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Shadows Express

“It sounds beautiful,” she said. They sat down in the grass on a hill looking over the ocean. “It is. But I hope Pop's not there yet. I hope he's here in the world still.” He looked out at the waves through his spyglass. “But, Yaro, I'm not a sailor. Will I get to go there?” “Of course, Nora,” he said with a friendly sneer. “I'll make sure of it.” She smiled at the sound of that name. Last year she had found one of his school projects with the name Yaroslav written on it. She had only heard his friends call him Hansi. Even his mother called him that. “Hansi is my second name,” he had said when she asked. “And it's my father's name, and I like it. But Teacher will only have me put my real first and last name.” “But I like Yaroslav; it sounds so strong. And it is your name, Yaro.” “Okay then, Ellinor, how would you like me calling you… um… Nora?” He sounded angry, but then laughed. She pretended to dislike it, but it made her feel special to have a secret name only he used. Once, another boy called her that, and she yelled at him, causing a scene. “What would you do to make sure, hmm?” She played with his blond hair as he looked out to sea. She remembered how mad he had been the time she braided it while he slept. “I'd send the fiddler himself to get you from wherever you were. No one would have any music until he returned with you. Then we would be happy there forever. And you could meet my pop!” He lowered the spyglass and his voice dropped. “If he's there, I mean.” “You watch for him every day, don't you?” She had followed Yaro out to the cliff face many times. His strong body seemed small and alone when framed against the cold sea. The longer he walked there along Volume4: Issue 1

the cliff-side, the lower his shoulders would droop, until he finally left toward home, dejected. She would meet up with him on the path, pretending not to know why he was so upset. “Yes.” He was silent a moment, then turned around. “El, do you want to come watch with me?” “Yes,” she managed to say as her heart leaped up her throat. He grabbed her hand and led her down to the edge of the cliff. The ground was soft from the rain, and her feet were getting very wet, but she didn't care. Yaro walked up to the edge, pulling her along. “Aren't you afraid you’ll fall?” she asked. “Sometimes.” He squeezed her hand. “But if I fall now, it will be with you. And that's not so scary.” She smiled and stepped up to the edge with him, her heart racing. Waves crashed on the rocks below, making swirling pools of water and foam between them. Small gusts of wind slapped her dress against her legs. He peered through the spyglass, his face stern. She loved how his brow furrowed when he concentrated. After a moment he handed it to her. “Look.” He pointed to the horizon. She held it to her eye and the sea leaped forward. The rolling waves held nothing. “It's empty,” she said. “It always is.” She looked at him as he stared out to the sea, his eyes full of sadness, always waiting for something that never came. He was so alone, and still so strong. Her heart swelled and she threw her arms around him. “Yaro, I love—” Yaro fell away from her, his fingers slipping from her grasp as the ground crumbled beneath them. She flailed her arms in panic. Yaro's face twisted into a silent Page 27

Shadows Express - March 2012  

Welcome to Shadows Express. Filled with quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry, this magazine is devoted to introducing emerging writers to...

Shadows Express - March 2012  

Welcome to Shadows Express. Filled with quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry, this magazine is devoted to introducing emerging writers to...

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