Pearly Gates of the Sea

A little one shot that I had to write for my GCSE English Coursework. Hope you like it.

My head is aching, my mouth is dry and my breathing is laboured. The sweet sea air reaches me through the gentle wind that swayed through the trees. It reawakens a long-lost feeling within me, and my jagged breathing starts to even. For a split second, I stop; taking in the sea air and letting it wash over me, like the waves of the sea I was so desperate to reach. I start to run. Almost suddenly, the world seems so much brighter (and as this happens, a weight lifts off me). I run faster with each passing second, the freshness of the crisp green grass under my feet and my heart pounding in time with my paces. After what feels like a lifetime, I finally reach the top. This was the moment. Prepare the welcoming committee, because I'm coming home!

Nothing could prepare me for what I saw. Nothing could cushion the fall I had made from the rawest, purest joy; the sweeter than sugar joy I was experiencing a matter of seconds ago. The joy of running up that hill. The raw joy of returning home to my beloved Cecelia. Joy was destroyed, false hope evident and the presence of dreams dashed. It was like something out of the Bible; Judgement Day. The men on the beach were backlogged, waiting at the pearly gates of the sea, the once scenic ocean pointing to home. This was the moment. The moment it dawned on me. I probably wouldn't get home, to where my heart lies with Cecelia. All I have to do now is wait.

BANG! Then nothing; silence. BANG! There's that gaping silence again! 'That's not right,' I heard a voice say, in a perturbed and confused voice. I gazed towards my left (absent mindedly) to see what was occurring, what had made my friend talk that way? And there I saw it; with my own tired eyes. Horses. Nothing too strange about that, except the tragedy that was happening to the poor creatures. They were being shot in the head, falling to the floor to die. What got to me the most was the manner in which they stared death in the face. Unknowing of what was to come. And the way they descended to the ground with such grace, even though their blessed God-given lives were rapidly slipping away. The colour drained from my face and I developed an ashen grey hue. We're never going to get home, are we?

I wander aimlessly around the picturesque, seaside, postcard destination turned war zone and waiting room for the damned. It must've been superb here, a calm place for families; a place of serenity and togetherness. It's certainly not serene anymore, although 300,000 men are all here; stuffed together, set to fall like dominoes. This could count as warped togetherness, if you look at it through desperate eyes My eyes glossed over as I contemplated my future. Or lack there of. A vague outline of words reached out to me along the decimated beach. The music was sombre; but men of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds stood tall, proud and brave. They fought through their fear, and kept up hope, even though hope was in short supply. In the direction of the sea they stood. And sang. The men of young and old sang facing home; a hymn of all songs. But underneath their sorrow, something else remained. A light in the darkest tunnel of mankind. And that's what keeps us all alive.

Thirst...dying for a drink so desperately that I drooled the last amount of saliva that my dry mouth had to offer. I got my hopes up. I shouldn't have. But I did. My only hope of refreshment, crushed by the rusty tap. I ended up in the cinema, praying for a jolly comedy to sooth my anxious mind and perk me up in this time of great doubt. What film do you suppose greeted me into the dark and dingy room that reeked of disappointment? Only a mushy romantic spectacle of the highest order (the last thing I needed in my present state of mind). More to remind me of love, lost in time, the future so unsure. Fed up, and taking an unwanted walk down memory lane, I held my head in my hands – praying for God to deliver me home. To Cecelia. Because home is where your heart is. And my home is with her.