Thursday, February 6, 2014

Prompt: Walking the Tombolo, Part 1

Gemena stood in the shelter of the dunes and watched the sky fill with color as the sun rose. Shifting the basket on her back and chewing her lip, she looked out across the tombolo toward Speranza. She couldn’t actually see the tiny island – she wouldn’t until she was too far along the tombolo to make her way back before the tides covered the thin strip of sand, drowning her in the medusa-laden waters. There was only enough time to walk from one end of the tombolo to the other each low tide.

She shifted her basket once more and stepped into the soft white sand. Speranza, the island of hope. Hope for food, hope for faith, hope for love. For a lucky few, all three. Gemena hoped. She breathed her hopes in with each breath of salty air. She breathed them out with each step in the powdery sand. As she reached the newly revealed tombolo, the sand became firm and damp, solid enough to hold her weight as the water drained away. Walk quickly, she told herself. Don’t falter, don’t hesitate.

It looked like she was following a thin line out into the endless ocean. By the time she would see Speranza, she would no longer be able to see Prima, her home island. She had no choice but to continue moving forward to meet her fate.

There, a rise of land against the horizon. Without stopping, Gemena pulled a bottle of water from her shoulder bag and drank a few swallows. There should be more at the shelter, but she was careful to keep some in reserve. Sometime storms swept Speranza clear, and it was a long time until the next low tide allowed passage back to Prima.

Shielding her eyes from the glint of sunlight on the waves surrounding her, Gemena continued her prayers with each step. Food for my family. That was easy. Speranza was the only source of beatta fruit in the world, and if she reaped a basket-full, she could sell it in the Prima market and support her family for months. The sweet, red fruit were prized the world over for their delicate flavors, but no one had been successful in growing them anywhere but Speranza. The harvest was unpredictable, and the residents of Prima took turns walking across the tombolo each day, so they did not over-harvest the beatta trees.

Time writing
~45 minutes

February word count

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