Sumara

Cole has Sumara, a girl ten years his junior, hidden in his basement. a blanket for cover and a shell, of many decades old, for luck, is all that is really her own. But how much luck will she have, however, when Cole's family are about to sell their house, and a poster appears, requesting any information about a couple's missing young girl?

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2. The Ship Bound South

Finding out that she loved the sea was no surprise. From the way she held it, with so much tenderness and care, showed me everything. She didn't say much when I asked her about herself, but from the simple yet gracious movements, and acknowledgment of my questions , it was like speaking with an eternal flow of words.

I couldn't wait to leave school everyday, having with my head down and words scribbled on the page a sense of inner insecurity. I handed in my papers after every lesson with relief of having done something. And the teacher would look me up and down and ask "Coleman, you sure you're done"? A distracted nod was the reply, biting down on my precious pencil and contemplating.

"Give your sister your boxers, Cole, and go play with her forgotten barbie dolls" said Soldier, him and a friend of his, standing as an omnipresence in the cloakrooms, the fields just outside the school buildings, on the buses and even in the corridors at school. He gave me even odder looks as teachers separated us, him with nothing to show for it and me with a busted lip, blood running down my chin and scuffed trousers, a calmer expression on my face.

"Cole, are you sure you aren't looking for something?" Said the librarian to me from behind her desk. I shook my head at her from beside the table full of open and closed books, files and documents of many kinds. I emitted an elated "yes"! as I found just what I was looking for, underneath a pile of manky magazines. "Cole? what are you whispering about?" The librarian sounded suspicious. She peered at me from over her glasses. I shook my head again, "nothing".

I worried that somebody would get her. That I would arrive, breathless, down by the beach and she would be gone, no trace of the stunning black I knew as her hair. And what if she was hurt, lying by the waters holding onto the wounded part, so badly affected that she became unconscious, or worse, died? I almost felt like some oppressive weight released me when I saw that she was alright, both relieved and wondering how she managed to be so independent. 

On one particularly cloudy day, when even the sea seemed bleak, I found her curled up beside a rock, eyes searching in my direction. I smiled at her, slowly, and she smiled back, and waved at me. My heart soared, and I ran to sit by her.  I showed her the books I had got from my school and local library, about the history of the sea and about the Falcon Fairweather, the ship bound south, the ship that when I talked about, Sumara had agreed with me that yes, indeed, it was the ship of dreams. We pored through the books, Sumara fingering the pictures on every page as I read the texts to her, lying on the soft of the sand and the hard of the rocks. "Falcon Fairweather by Daniel Petersen is the mountain of marine discovery, the ship's internal and external features hold together the comfort of travel and the formality of the Naval Marine Army of the Industrial and Farms" I pointed to the words as I read, sinking deep into every syllable, accompanied by Sumara's breathing against my arm, as refreshing as a touch of cold water on a humid day, and like triangles playing in my heart, seeping through my clothes from her tiny ones. 

 

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