Locked door

La Palma, 2016

La Palma, 2016


Vapour condensed around us as we walked, leaving droplets of water dripping from the leaf tips.

The air was thick and muggy. My daughter pulls her hood up, covering her ears from the cold. We listened to the lecture about the animals that hide in the trees, lying in wait. They said we would be safe here just so long as we stick together in our groups. No stragglers. The animals like the stragglers.

The house stood in the middle of the island, a house that had been a refuge for smugglers a long time ago. Now a peaceful place the house still stands, a reminder of the islands' past.

My zipper knocks against my thigh as we walk. The humid air makes my body leak with sweat. I tip my water bottle upside down and a drop eases out from its plastic mouth. Nothing left.

Mum? says, my daughter. Are you okay?

The blood drains from my head and begins to pool in my feet. I sway a little and reach my hand out to her shoulder.

Do you think he’s here? I say.

Who, Mum? Who are you talking about? Sit here, she says leading me over to a high rock where I lean against its smooth damp surface.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.