Here, I deliver you a very new fanfiction. I haven't been continuing my other fanfictions, not because I've lost interest, but because I'm at a loss for what to do. Writing is a bit like playing chess, don't you think? Make a single wrong move, and you've basically ruined it all.
Maybe I'll go back and do some editing?
I found the idea of mermaids interesting, and it takes me back to the time I read Ingo. I really liked it, and I thought I could play around with the idea… But then I thought, screw all, let's write a fanfiction. I haven't read Ingo for a long LONG time, so if I make any mistakes on detail, please correct me. I cannot for the life of me remember any factual detail AT ALL, so shoot me. T T ... Also, I normally mimic the author's style of writing when writing a fanfiction, but I have not got a clue how Helen Dunmore wrote. SO, please bear with my wretched writing style, and I hope you'll enjoy it, even a little!
(I also apologise for any OOCness, apology~ apology~ apology~~)
Ice. Chapter 1
Once upon a time, I used to dream about childish things.
I thought that if I wished for something hard enough it could come true and, for some absurd reason, I also believed that people kept their promises.
I guess I should have learnt better when my father died.
Sometimes, I stare out of my bedroom window of our ugly new house in London and I imagine that the stars I see in the sky are the same stars I saw when I was looking up from the ocean with Faro.
Whenever I close my eyes, I am swimming with the dolphins with Faro next to me, and we're laughing effortlessly, untroubled, and all I can see are Faro's even white teeth and his thick dark hair streaming out behind him.
But when I dream, I dream of nothing, because I never want to dream of things so childish again.
"I promise to be back soon, little sister. And when I am, I'll take you with me."
But it's been three years already, Faro, and Ingo has forgotten me completely.
"Remember to write back when you get there!"
I am standing at the half empty London train station with Connor, mum and my mother's boyfriend, Roger. The cool winter air blows around me, and I wrap my coat and scarf around myself tighter. It is ridiculously early, and only a few travellers walk past us on their daily business.
"Connor, look after your sister!"
Connor glances my way briefly before responding, "I'll do my best, but Sapphy doesn't need much looking after, and she'll eat me alive if I try!"
Everyone laughs at this, and my mother gives me a warm hug. "Oh look at you," She says, once she has finally let go, "Going off all that way on your own! Are you really going to be okay?"
I feel my cheeks burning up, and I attempt to untangle my arm from my mothers grip. "I'm sixteen already, mum! I'm old enough to handle myself; besides, I've been gallivanting around the cove for years now!"
She continues to stare at me worriedly and begins to adjust my coat collar. "And I've got Connor with me, anyway. He won't let anything happen." I add hastily.
She sighs and relaxes slightly, "Yes, I guess you're right. Perhaps… Perhaps I'm worrying myself over nothing. You've always been a very independent child, Sapphire."
She lets go of my arm and turns to Connor, starting to fuss over his clothes now. Connor catches me staring and pulls a face.
"Going all the way back to Cornwall, huh?" Roger catches me by surprise, and he laughs.
I smile ruefully back and shrug, "I never even wanted to leave." I reply truthfully.
He regards me with a steady, suddenly serious eye, and clasps me on the shoulder. "In all honesty, I never wanted to leave either."
I stare up at him, with my breath baited, "Why did we leave then?" I ask, wondering if he was going to answer the question I'd asked my mother so many times before, without a decent reply.
"Well…" He glances in my mother's direction, who was preoccupied with making a list of all the things Connor had to do when we got back to Cornwall.
We're out of her hearing range, but we walk a little further away just in case.
"She said…" he pauses, "She said that staying there, so near your memories wasn't good for you Sapphire. And with all the trauma and the flooding that happened… To keep you and Connor safe, we had to move away. And… I… I saw sense in that." He bows his head a little, embarrassed. "I shouldn't have made that decision for you, and I apologise."
I nod slowly, accepting his apology, "No - I couldn't have been helped." I say.
"No." He smiles sadly.
The train heading for Cornwall finally pulls up with a loud whooshing sound, and the doors open. A few passengers step out with their large bags and luggage, which look massive compared to what we decided to pack. Connor was content in bringing the basics for the two weeks we were to stay there, and I just didn't have anything else I wanted to bring.
We wave our final goodbyes to Roger and mum, who looks like she is on the verge of tears, and step aboard the train.
"Let's go back home," says Connor grinning.
It takes me by surprise. "It's not home anymore Connor," I reply, "We live in London now."
"Home is where the heart is, Sapphy. And as much as I love London, it's not my home."
We watch as the train doors slide to a close behind us and we take a seat, pushing our big luggage up onto the luggage racks. The train starts to move, and Roger and mum blur out of view, waving all the time.
I wave back, but it's too late, and they're snatched out of my line of vision. My hand droops, and I hug my bag to myself closely, suddenly feeling sad.
"Cornwall brings back too many memories, Connor." I say after a while, echoing Roger's words, "Some memories I don't want to remember."
But he's asleep already.
We've been living in London for half a year now. 5 months and fourteen days. Undoubtedly, it sounds sad, but I can't even help it anymore. Subconsciously, I've been counting the days since we last were in Cornwall.
And since I last saw the sea.
They have a river here in London, its true, but it's not the same. I have walked past the River Thames before, and looking down, it just seems so different. I just can't relate Ingo to the river here.
But then again, ever since I last saw Faro, I cannot seem to relate Ingo to anything. When I last saw Faro, he left telling me that he'd return for me; and that I could go to Ingo with him, and there, I could decide if I wanted to stay in Ingo and become mer, just like father did or remain human. It was a big deal, and I was going to break it to him that I could not. I was sure I knew what my answer was then, but I'm not so sure anymore.
Time in Ingo works differently to time on land, so I knew he would be a while. I gave him a month. When he did not return then, I gave him two, then three, then four, and before I knew it, I had waited every day, after school and in the mornings, by the sea in the cove for a year. I changed my mind a lot through all that time and the time that followed. For a while, I had decided that I wanted to become mer after all, if that was all it took for Faro to appear again. I had kept on that, waiting and waiting.
He haunted my dreams sometimes, and my conscious. I missed him. I longed for him and Ingo.
Connor had heard nothing from Elvira either, but he had given up already. Something I refused to do.
He claimed it was all a dream, but I don't understand how he could say that. I knew he was hiding something - I knew him well enough to tell that - but I could not grasp at what.
It was my fault, really, that we moved to London in the end. One day, after school, I waited by the cove longer than I usually did, and stupidly, I fell asleep. The tide rose up around me, and by the time Connor found me, I was soaked, cold and I had caught a slight fever.
It was not much, but that set my mother off completely. The very next day, she had told us that she had booked a one way train journey to London for the next week, when I got better.
It was odd. I was sure she didn't know about my goings to the cove as I had concealed them very well, and I was so sure that Connor had not told her. She said she had another reason, but she would not tell me what, and apparently, she had not told Roger either.
Either way, no one could argue. We packed all our bags, and the next week, with only fleeting, sudden goodbyes with our old neighbours and friends in Cornwall, we left.
It's been a while since then.
Now I do not feel as much as I do for Ingo. Only the lies and deceit leave bitter tastes in my mouth.
I have gotten better in the last half year I have been in London. So much so on the outside, that my mother has finally allowed me to take this journey with Connor back to Cornwall to visit Rainbow and Granny Carne and everyone else left back there - as they could not come to visit us, and mum and Roger cannot leave work.
Ingo is a mere memory to me now. It was a time long ago, and for now on, to me, only the present will really matter.
Connor is right. Cornwall feels more like home than London ever was.
We get here at dark, three hours later than the time we were expecting. The leaflet we were given was not all accurate, after all. I give a sigh, but Connor just laughs.
It's like we are being plunged into a completely new world. Everything is different. Where London is all bright and loud, with sky scraping buildings and tall flats from everywhere the eye can see, Cornwall is green, and natural, and quiet. And I feel like I finally belong again.
We enter our old house, and it's dark. We, meaning me, Connor and Roger convinced mum not to sell the house, and I'm glad we did that. She argued back about money and rents and bills, but deep inside, I could tell she didn't want to sell it either.
She has finally put dad behind, just like Connor put Elvira behind, and I put Faro behind, but the house is still special. It holds memories. Some were nice, some not so much.
But it's history now.
After we have unpacked all of our bags we stand in the empty corridor, regarding what used to be the living room.
"This feels weird." Connor says flatly.
I nod in agreement, and start flicking through my bags again, when Connors mobile rings.
"It was Rainbow," He tells me, "She called a little earlier, and I promised that we'd visit her once we arrived."
"Let's go now then," I tell him, smiling, "I want to see her too!"
Connor laughs, and puts into his bag the presents we bought for Rainbow from London. I have missed Rainbow; and in all honesty, she was one of the people I had missed most while we were away. We have talked over the phone, but it was just not the same. I miss her most along with Sadie. We had to leave her behind with Rainbow as the journey would have been too tough on her. Granny Carne had offered to look after her if no one else was willing before, but I did not want to leave another responsibility in her hands, no matter how strong and reliable she was. Besides, Rainbow liked Sadie.
We leave the house, slipping on our thick woollen coats to keep the worst of the winter breeze out. I look around us, but in winter, the days seem shorter, and it looks as dark as midnight already.
I am in awe of our surroundings still: the moon in the sky is clearly visible and it bathes everything in a milky glow.
We talk briefly about the plan that our mother set us, visiting all our old friends in Cornwall and delivering the gifts she prepared for them, our breath forming little clouds of mist in front of us; but half way on the path to Rainbow's house, Connor suddenly stops and swears loudly. I laugh as he looks apologetically at me.
"Sorry, Sapphy, I just realized, we can bring Granny Carne's honey and jam jars with us today along with Rainbow's presents. It would save us from bringing all those other things for her as well tomorrow, wouldn't it?"
"But it's too late now, isn't it?"
"Not yet, just take my bag for me, and I'll run back to the house as fast as I can. Keep on walking to Rainbow's, and I'll meet you half way, okay?"
I agree, and he hands me his bag which I shoulder.
"Are you going to be okay?" He asks as he hand it to me.
"I'll be fine."
"If you're in trouble or need help or anything, just call me okay? I'll be as fast as I can."
I roll my eyes at this, and watch Connor disappear from view, the night engulfing him.
I carry down the path on my own. In the night, I can clearly hear the crickets chirping. Apart from that, I am met with silence, except…
I hear the rushing of the sea, not far off, and…
I cannot help but walk a little off the path and look out into the distance. I am at an entrance to the cove. Connor and I had taken this way in before, a long time ago, but I had forgotten.
The quell of the shimmering waves in the moonlight calls to me, not in the way that Ingo called, but as it had called when I was a child.
I so want to go down.
I want to feel the sand beneath my feet, the feeling of the water lapping at my heels, but I can't. And I won't.
So I turn and make my way back to the path, but-
But something, an oddity amongst the smooth curves of the tops of the rocks further out at sea, catches my eye.
I see a silhouette of a figure far out in the distance on the rocks and my heart skips a beat; but then the figure stands up, and my excitement turns to bleak disappointment.
It cannot be who I had hoped it to be. It is not Faro.
Defeated, I start to carry on walking down the path, but something tugs at my conscience.
It's high tide tonight, Sapphy. Do you know what that means? Don't go out to the beach tonight Sapphy. The tide is faster than you can run, and it will catch you. You can't run, and you can't hide. So don't go out on the beach tonight.
Tonight is high tide.
My mother and father had warned me against the tide countless times. You can't run and you can't hide.
If the person on the rocks does not move soon, the tide will come in and engulf them, and they will have no chance. The currents are unmerciful at the best of times and that person will be smashed against the rocks again and again, and their death will be drawn out and painful.
So don't go out on the beach tonight.
The figure remains as still as a statue, motionless, as if waiting for something. They seem to have no intent to move.
They must be a tourist, a visitor, a short time resident. They must be, because everybody else knows better than to go out on the rocks on a night with high tide.
"Excuse me!" I shout to them. But my voice does not carry, and they make no indication that they've heard me.
I try again to the same result.
The tides will soon be drawn in.
Don't go out on the beach tonight, Sapphy. Always remember what I say.
But I must warn him.
Running down the muddy path to the cove, I scramble down the routes blocked by overgrown pieces of bracken that had not been here before when Connor and I still lived in Cornwall. Pushing the spikes out of my way, I manage to get across, but my hands are bloodied and raw, and there is a long, deep scratch on my upper forearm. Blood wells up, and although it stings beyond belief, I have no time to do anything about it. Taking a deep breath, I plunge into the rising sea, hoping that Ingo will take me back.
I know it the moment I penetrate the surface of the water.
It feels all wrong. The way the waves resist me, and push me back up. It's so unlike the times I entered Ingo. They're not welcoming me. The doors of Ingo have been shut to me, and I cannot get in.
I try to raise my head above the water, but I cannot do even that. The water is everywhere, the salt stinging my cuts and hurting my eyes. The sea has taken away my sense of up and down and right and left.
I am completely at its mercy.
The sea will catch you.
It is at this point that I realize that I am going to die. The idea was stupid. It was ridiculous. Why did I think that I could beat the tide? I should have called someone to help instead of just plunging in myself; I should have thought twice; I should have… I should have… I should…
But reprimanding myself is useless, and I give in to panic.
The tide is too strong for me to fight it. If I thrash around, it thrashes back, harder.
I feel myself sinking deeper, and deeper down. I will not survive, I am going to die. I could not save the person on the rocks. We will both die because of my stupidity. We are-
A strong arm grabs me from behind, and I am lifted and dragged up to the surface gasping, and to the welcoming sight of land. I clutch at the wet, cold sand and I nearly fall onto the hard pebbles below me. I cough and cough until I feel as if I have got every last inch of the salt out of my lungs, out of my system, out of me. Then I-
"How can you be so stupid?" The sudden voice above me stops me immediately as if in a trance. The flowing sound of the water rising around us fades from my ears, and all I can hear is my heartbeat and the echo of his voice in my ears. It's a voice I know too well, the voice I've been hearing everywhere, the voice I've been wanting to hear everywhere.
And then, painfully, I force myself to look up and I see the face that has been dominating my existence and thoughts for the last three years leaning above me. It's the same sharp curve of the chin - the same dark, deep set eyes and the same perfect straight white teeth bared in a grimace.
And the same thick wet dark hair almost the same shade of brown as mine.
It can't be. It is not possibly-
But it is.
Unbelievably - unthinkably; it is Faro.
Ho Sho, this was the longest chapter that I have ever written. I wrote it over the period of two days ppls :O Don't expect all the chapters to be like this. Was it boring? Was it too long? Was it incredibly stupid? Please leave a review and tell me how I can improve my writing. I personally think it has deteriorated. Like a cookie when I smash it up and cook its crumbs.
ALSO, reviews help me write the next chapter (HINT HINT) They are not essential, but they do help, and I will be grateful. (Is it just me or does that word look like grapefruit? Which reminds me of the time I was tricked into eating a grapefruit and it was nightmarish).
Oh, and don't ever bake KitKats and Rolos, they are gross in cakes. How on earth do the supermarkets do it?
ANNOUNCEMENT: I have been thinking as I was proofreading, since I am a fail with continuing, does everyone think I should just leave it as an oneshot? I mean, I would like to finish it, but if my writing is undesirable, and the plot is too boring, should I just leave it like this? Because otherwise, it would be a disappointment. Thank you :'O