One of those summer days doused in grey…I rode my bike to the beach to collect shells. As I combed the surf-soaked sands, a man’s voice snapped me out of the zone.
‘Found anyone interesting?’
‘Nup, no bodies,’ I murmured.
‘That’s a shame, a nice looking lady like you.’’
I fixed my sight on shards of shell and ignored him. Hate those pickup lines.
‘Oh, what’s your problem? I’m not going to bite.’
I glanced at him—had to see what creep I was dealing with. Pale, pock-marked face, thirties and just a little taller than me at 165cm. He wore some grubby white t-shirt and brown trousers. “Never trust a man who wears brown trousers,” Liesel, my school friend, always said.
‘Come on, dear, just a little conversation. Tell me, what do you want more than anything in the world?’
I shrugged. ‘To leave me alone.’
‘Tell you what, you tell me and I’ll leave you alone. Deal?’
I pushed my bike faster trying to escape this man, but he chased me.
‘I promise, I’ll leave you alone—just tell me.’
Hopping on my bike I announced, ‘I don’t talk to strangers.’
‘I’m not going to hurt you. I bet, I bet you’re one of those girls who wants to get married, have a family. That’s what you want more than anything.’
‘If you say so, now leave me alone.’ I sped from the creepy little man with his creepy questions.
‘Your desire will be arranged,’ he said as I splashed my wheels through the water. He then shouted, ‘But, I might add, there will be a price.’
‘Sure, sour grapes,’ I mumbled. Then pumping the pedals, I sailed along the damp-packed sand where the waves met the shore.
Then, near the ramp and having to cross sand too soft for bikes, I glanced behind before alighting. The man in brown trousers was gone…
An extract from a draft of Diamonds in the Cave © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016
Painting: Sellicks Beach—where Mission of the Unwilling begins © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2015 [Mixed media]