by Gary James
The cliffs. Cast in glittering white, now tarnished, the cliffs are where she stands. Alone, and wondering. Lost. Looking out to sea, hoping for the moment. But there is nothing. No answers to her call, no breath of the divine. No salve for the emptiness, no warmth for her soul. She grasps the rail, shoulders hunched, peering over the edge. The drop. Waves rise, fall, surrender to their nature. Erin sighs, fingers tapping. Her ring clanking on the metal rail. Seagulls laugh, flying overhead, tormenting her. Salt air invading her lungs. Standing on the cliffs. Erin, a cipher to herself, mysterious. Who am I?
The sea. Shimmering in repose, it calls to her. Home. Erin leans to it. Fingers stretched on roughly painted metal. Tapping. Clouds roll languidly in the air, playing. Erin still has not found herself. So she waits. Watching the sea, she waits. And beyond, barely visible, is France. A slice of gray resting ghostly on the light blue sea, past the sea, beyond the sea. And of Erin… A bob of black hair framing delicate white skin. Ghostly, sharp features. Beautiful, her mind preoccupied. Tormented. Impatient at the wait. The endless wait. Shifting on her feet, she leans. The railing holds. Erin breathes, and thinks. Who am I?
A ripple runs through her mind, playing at her wants. Not answered, but acknowledged. She has been seen, but she has not been offered tribute. The breeze catching her blouse, the tip of her shoe scratching at the path beneath. Fingers tapping on the metal rail. Impatience. She is Erin, yes, but she is fury. The wait hurts. Cuts. And her anger grows. The sea calls. There are no answers, only questions. Erin wonders. Who am I?
Solitude is broken. Shattered by quick, eager footsteps. A jogger runs the path. Erin watches. Trainers tapping on concrete, the young woman’s stride, the taut strength. Erin straightens, alert. The young woman moves closer. Erin notices the briefest movement in the trees. A man, masked. The jogger is unaware. She is not like Erin. Erin, fingers tightening on the rail, feet flat against the ground, tensed. The sea crashes against the cliff, crying out. Erin watches. Who am I?
The man moving. Nearing the woman. The jogger interrupted, thrown sideways. Erin watches, fingers straining at the metal of the rail. Fury rising. Hair blowing into her eyes. The call of the sea. The man swipes, hitting the jogger. On the ground now. One hand at her shorts. Erin, tensed and ready. The flat of his hand hitting. Erin approaches. Thoughts swirling in her head. Clouds gather in expectation. Eager anticipation. The jogger is struggling. Bleeding. Who am I?
Erin takes the man. Fingers stretching as she savors the act. Erin breathes. Fury rising. She strikes, tearing, ripping. Her anger divine, Erin screams in rage. The sky darkens. The sea calls. Waves whipping in a frenzy. Erin stretches. Flexes. The wait is over. She is Erin, yes, and her mind is clear. And she is savage. Uncontrolled and uncontrollable, Erin continues, gouging, rending and ravaging. Never ending. The horrors she commits shock her. And she wonders. What am I?
Erin’s call is answered. Her calling confirmed. Nerves tingling, rejoicing. The sea flowing her blood, the sky churning in her stomach. Her past flooding in, drowning her. Erin’s sisters, the wars, the neverending pain. Ten thousand years of loss. The defiler sacrificed to her gods. To her friends. His death a kindly act. Erin, satisfied at last, stops. Still hungry. The sea calling to her. Erin, shocked. Horrified. Stepping back from her act, to the rail. To the rail where she has waited. Fingers grasping for steel. Breathing hard. Her head light, Erin balances herself. What am I?
The sea mocks. The jogger, panting, wriggling back from her attack, rises. Turns. Flees as fast as she can. And Erin watches. Aware. Always aware. She knows that her call has been answered. Her soul lightened. And she knows who she is.
She is Erin, yes, and she is fury.