I stand on the highest and flattest of the jagged boulders that I can find, curling the toes of my bare feet around an edge in order to avoid sliding about on the slick, wet surface of rock that has been worn smooth by centuries worth of tides. The ferocious wind roars in from the sea, pushing back off the cliff face behind to stir up the wild ocean that surrounds me and to whip my cloak and hair around my body in a frenzy of dark colours. Rain and salty sea water splash into me from all sides, soaking my clothes and turning my hair into a straggling dark nest of snakes. As thunder and lightning coincide in an almighty rumbling crash and a flickering of blinding sky light I throw out my arms with a scream of excitement and shout back over my shoulder.
“Come on out here, it’s fun!” I yell loud enough to make my hoarse voice battle through the winds.
The boy back on the smooth round pebbles of the beach just stands there helplessly. He waves his arms expressively and although I can’t hear his voice I can see from the manner in which he tries to make himself heard that he is imploring me to come back to the safer portion of the English coastline.
The large expanse of wicked rocks that I stand in the centre of separates us, while the roaring, foaming, angry ocean reaches up to me through the gaps.
“Come back, it’s not safe,” his voice barely reaches my ears, muted by the weather and heard as a child’s would if stood at a much further distance.
I laugh delightedly as excitement and adrenaline fills me up and comes pouring out with an overwhelming surge right through to my fingers and toes. The sky laughs back, roaring and churning.
“You’re crazy!” he yells, flinging his soaked and half frozen arms into the air. “And I want my cloak back. It will sink to the bottom of the ocean with you if you don’t get the hell back here.”
I undo the button at my collar and throw my arm back, flinging the dark green cloak, with the help of a strong current of wind back to him. I hear him call something out but cannot decipher it. It was probably accio. He can have his cloak anyway. I don’t feel cold anymore. My furthest extremities long ago left the party of my usual sense of touch and feeling and the main part of my body doesn’t seem to care anymore.
“Please you’re going to fall. I may not have known you for long but I’ve known you for long enough to be sure that I don’t want you to die just yet,” he looks so desperate for my return that a pang of guilt briefly flashes through my heart. My resolve just strengthens.
“Come on, I’m just having a bit of fun. I won’t fall. If you weren’t meant to climb on them they wouldn’t have put such fun rocks right here.”
For a moment he looks like he’s about to explain the use of rocks as a way of forming a barrier against coastal erosion but then he freezes as though he’s noticed something terrible.
“No!” he yells as he half runs, half stumbles across the wet pebbles towards the rocks and me, his newly returned cloak flying behind him and for a moment I want to giggle at my mind’s eye vision of a fairy-tale prince running to catch a falling princess from her tower.
Then I realise the same thing that he did a moment before.
An even bigger and wilder crash of seawater comes rumbling towards me as my foot suddenly skews sideways across the rock’s edge, slicing open and spreading a large splash of alarming red through the water as I tumble towards the raging sea ready to grind me to nothing on the jagged rocks.
The last thing I hear before the water closes over my head is his yell.