She walked the boundary. Once she would have run it, but these days, she was lucky if her knee would support a brisk walk. She carried a stick just in case. It was useful for beating back the brambles and bindweed.
As she walked she looked to left and right, and sometimes, flashes of memory overlaid themselves on the scene before her. Scrambling over a sandy bit she caught a glimpse of a broken stand pipe, and saw a boy there, washing his shoes, water running freely away across the concrete prom to wash down the beach, past the discarded cans and plastic bottles. Her memory, or just one relayed to her so often that it seemed hers? No way of distinguishing any more.
The casual waste. Good water used to wash shoes, when the sea was metres away. Plastic bottles used once and left to be washed away to sea, so much extra flotsam and jetsam. The profligacy of those years was mindblowing.
The boy faded away. She was alone above the coast again. Gulls wheeled shrieking above her head, the warm wind whipped her hair about her face. Somewhere in the town there was a fire burning – the smoke rising steadily into the lightening sky. When the walk was done she would investigate the fire, but on the quarter days, the boundary had to be checked. It was the way of things.
Was the watermark higher than on the solstice? Perhaps it was just the storm mark. She noted it any way, pausing for a moment to mark it in her notebook. Years and years of notes now, from her mother, and her mother before her. The waters were still rising. But slower.
I don’t know where it goes yet. Or if it’s any good. But maybe if I write it down, I can move on to the next scene?