Printed from WriteWords -

Seven days

by  dharker

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2010
Word Count: 445

“And just be careful!” shouts his mother from the veranda.

“Of course I will!” his impatient repost.

Paul runs down through the olive grove, his seven year old footfalls stirring little zephyrs of dust. The heady fragrance of myrtle and oregano fills the air, grasshoppers chirrup in the grass, while a lark sings somewhere above. Paul stops for a moment to listen to the goat bells tinkling gently on the hillside, and giggles in sheer delight.

As he passes a tiny cottage, Paul spots the old lady sitting at the doorway, deftly peeling a pile of wild artichoke.

“Kalimera sas!” he shouts happily.

She raises a gnarled hand in greeting; her rheumy eyes twinkle and sparkle with a life and energy that belies her age. Her wrinkled, mahogany face splits in a toothless smile and she nods back a greeting before turning once again to her task in hand.

Down the hill he runs, the call of the golden beach more persistent with every step. Sea scented, ozone air fills his nostrils and the waves gently applaud his appearance.

Eagerly shucking his vest and sandals, Paul runs headlong into the surf and throws himself into the crystal sea. Submerged, the watery, muffled bubbles chuckle around him as he kicks out. Then like a cork, he pops to the surface and swims the short distance to the pontoon, where he levers himself out and lies panting on the bobbing deck.

Sun warmed, the salty trickles of seawater quickly evaporate on his chest. Tiring of the inactivity, he stands and dives heavily into the water, startling a gull into raucous flight.

"Paul... I'm here..."

Hearing his name, Paul looks back to the beach and sees his mother walking across the sand, carrying the picnic basket she’d been preparing when he'd left the villa.

"Coming mum!" he calls and swims back to the beach, hunger finally conquering his youthful desire to expend energy.

His mother welcomes him with a warm, fluffy towel and tenderly ruffles his hair before starting to set out the food.

As she uncovers the brim filled basket, she spots the look on his face

"You can just wait for your Dad to arrive young man! He won't be long!" she chuckles.

Paul grins back widely then blatantly steals a slice of the succulent, ruby red water melon, before running away giggling and clutching his prize.

He finds a rock poking through the sand, its face rounded by the sand and surf and takes a seat. Head now firmly entrenched in the watermelon, juice dribbling down his chin and with a melony edge tickling each ear, he sighs blissfully.

"Seven more days… seven more days…"