.
He’d not returned.
She touched her face, tracing the briny trail to her lips with the cold steel of his firearm, and allowed her head to swim in the misery of defeat.
She’d waited a week, two then three…
The gun, heavy in her tightly clenched fist, weighed as much as her heart and a useless sigh escaped disappearing on the wisp of a zephyr.
Three months, three years…or was it more?
She wandered, placing one foot exactly in the recently vacated imprint of her foot on the soft sand and the other in its neighbour. She walked the beach from one end to the other and back again.
When she gave up her water-born inheritance and lost her tail, he said he’d return.
And she still waited, staring across the bay from one rocky outcrop to its twin on the opposite end.
Just one last quest and he’d be back; one more adventure and he’d be hers.
His sword brushed her skirts as it hung at her side, tangled with corded dead man’s bootlaces, and streamers of broad leaf weed slapped her legs as she paced and the ocean snatched at her toes.
Oh how she’d loved toes, squidging them in the sand, and legs, twining hers with his…but now they walked day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, but still he was gone.
But this day, today, the sea urged her on and withdrew further, and her walk took her around the headland usually buried in the deep.
The ship…barely a ship, his ship…lay in the cove, lost and abandoned and she knew he could never return. And she returned…to the sea.