Sally paused and ran her fingers down her apron, turning the fabric white and dusty with flour. She looked out of the window at the grey sky. White smudges wheeled against a canvas of clouds. Dramatic and bright, they swooped and turned.
She didn't want to look out towards the sea. She didn't want to not see a red hull tumbling over the waves. She didn't want to think about storms battling fragile wood. She didn't want to imagine hands of water winkling the prize from a pretty shell.
The gulls wheeled above the house, sometimes in view, sometimes not, but always calling. Loud and coarse they were but they spoke of freedom and loneliness. Calling forever, away from here, calling her home.
Home? Here was home. The place she hoped to raise a family in years to come. Beside her man, united in the love of her children to be. How could her home be away from here? If she left, how would he find her?
Absentmindedly she had shaped the bread into near oblongs but with a broadening towards one end. She felt a growing sense of disquiet and the need to run from the stifling heat of the house. Up onto the cliffs she went. Drawn into the air by the freesom of the gulls flying around her.
They said that sea gulls were the soul of fishermen lost at sea. They were drawn to land to see their families but the call of the sea drew them out with the boats at the turn of the tide to hunt for fish. Because a fisherman can never be truly happy on land, no matter how much love they have.
The sea gulls wheeled and danced, quiet now. They almost seemed to create a vortex around her and she could feel the world slip. As quickly as the feeling began it left as one caught her eye. Snared by the intelligence in it's gaze and some connection, she gasped and turned away.
Something in the waves caught her gaze. A flash of red. Too small. Too close. The gull showed her the way home as she stepped forward to find her wings.