A/N: This short story is part of a collection of prompted drabbles (well sort of drabbles as some of them are longer than 100 words) which I'll be posting as I do them... The prompts are from the tumblr blog 'timepetalsprompts' - this one was 'Summer haze'. A memory wafts by… (set in S01x02).

A gift for alectheta… because she knows about cornflowers.


Cornflowers

His brows puckered, Hardy eyed the milky mist that rose from the thick carpet of luscious green grass and pink sea thrift on top of the cliffs. It bathed his ankles in a cool moist, crawling up his bare legs under his trousers and down into his shoes to the very tip of his toes. A clammy feeling settled in within heartbeats, and Hardy resisted the urge to shake himself like a wet dog.

Bloody sea.

Moaning in disgust, he trudged on. Sleep had made a hasty departure after he woke up drowning at the break of dawn. He'd decided to walk Danny's paper round to exorcise the ghosts of dead children. The grey hours of the morning welcomed him with solitude and silence, only broken by the relentless sound of waves crashing against the shore deep below.

Squinting at the scribbled map, an unexpected scent of cornflowers, yarrows, and ripening wheat wafted past him, reminding Hardy of seemingly endless and happy summers spent in the countryside.

Stock-still, Hardy closed his eyes, sucking in the faint memory of days long gone by. Laughing faces of Daisy and even Tess, softened by the summer haze, flickered by and away together with the gentle breeze that had brought the longing smell of summer.

When he opened his eyes, they stung. He told himself it was the harsh gust of wind from the sea that had rudely driven away the lingering daydream. With his nose full of salt and wind, Hardy returned to his here and now of another lost soul and wandered on in his lonely quest for redemption.