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Old 09-11-2012, 02:07 AM
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Ms_Tex (Offline)
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"Secrets in a Bottle"


[642 words]


“Whenever you have a secret, whisper it into a bottle, put a cork in it, and then fling it out into the sea as far as you can. Your secret will be safe,” Grandmother told her.

“What happens if someone finds the bottle and opens it? Will they hear my secret?” Her eight year-old mind envisioned her secrets erupting from the bottle the moment it is uncorked.

Her grandmother’s laughter floated down the shore as the wind mussed her silver curls. “Nay. Your secret becomes one of the whispers in the wind that you hear but can’t make out.”

***

She thought, "Today is like that blustery November day twenty years ago." As usual, the strand was deserted. The tumultuous sea and tempestuous sky united into a seamless grey curtain before her. The damp wind stung her light brown eyes and tousled her reddish blonde curls around her shoulders. Her skirt swirled around her legs and pebbles crunched under her Wellies as she strolled along the seashore, pulling her blue wool pea coat tightly against herself. She closed her eyes and strained to hear the secrets of others in the wind that whistled past her ears. Her eyes flew open as her name drifted to her ears.

“Emaline!”

She didn’t recognize the voice that was muffled in the wind, and thought it was just another one of the voices that whispered around her. She turned to see a man halfway down the strand between her and her cottage. The gauzy greyness of the day camouflaged the details of his appearance as he made his way towards her.

“Emaline Murray?” he asked as he stood before her. She nodded. Even standing so close, it was difficult for her to hear him with the blowing wind. She motioned towards the cottage, indicating they should talk there. Stone steps led up a gentle slope to a small whitewashed cottage perched upon a grassy hill. The bright red door creaked as she led him inside the cottage.

“What can we do for you today, sir?” She found the man standing before her handsome, in a rugged Daniel Craig kind of way.

“My name is Kyle Dempsey. I got your message,” he said as he handed her a scrap of paper with her name and address, and she recognized the writing as hers. When she was ten years old, she had started putting notes in her “secrets bottles”, asking whoever found to bottle to let her know when and where they found it. The year written in the note indicated that she has been eighteen years old when it was written.

“I thank you, sir, for bringing this to me. Tell me, when and where did you find it?”

“About a year ago. I was on holiday at Five Fingers Strand.” She appreciated how the blue-grey tweed flat cap covering his dark blonde hair matched his steely blue eyes.

“That’s halfway around the isle!”

“Ay, it is. Tell me. Is your mam around by chance?” She thought the light stubble attempting to hide his dimples was rather sexy.

“No, she isn’t. She died twelve years ago.” She cocked her head to one side to look at him. She remembered the day her mother was found lying broken at the foot of the nearby cliffs. The coroner had ruled her mother’s death a suicide, but some suspected foul play.

“How about your dad?”

“No, he died, too – about ten years ago.” Her father’s death had been ruled an accident – death by asphyxia … on a piece of stew meat. “Why do you ask?”

“Allow me to properly introduce myself. Detective Inspector Kyle Dempsey. We’ve reopened the investigations into your parents’ deaths. Like I said, I got your message … in the bottle, when I opened it. I heard you say that you killed your mother and your father.”
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