Home » Flash fiction » Short story: “A breeze from the west”

Short story: “A breeze from the west”

There is a certain…Structural thing I applied to this story. I wonder if you can notice it or not.

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A slightly hesitant sun was slowly rising above the horizon, bathing the world in her warm, yellow glow when she arrived at her destination. Before her the familiar landscape stretched out across the horizon, with the old cottage, nestled in among the trees to her left, then behind it, the lush green meadows that led down to the rocky shoreline that she knew opened up to a glimmering blue sea.

Camilla had been away from this place for so long, the pain of her mother’s passing and the falling out from the rest of her family keeping her away, but now, now all the memories came flooding back as if it had been only recently that she had said goodbye to that familiar house and all its surroundings.

Despite her weariness from her journey, driving through the night to ensure she would be able to spend as much time as possible here with her memories, she left her bags by the door of the small house and quickly found the overgrown path that would lead down to the sea.

Elm and oak quickly made way for alder and hazel bushes, then even they fell away as rocky ground became more common, for the first time giving her a full and perfect view of the sparkling sea, the calm weather allowing the surface to reflect the rising sun beautifully.

For the first time since she had made the decision to come here she felt herself relax and take a full deep breath, this had been the right decision after all, of that much she was sure now.  Going off like she had done, barely giving anyone a heads up that she was leaving, quickly packing her bags and filling up her car with gas, it must have seemed rushed to anyone that knew her, but it had been the right thing to do. How shocked they had acted at work when she had simply told them she would be cashing in her saved up vacation time now, without waiting for any confirmation.

“I really needed this”, she sighed, sitting down on a large rock, removing her shoes and socks, burying her toes in the sand that was still cool from the night’s chill.

Just as she had begun to relax there was a sharp sound to the right, a crackling of twigs and branches, the sure sign of someone approaching and it put her completely on edge until the cause of the noises revealed themselves.

“Kitty! You scared me!” she told the large tabby cat that jumped out from the hedgerow just a few feet away, blinking its yellow eyes at her.

Limping closer it let out a meow, rubbing his head against her calves in an affectionate manner.

Mumbling soothingly at the cat, she stroked the dirty, matted fur, that in combination of the cat’s loving manner told her this was no wild stray, this cat had had a loving home once, but the lack of collar and the feel of the ribs underneath the fur also told her that this previous owner had not been around for a while now.

“No one wanted to keep you around, poor guy”, she told the cat and she continued to stroke him, listening to his dull purring.

Out at sea she could see clouds forming, billowy white, but with a dark core to them, which strongly suggested the weather would take a turn for the worse soon, which made it high time to head back to the cottage and unpack her things.

“Perhaps you would like to come with me, kitty?” she asked and the cat meowed back at her, unsurprisingly following close behind her as she made her way back to the house, where her bags and things were still waiting for her.

“Question, what should I call you?” Camilla asked the cat that kept on purring, rubbing against her legs and darting inside as soon as the door was unlocked and opened.

Right away the cat found a place to curl up near the fireplace and watched her attentively as she began to make a fire to warm the place up, and judging by the clouds forming outside she would have need of that heat soon.

Soon enough she had the fire going and she began to putter around the small house, unpacking her things and making the unlived in house nice and cozy, stopping only once to have a late breakfast, sharing some of the ham she had packed with the very hungry cat.

“Together we’re going to make this into a home, wont we kitty?” she said, frowning at the knowledge that the cat still needed a name.

Under an old blanket, curled up in front of the fireplace, with the cat laying right next to her it was easy to think, to sort through all those troubling thoughts in her mind. Very soon she found herself nodding off, the sleepless hours driving finally catching up to her.

When she woke up again from her nap, it was grey and murky outside, the rain pattering on the windows, a stiff breeze from the west blowing.

“Zephyr”, she said with a smile, petting the cat. “Your name will be Zephyr.”

It was a sign, she decided. This place and the cat…Perhaps this could be a brand new start for her.

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