Into the Sea by Jay Laurie
Over the next few weeks we are going to feature some excerpts from Jay Laurie’s new book: Into the Sea.This is the first, Part I Chapter 4
Synopsis: Through the early years of a friendship between two boys, Into the Sea touches on first freedoms, the seesawing transition from innocence to adolescence and the impact of sudden loss. In later parts, the novel powerfully evokes life on the road and the unpredictability of trusting to chance travelling in remote places. Along the way, it richly and sensitively describes the landscapes of Australia and Indonesia and their people. The book also captures what it is to ride waves, to be a surfer and, in a more subtle way, the trials, if not impossibilities, of loving one.
Into the Sea – Part I Chapter 4
At first light on a Sunday in March a few weeks into the first school term, Billie scampered across the front lawn and out the gate and scaled the tall pine tree on the grass verge three houses up. The branches wound around it closely together like a circular staircase. The first branch was high off the ground but if he took a run up he could jump and grab it with his hands and swing himself up. After that it was easy.
As he climbed that morning he could feel a cool wind coming from the direction of where the sun would rise. That was a good wind. It made the surface of the sea smooth and the faces of the waves clean. Two thirds of the way up the tree he got to the branch where he could see if the waves were any good. He’d been higher. He’d been to the very top but the branches became thinner and greener up there and even if he stood on them where they were strongest close to the trunk, it felt like he was asking for trouble. For Billie there was surf if he could see something, anything, breaking. It didn’t matter whether it was small or if the waves were closing out in a long line of white water. It was always better out in the water than it looked from the tree.
In the early morning haze before the sunrise everything was still in shadow. A couple of sentries were standing on top of the dunes looking out at the slate green sea. It was hard to tell how big the waves were. Maybe waist high. That was pretty good for the end of Summer. Billie slid down the tree and slipped back inside the house through the back door and changed out of his pyjamas into his boardies and a t-shirt. He walked softly into his Mum’s bedroom and asked in an excited whisper if he could go to the beach. And then again when she didn’t respond. She opened her eyes and blinked a few times and groggily asked:
Who would you be going with Billie?
I’m gunna ride up the hill to see if Riley from school can
come… I’ll come back for my board. The waves aren’t very
big, he said.
Ok, have something to eat before you go, she said.
Download the rest of the first excerpt here: Into the Sea – Part I Ch 4