The Sighting



Me and my brother were at our holiday bungalow on the edge of the world. Well, Whitehaven. He was nine. I was seven. Long after bed time we snuck out in our pyjamas, wind wrapping round our legs, whipping at our knees as if they were bare naked. It was pitch black dark, and cloudy. No stars. But the moon was in a clearing and lent a shadowy light to our edge and the rocks and sea below which roared beneath us like some monster climbing out of the darkness and up the cliffs to get us. We stood near the edge, daring each other to get closer, giggling at the fear.

My brother saw him first. He was just a black shape in the sea. His shadowy arms were flailing in the vast watery pit. We couldn’t hear him. Probably too far away. But we could tell he wasn’t safe. We could sense his fear. We knew what fear felt like. But we just stared. We didn’t know what to do, even if we should, or could. We weren’t supposed to be out here. The dark figure thrashed in the moonlight, trying to grab at something that just wasn’t there. Then suddenly it was gone. We went back to our beds quietly. We didn’t mention it again, like it would become a dream if we didn’t.

We never did find out.




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