As sworn, signed and promised last week I put aside some turbulent events over the last few days and did a little writing.
This is an initial draft of an opening on a piece of fiction I’m working on, so please enjoy:
The Drowning Place
Strange and terrible, an outright tragedy; these were the words the newspapers printed the day Ajay Ingham drowned, although not, it should be said, in specific reference to his apparent demise. His name wouldn’t even be mentioned until almost a week later, lost on page six in a list of nine hundred people whose goals and achievements, hopes and dreams had been squeezed into twenty characters or less.
Circled in red then folded and unfold a hundred times or more, tucked in a pocket or stuffed under a pillow. The piece of newsprint became a talisman of sorts to three people; his mother Annabel, his grandfather Robert and a man whose face and name Ajay had never known in a country half the world away. Later they might say that they’d suspected something was missing, that an empty casket in a quiet church yard couldn’t quite dampen the hope that maybe, somehow or someday they would find that last shred of peace. Peace the sinking of the Lady Britannic denied them one stormy night in August.
And if Ajay managed to find a little peace too, well that was a richly deserved reward.
“You’ll be cold dressed like that.”
Ajay glanced from his phone and down at his jeans and t-shirt. He shrugged, the outfit was as good as any he owned and it wasn’t like he didn’t have a hoodie in his bag.
“Its fine,” he replied, glancing at his mother. “Besides, Grandpa said he’d booked me a cabin this time.”
Annabel hummed, a slight frown creasing her brow as her eyes slipped to Ajay’s naked wrist. Ajay hid a long suffering sigh and waited for the inevitable. He loved his mother, loved her quirks and her interests; the yoga retreats, forays into veganism and solstice nights spent telling stories. But once he’d passed out of childhood, and at fifteen he firmly believed he had, her superstitions had entered the realm of perpetual embarrassment.
“Did you forget your caul bracelet?” she asked.