Standing on the beach Ellen watched the sun drag itself up to perch on the
horizon and allowed herself one shiver.
Underneath her feet the gravel twitched as she walked down to where the water
creaked the beach. Letting the sea flirt with her she walked into the breaks,
each third wave leaving the taste of a thousand miles on her skin.
She dipped her head, then pushed under the surface, letting the tide turn and spin her and press her away from land. Once far enough that the distant cliffs became a sketch she reached into her costume for the small pouch of dried plant material.
Skulling on the waves she crushed bladderwrack, sphagnum moss and burnt heather together, rubbing the powder into her neck. Vertical slits opened up in her skin, pulsing with the ebb and flow of her breath.
With a kick she flipped over and pressed down through the mountain of water, the song of the blind and gilled women getting stronger, lungs shrinking to nothing like the far forgotten coast and the feel of concrete under her feet.