Star of the Morning
When I was sure you were coming, I started gathering. I was daft, they said, going around the island collecting rocks, but I just smiled and carried on.
‘Buildin’ a cairn, Aggie?’ they laughed. ‘Stayin’ forever?’
We’d voted to leave, but this island was the blood and bones of me. Oban was no substitute, but I had no choice.
Especially not now.
The day we sailed I had all I owned: my crate of soil and stones from St Kilda, and you in my belly. I watched the island vanish into the mists.
‘Do you see her, baby?’ I whispered. ‘The land o’ your mothers.’ I rubbed a handful of soft, dark earth over the bump, barely there, that was you. High above, a star winked.
‘You’ll be Stella,’ I told you. ‘Star o’ the mornin’. An’ the first soil your feet touch will be soil of the island.’
I was as good as my word.
This week, the Flash Friday challenge involved a haunting photograph of the abandoned settlement on the island of St Kilda, as well as the requirement to include a baby and the additional (albeit voluntary) requirement to name one of the characters Stella. So, phew! The above is what I came up with. This tiny tale, seemingly simple, came straight from my heart, and that’s all I’ll say about it.
I’ve been managing to average about twenty pages of editing a day for most of this week, which doesn’t sound like very much – believe me, though, when I say it’s definitely as fast as I can go. I’m hoping to keep up that rate today, or even better it, because I’ll be away for the first couple of days of next week and I don’t want to fall behind. I have a date in mind, a self-imposed deadline, to have all the work done on ‘Emmeline’ and to have her ready to send back to my agent; fingers crossed I meet it. It would be a neat, ‘full-circle’ thing, a happy confluence of dates. Anyway, we’ll see.
Tomorrow’s book review will be on White Feathers, the recently published début novel of Irish author Susan Lanigan; Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts will be scheduled (and they’re full of awesome, naturally), so stay tuned. Have happy weekends, turn off the news reports and get out into the air, somewhere. That’s what I plan to do, anyway. Catch y’all in the new week, lovelies.