Well I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!
It's the final week of year two for the weekly Flash! Friday Fiction contest, but only my second week back writing, so please be kind! Nevertheless, here's my entry, with the required element of "coming of age," 150 words (+/- 10) on this photo:
Dozens of faces watch me take my place on the satin aisle spread along the sand. Waves lap quietly at its other edge. Heaping plates of food wait back at my house.
The Council Head nods. I pop open my crimson umbrella and step forward.
When was the last time one drowned? a voice whispers.
Every Seean’me girl strides into the sea on her eighteenth birthday. An hour later, most reemerge — “purified.” Every girl wears crimson, probably so we’re easier to see. Every girl chooses her own accessory.
Neck-deep, I lower my umbrella over my head and push off, losing the bottom. The chant begins, marking my minutes in the water.
I have no time to scream when something grabs my leg, pulling me under. But moments later my mouth gasps in air, and my eyes open to a shimmering hall, ancient crimson decorating its walls. Submerged beauty engulfs me.
Smiles greet my surprise. A hand gestures toward my umbrella.