Tracking


by EC Sorenson


 

The tinny Suncoast Adventures plane looked strange, parked as it was on hard sand by the water’s edge, but the unlikeliness was lost on the Mayhew kids, skinny-legged and fighting for rung space on its three rung ladder. They were hankering to climb in. Nana Jo scrutinised the ruckus from the beach. Just listen, she said to no-one, you’re taking off from a beach – what luck! What a school holiday this is. She shook her head as they piled in. Amazing, she said. And then, as the last pair of feet whipped inside and the ladder snapped up and the door shut, Jo dug her long-boned fingers into her own forearms, a wretched kind of hug. She counted to ten. The plane roared to a moving start, south, fast, its wheels skirting waves that snuck relentlessly towards dry sand until finally, finally, the wheels left the ground in a simple, seamless wrench. That wrench, Jo knew, was hers. For certain she’d  have a bruise from watching that glorious, abundant, lucky sky, holding within its broad reach her small brood’s brood, her desperately precious cargo. She shook her head at the beauty of it. She knew this was magical, good for them, an adventure. Privileged. She knew these things as facts. But what she understood, as the plane hoisted left over that azure blue shark filled ocean, was they were none of them any match for that sky or this earth. And what she felt was the pain of that bruise on her arm, the constant familiarity of it, as she tracked those five parts of her heart tearing off down the shoreline.

 


EC Sorenson is a media producer and writer. Her recent work has appeared in Litro Magazine, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Tiny Molecules, X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, Tiny Essays and Monkey Bicycle. She has previously been shortlisted for a Writers Digest Short Story award and longlisted for the Fish International Short Story Prize. She lives in Australia. Find her on Twitter at @ecwsorenson