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Nightsurf 1987

Page 5

Karen Lethlean

She grabbed her left leg – told good-old limb it was weak, warned it to co-operate. But her extremities weren’t playing. Better pull the pin on this session.

She staggered into shore, her celery legs gave out, she fell to her knees, vomited up a batch of stomach acid and brine between stacks of dry driftwood. Planting her butt on beach and in submission, she cradled her head between her knees until a ringing, akin to a collision of face slaps, died down. Dry surfers stared with fleeting concern, but she waved them off with an: I’m fine. Curves, waves, and currents much stronger at drawing their attention.

She saw Emma out there. A flotilla of suited surfer-seals on boards bobbing up and down in lumpy corduroy, turbulent water, none even looking for her. Back in the parking lot her blood burned as circulation returned to fingertips. Looking at Henry brought on a foggy feeling, like when you come into a familiar room, yet can’t remember a reason for comfort.

“Sorry man, lost you in the line-up.” Emma’s greeting.

“It’s fine. Be other waves to catch.”

“You must be starving.”

The night air felt warm and windless. Skies above rock salt spilled on black marble. Emma woke Christy with a howl, holding a lantern in her face.

“What time is it?”

“Doesn’t matter, up, up, up.”

Christy rolled out of her sleeping bag and groped backwards, in the manner of worm out of a tunnel, to exit Henry.

“What are you on about?”

She yawned as she picked crystallised sleep from her tear ducts.

“Let’s surf.”

Page 5

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