Flannan Isle Journal by Nadine M.-K. (Year 8)
Flannan Isle Journal, by Nadine M.-K.
The sea, never-ending, wrapping its keen, heatless hands about each crevice of the earth, marbling my heart into a mass of cold, is rocking me like a baby, but cot is now boat. And I have every hope that I will see land once more.
I do so hate the ever-hanging sky, that keeps an eye on me; a watchful, penetrating eye.
Water. Sea. All aspects of the sea I despise, and to utter the word makes my stomach churn.
The island is way above me, but it is no match for my wits, that I shall keep about me, should I need them. As it looms into view, from the concealment of its misty curtain, my suspicions rise about the lighthouse. It towers like a carcass, and the rocks, jagged and jutting, arouse the sensation of cold sweat dripping down my hot temple, from sleepless nights and fading nightmares.
I remember the accusing glance of my father, as I protested our going to this place. And when, at last, we set foot on its shores, I shall feast on his certainty, vindictive and ravenous. I shall feast with my eyes and tell him how much I loathe this place. And mother shall regret her trust in him. The storming horizon foretells this.
To admit that its darkness is growing on me would be weak, but weak I shall be – just this once – if it allows me to see: the red of the paint is chipped and the rocks of the island are rough. Silent it is. Deadly almost. But I am not bothered, for a house of peace is where I thrive best. Its eeriness has shaken me awake, more awake than ever. There is no land for countless miles. Countless, empty miles. In fact, this place is empty. Hollow.
Remorsefully, I glance behind, only to see the glowing face of my father. For now, my obstinate ways shall have to be put to one side. I can see from his eyes that he is more gleeful than glee itself – and that has silenced me.
Whether I admire this island for its age, or if that makes me hate it more, I am unsure. Perhaps London was easy for ‘arrogant youths’ like myself. Perhaps I need a good taste of my own medicine. I have heard this phrase many a time. So many times, that my anger is immune to its pettiness, and my mind is numb to its words. Yet, I repeat it like a compulsory prayer, and my ways are my religion. Analogies are my guide through a storm. But when I look at the lighthouse, I see myself: dark, incomprehensible, hateful – how can I know otherwise? I was abandoned at birth, and taken in by these people, who I know, deep down, are kindly.
It feels as though the lighthouse draws me in. Like a moth to light, that is perhaps a flame. Whether I shall burn in that flame, it is none but the future’s tale to tell.
My first steps on the island are uneasy and uncertain. The stones and boulders pressing sores into my feet I cannot stand. The lighthouse intimidates me, makes me shiver to the ground. It bullies me, and the sky grins with satisfaction. Yet emotion and thought are mere fabric here, expensive and cheating...
Demands have been met. I slept. But upon the choppy waters, something floated, as I gazed through the rattling window. The panes magnify the world, baffling the eye. Perhaps the floating thing was an illusion. An illusion, like the sky, with its fluffy clouds and jutting sun rays.
This day is cursed with oddities, it seems, for at breakfast, mother and father were in good sorts, but by midday, not so much. It was as though something had drained all jubilance from their blood, and left them with grey, drooping dispositions. What had happened, I wondered, until my eyes fell upon it. The laundry bucket filled to the brim. Scarlet liquid, it was. Blood red.
Into the sea I cast it, where it merged into the murky waters like lightning creeping through its victim.
After luncheon had passed, I strolled around the island. The sky was magnificent. Ribbons of mist and gold sunlight captured in strokes lay across the infinite expanse. The breeze wrapped me in its hands, and I was its captive. But struggle I did not. I savoured it, for it was like a ritual – until my mind wandered.
All stamina had faded at last, so I looked upon the water once more. It was still. Then something flashed. Something – gone. In the blink of an eye, it was gone. A formless shadow in the midst of lightness was imprinted on my eye. The sea, a single line that kept extending, was blurring. Foreground did not exist. Then came pain. Then nothing.
Before my eyes, there was the window, as it had always been, and around me, the covers were shrouded, an attempt at warmth. Yet against my skin, they were like the kiss of stone.
Greeted with silence was my arrival to the kitchen. Not a sound was to be heard. Not a person was to be seen. Dizzy, I clutched the wall and made for the door out. The boat was gone. They have gone fishing, I told myself.
Back in the kitchen, I stumbled - mother’s glasses had been abandoned on the table. Father’s gloves, which he always wore in the bite of winter, were lying on the pantry floor. But somehow there was nothing to worry about. After all, where was the fishing hook?
Two unoccupied chairs stared back as I sat at the table. The taste of breakfast bittered my mouth, bittered my mind. And the sky shrieked through the voice of the gale, grinning, relishing. Why should I stand this? I must find them... I … must … go.
A dressing gown is no attire for the raging beaches of Flannan Isle. Even the skin I am clothed in will never be right. But I am running, running into the wind - breathing into its kindred breath. I run and run, until my eyes fail me. I have passed the driftwood. There is nothing there - no one...
Where … where must I go? There is so far to go, yet my feet will not take me there - my mind doesn’t know where ‘there’ is. I am walking ... walking … walking … walking … walking. It tugs at my feet, the feeling of no return, submerging me in my own doubts, in my fears, but I am still walking … walking … walking … wailing for a light I cannot find. Mourning. But what is there to mourn for now except my sanity?
It is dark, and with me I carry not torch. It is cold, yet I have come dressed for another season, another place. It is cursed, but I cannot leave - not without them. Cruelly, the unknown terror gouges from me what it wants. It wants my light and my peace, and it has taken them from me.
Upon the ground, they were lain. I shrieked, I cackled. Ribbons of red surrounded them, ribbons of red … red … red. I kicked the tide and it relinquished. I cast the only people I cared to know into the tossing waters, and with them, I tossed my mind, leaving shadow. My face masks insanity. It pierces my ears. It rips my mind in two. What can I do but succumb? Wallow in the ever-darkening waters...
I am not sure why I’m writing. I can no longer remember the reason for my being here. But as my fingers cling to the frigid pen, there is a certain warmth, not in my fingers, but in my mind. Something I can see, without knowing exactly what it is. Like an ambiguous light, shaded by the unfelt presence of gloom. I am groping, groping for a hope, but it has fallen deep within my soul, to unreachable depths, and I am shallower than the tide itself, yet deeper than any ocean.
When I walked upon the shores of Flannan Isle, there, imprinted in my mind, lay the bodies of two unlucky sailors, one a woman, the other a man. Another warm memory returned, and I threw it to the back of my mind, where no thoughts ever recurred or showed themselves. No thought ever emerged again.
I waded into the shallows - my mind. I whispered to the voices; the sea licked. A vision of a dense form crushed the final walls of sanity. There, its voice chanted, in a coarse whisper – a harsh melody that my empty heart danced to. I opened my eyes. Faces, grey faces, were wavering in the sky, wailing, tears. Tears fell – frigid.
There the shore lay where it had always been, yet I was rocking, being lulled into a sweet dream, where shadow was all that existed, and the eternal drink of tears kept pouring...
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