The night was dark and cold. Standing at the edge of the cliff with the wind blowing this strong wasn’t ideal. Gale thought otherwise, even as she wrapped her arms around her to ward off the biting cold that continued its quest to the summit. The wind blew her hair away from her face as her eyes blurred with tears. As the translucent liquid found its trail down her cheeks, she felt them almost turn to ice on her skin and brought her to remember everything that had happened the past months.
Summer. It was the first time Gale spent her school break away from her dingy home. For sixteen years, she lived with her irresponsible father and this was reason enough for her to feel giddy about vacationing with her Aunt Marcie. She did not know then that her visit was meant to be permanent. Her father had left her to the care of her spinster aunt. The upside to the arrangement was that her aunt was very kind and loving. It didn’t take long for a lovely relationship to start between them that very summer.
A Victorian cottage. This was where she and her Aunt Marcie spent most of their times together and those were very happy times. They were filled with laughter, songs, warm pies and cookies, and long hugs. As time passed, she grew to love the cottage very much. It was just a short distance from the edge of the cliff, which goes down to the beach.
The Beach. Gale’s place of peace and solitude. Here, she felt her warring emotions about her father leaving her. This was where she spent her time when she wasn’t with her aunt. This was where she experienced a kind of freedom and love of life that she had never felt when she was with her father, who loved his drink and never thought twice about making her pay for being alive. Gale was with her mom when she died in a car accident. She was almost two years old then and survived the crash.
Aunt Marcie. One day at dusk, Gale felt a chill run down her spine as she sensed an unusual stillness in the air. She was on her way home after her usual afternoon walk at the beach. Light from their cottage illuminated the pathway, but the jovial sounds of her aunt’s singing did not reach her ears. With a foreboding that grew stronger as she drew nearer, Gale hurried her steps and came upon her aunt, unconscious on the floor.
That was a week before autumn. As the golden leaves started to make their way to the ground, the health of her Aunt Marcie also started to wither. Like the trees whose foliage were once their crown; her aunt also lost her gaiety, which was once her twin. And, as the last of the leaves fell to the ground, Gale felt that her aunt’s last card was nearly spent.
Wasn’t it just yesterday when she was full of life and vigor? Wasn’t she the one who brought smiles to Gale’s once somber face?
Then, winter came and the inevitable happened.
A week before Christmas with the tree on its way to being finished, Aunt Marcie gave way to the clutches of death. There were no tears for Gale then. She was too pained to cry. She found someone to love and love her in return, but that someone was taken away from her just as her mother was. She hadn’t come near to gripping them lovingly with her fingers when they slipped away.
Now though, the tears that didn’t come then came flowing her cheeks like heavy rain. Even the panoramic view of the beach, the place of her peace and solitude, did not offer her much comfort. She longed to plunge herself down its depths with hopes that it would bring her to her death.
For several minutes, this was what’s on her mind along with the thoughts of going back to her father, whom she doesn’t even want to think about. What will she do? Will she go back to her father or will she…?
With a little smile of hope on her lips, she turned towards the light coming from the cottage, now beckoning her to come inside. However, the winds caught the folds of her night gown and embraced her into its arms. It asked her to stay a little longer. Her steps faltered and suddenly there was nothing around her but space.
The winds enveloped her and made her feel secure. And, after what seemed like eternity, she found she was home.
“Mom, Aunt Marcie?” she called out to the two women approaching her.
P.S. I wrote this when I was still in high school. I edited it some, but did not do anything to change its tone, flow, or thought. Even then though, I noticed that I had the propensity to write micro fiction, which I always labeled as short stories, and that their theme were somehow dark. My reasons for this are my own for now. I am just glad that I am able to share my earlier works with you. Thanks for reading.