Secrets in the Sand

Prolouge

There was only one possible obstacle left that could detour her otherwise flawless arrival to the island. The four hour flight had been smooth and uneventful, the cab had arrived safely at the docks from the airport and now Olivia awaited the ferry to return so she could board. As long as it didn’t sink on the way back with her aboard, then she would be left with no choice but to complete her unwanted move to the island.

Only two small duffels sat at her feet as she waited impatiently alone on a bench outside the tiny station. The air was salty from the mass of ocean water around her, and she could already feel her dark hair begin to friz. She was aware that her cell phone had vibrated in her jeans pocket several times since she sat down, but made no effort to look. For now, she wanted no reminder of who or what she was leaving behind.

Too soon, the small ferry returned and minutes later, Olivia was on her way to the island. The same island she and her family had spent every summer on until she was thirteen. It was the same island where she had learned all of her favorites things, from riding a bike to swimming in the ocean and even riding horseback on the beach. They were all happy memories. Until a fateful day in August changed everything and marked the abrupt and brutal end of her carefree, happy childhood.

A shiver rocked through her, snapping her focus back to the smooth boat beneath her. She didn’t want to think about the past anymore. She wanted to be able to look ahead and see a future with moments like those again, but it didn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.

Distracting herself with trivial thoughts and watching the static water ripple from the ferry, time still passed slowly, yet she arrived at the small harbor much too soon. She ignored the other three people around her as they carried their luggage from the station, officially on the island.

The moment her piercing green eyes caught the large, carved sign over the entrance from the ferry that was much too familiar, Olivia felt her stomach twist.

Welcome to Skasrik Cove. Pop. 387.’

I see this place is just as popular as ever, Olivia thought to herself. From the second she had seen the sign that she had seen hundreds of times before, she felt numb. A thousand sweeping memories, both good and haunting, threatened to flood her, but she kept them at bay.

It had been four years since she had stepped foot on island sand. She took a moment to gaze across the land spread out before her. The sand, the dunes, the beaches, the forests. It was exactly the way she always remembered it.

There was a time when she never wanted to leave. Now all she wanted to do was turn and run as far away as she could get. She used to think that she could outrun her memories, but it didn’t take long before they caught up to her and dragged her right back to where it all began.

Standing on the pier of Skasrik Cove. The only thing that’s visibly changed is the welcome sign.

Because the last time she was here it read:

‘Welcome to Skasrik Cove. Pop. 389.’

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