The Sea is Alight (part two)

When Louise was back in her room she telephoned C.

‘I have everything ready,’ C said.

‘It will take me a while. I’ll see you as soon as I can,’ Louise replied.

Louise put the reciever down and went to the window. She watched the small, soft dilineations between layers of cloud over the opposite buildings, the strange, pale glow through the film of mist and haze. Suddenly, she had no desire to go. She wanted to stand at the window and clear her mind, without a journey to the south coast.

The murkey heat of the day would now settle into a warm evening, the moths flitting against the lightshades, and the beam from the lighthouse at The Rock, powerful in the dense night, swirling around in the dark.

Louise went to her desk and thought about it: the short strand at the bottom of the cliff, the red clay, the slow curve of the coastline going south, and beyond to the south coast.

Louise stood up and ondered if she has anything more to do; her desk was untidy, but she could leave it like that. She was free to go now; she went over to the bookcases to see if there was anything she should take with her. She idled there, taking down a few books, flicking through them and then putting them back again. She returned to the window and looked at the traffic, which was still heavy on the quays, but she decided she would drive now, pack up the car and set out.