Synaesthesia Magazine Thunder, Lightning - Page 19

The light is weirding, the wind is up and Zoe is ready to throw her younger siblings into the sea. Then they find the jellyfish. It doesn’t look like a fish – it looks like spilled party food. There’s rings of colour in it, like purple slices of orange. “It’s a fish,” says Hanna, and stamps near it so that its clear flesh jiggles. “Those rings are poison,” she says. “If you get it on your skin you’ll die.” She prods it with her toe and it jiggles again, sadly. It doesn’t look dangerous, but Hanna’s from round here and they aren’t. Even Zoe, older than all of them, listens to her. They walk on along the grey shoreline, resolved as a group to reach where the rock sticking out into the water looks a bit like a poodle. Then they will turn and go back to the house. It will be late enough and they’ll tumble in to a warm room and eat food that isn’t gritty and sandy, and in return they’ll offer up stories of their day at the beach to their parents. Every day the same. Some holiday. Further down the beach there’s another jellyfish, larger this time. Squinting ahead they can see more of them, scattered down the beach like sad, semi-liquid Frisbees. “Seals’ve been by,” says Hanna. She prods this jellyfish, too. “Seals eat jellyfish.” “It doesn’t look very eaten,” says Zoe. “Quite a lot of it left.” “They only eat the tentacles,” says Hanna. “Jellyfish that size would have tentacles six feet long, easy.” The others draw back, as though the beached jellyfish will any minute grow its tentacles back and lash at them. Zoe stands firm, looks out to sea. “Do you think they’re still out there?” Hanna gazes out too. “No,” she says. “Long gone – there’s rain coming in, look.” The others look, but they can’t read that sprawling mess of grey-blue like Hanna can. It’s just a Illustration by Damaris Sulser, Swiss artist. Despite living in Switzerland, it’s mostly the ocean and nature that inspires Sulser.