The wind is steady as she blows,
Pushing the sand to race,
Wave after wave,
Across the coast;
Nothing is stationary in this place.
The Whiz Kid and X,
Stand on the spot where they met,
In an attempt to retrace forgotten steps.
They take a tour of the village,
On the way to the station,
Although ‘tour’ may be an exaggeration,
For the walk that takes in twenty houses,
The local store,
And the café that closes at four,
Except in the summer when it’s a place for tourists to stop,
At which point it also turns in to a souvenir shop.
Every building has been constructed,
Of the same heavy stone,
That’s the colour of the storms that beat it,
And reflects the ozone,
Smell of the sea that splatters it.
They pass by houses,
Staying close to the walls,
And breathe in that ancient coastal odour,
Conjuring images of shipwrecks and squalls,
Of fisherman ploughing furrows through mighty waves,
And pirates hiding bounty in craggy caves.
They walk slowly.
X walks reluctantly.
There are no memories being stirred,
Nothing is inferred,
In anything he sees.
The Whiz Kid steers them left,
Round the final house on the road,
To the location,
Of the two crumbling platforms,
That constitute the station,
And though there’s still not a flicker,
To any experience from the past,
X looks up,
And knows that this isn’t the path,
He wants to follow.
With barely a pause,
His way back down the street,
His legs biting in to the tarmac,
Carrying his feet,
Whether they were coming or not.
He couldn’t tell you why,
But it’s taking everything he’s got,
Not to break in to a run,
His heart thumping in his throat,
And his skin a sweaty shell,
A pale, clammy coat.
But he’s not going back.
Not a chance,
Not a chance in hell.