• Dana Arpquest

THE PEER a 500- word story.

Updated: May 11

This was so hard to do. I never read short stories or flash fiction. Anyway, this is just to have a taster of my writing...

The Peer

Tapping my fingers gently against the wheel to the rhythm of Greek music, I park the car, leaving behind me a thick cloud of sandy dust. The concrete building in front of me, which kind of ruins the view, hides a little paradise that not many people know about. Before stepping out of the car, I put on a pair of flip flops, and as soon as I open the door of the air-conditioned car, the heat forces its way inside, straight onto my skin. I pick up a bottle of water and a beach towel.

As I head toward the sea, a whiff of algae penetrates my nostrils. I take a deep breath, filling up my lungs with fresh iodine air, and make my way onto the wooden jetty, which, for a few meters, is bordered by a metal frame that prevents people from diving into the sea. The seabed, full of large rocks, would guarantee painful scratches and bruises. The waves crash against the rocks at the bottom of the pier, splashing my feet from under the timbers.

Ambling towards the end of the T-shaped jetty, I nod at the old Cypriot woman who, seated on a tiny plastic stool, is holding a long and straight fishing rod. Somehow, her presence adds a touch of exoticism to the scenery. Still, I can’t help wondering if she’s fishing for her evening meal or simply because she enjoys being by the water.

Why is she there alone every single day? I can’t speak Greek, so I’ll never know. We smile at each other without a word, and I make my way to the far end of the pier where I lay my towel facing west where the sun will soon set.

Still, I have at least another hour to up my tan in a bearable heat thanks to the gentle sea breeze that caresses my skin. I sat quietly for a few minutes, staring at the sun’s reflection on the water; it looks like the surface of the sea is covered by hundreds of sparkling diamonds, calling me to dive in. I feel attracted to the water as if some unseen force wanted to push me in.

I shake my head and look up, and then I taste the salt air on my lips. It’s not a pleasant taste, so I take a sip of water and lay lie down. My mind is empty. The sun, the wind, and the swishing of the water shifting back and forth lullaby me into a daydream before my holidays come to an end before I pack my bag to return to Britain.

Some local kids arrive and disturb my peaceful relaxation time with their laughter’s laughter. Not that I mind hearing happy people, but the whole idea of coming here for an hour is to escape the noise of the house. All of them dive in, shouting as they jump in and make huge splashes which disturb the Minos that hover in every direction as if lost. The children are now coming back up and run across the pier.

It’s time to go home and pack up for my early flight in the morning.

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