1. Mary's Island
Mary’s Island Mary woke up at dawn with a familiar pain in her back. She tried to ignore it as she always did. She looked out of her window at the sight ahead of her. This would have been beautiful had the dark clouds not smothered the whole sky. She looked on ahead of her island at the sea. Everything seemed grey. Still, in its own way, it was beautiful all the same. The gentle waves starting of the deepest, bluest grey, lightening up until at the peak of the wave the grey turned in to white foam, the sound of seagulls and wind, all mixed together to form the most soothing song. Mary nodded to herself. Yes, the best place to wake up in the whole world was right by the sea. Mary slowly stuck her legs out of her wooden bed and searched the floor with her toes for he slippers. Once she put them on and found her dressing gown she climbed down the creaking flight of stairs to make herself a cup of tea. She put the kettle on an stared obliviously at the blank wall in front of her. Today was the day. She sighed. She couldn’t be bothered with this. Back when she was young these things excited her; seeing new things, keeping secrets, being the only human in the world to know. Her eyes were opened to an ancient world, long forgotten by humans- on one condition. They would never just leave her alone. At first it was great. But slowly she got tired of these things. She aged, while they stayed young for at least 50 years. And she didn’t want anyone on her island anyway. “But it’s not mine, is it?” she said to herself in her strong Irish accent. “No. It has its own purpose other than me living on it. If I want it, I have to give it up. Just for one day of the year. It shouldn’t bother me so much. It’s not even on Christmas or anything. Just a day.” She frowned. “Stuff it” she said as she abandoned the tea and headed back to bed.
Outside it was easy to forget what you got angry at when you were inside. There were so many detailed things to focus on, that it made Mary stop focusing on her troubles. The fresh, salty air cleared her head. She slowly waddled around on her beach looking for new arrivals on the floor. A seashell here, a shiny rock there. She bent down carefully to pick up the best specimens. He joints weren’t what they used to be. She turned around and looked at her island. All through her life this was the only thing she was ever proud of. Her beach, her cliffs, her jiggered rocks, and her big mountain.
“Ok, so it’s more of a hill” she said to herself. “But what a hill it is. Must be the best hill in all of Ireland.”
It was a steep and rocky mixture of rocks, pebbles and grass, with a few dangerously pointy rocks at the top. She hadn’t been up there in such a long time. She used to row out here every weekend as a teenager and camp out at the top. She loved this island, ever since she stumbled upon it on one of her adventures when she was just a little girl jumping out of her parents boat while they weren’t watching, because of a previous argument concerning a pet dog. She swam so very far that day and at one point she thought she was just going to drown out of exhaustion. Then, she spotted the island ahead of her, and all the tiredness left her. She clambered up on its rocks and waited there until her parents rescued her in their boat. Ever since that day she came to the island whenever she could, and eventually moved there altogether. The secrets she learnt here were just a side effect for her. She loved this place with or without it.