Synaesthesia Magazine Thunder, Lightning - Page 20

swirling stew of bad weather, like it’s been all week, since they got here. First day, their parents pulled out board games, second day they pulled out wellies and macs, but weren’t much taken with the foggy sand. By the third day, wanting a holiday of their own, they resorted to packing sandwiches and waterproofs and sending the children out by themselves. You keep an eye on the little ones, Zoe had been told. It’s a private beach, all yours, have fun. As the door closed, she heard Uncle Mac say, “Be good not to have them underfoot.” Zoe stamps, hard, next to the jellyfish and it shivers and keeps shivering. She stamps again, deliberately clumsy, and the flesh of it squelches under her boot and bursts out around the edges of her sole. Angie shrieks and Ben’s eyes grow large. Hanna looks at her, impassive. “It got underfoot,” says Zoe. Hanna shrugs. As if he’s been let off his lead, Ben woops off down the beach and jumps from jellyfish to jellyfish, stamping, double-footed, green wellies growing slimy. Then he chases Angie with his slimy boots. She screams again, an assault on Zoe’s ears, and runs out into the shallows. She stands in the boggy low-tide sand with the salt water swirling around her feet so he can’t get to her without washing the jelly off his boots. “I’ll throw them at you,” says Ben. “Keep them on,” says Zoe, absently, still stood by the big jellyfish. She’s back to looking at the sky, straining to see what Hanna sees. She tries gazing unfocused, like a magic eye picture, but that doesn’t work. Finally she turns to Hanna. “How do you know about the rain?” Hanna points. “You can see it coming. Where that big wave’s come up under that buoy.” There’s a tiny orange dot. “Now look at the water – not what it’s doing. Look at the colour.”