It's day EIGHT of Stacy Bennett-Hoyt's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop. The theme is GIFTS and each day has a prompt. Today's prompt is SEA.
"Is it true Grandma was a selkie?"
"Aye." Grandpa sat back on his heels in the rose garden, a wool cap shading his blue eyes from the sun. "It's true."
"Do you miss her?"
He stood, wincing as his knees creaked. "Every day."
I watched him hobble to the edge of the cliff, throwing a handful of petals into the ocean. "Are the roses for her?"
I gazed out at the wide rolling sea. "Is she out there?"
"She's out there."
I squinted, scanning the surface for seals. "Can you see her now?"
"No." Grandpa shook his head. "I have not seen her since she left. But I can feel her, as sure as a storm in my bones."
I picked a rose from the basket, peach with red-tipped petals. "Do you think you'll ever see her again?"
Grandpa smiled. "She carries my soul in her heart. And I hers. We will find each other after this life, or in the next."
I twirled the thorny stem in my fingers. "That's a long time to wait."
"A lifetime is only a heartbeat to wait for true love." He motioned for me to join him by the cliff edge. The wind kicked up, a salty ocean spray lifting my blond hair as I walked to his side. He laid a handful of rose petals in my palm. "Watch."
A breeze snatched the petals and they floated, dancing weightless in the air until they spiraled slowly one by one out to sea.
"Now, close your eyes."
I closed my eyes, barely breathing as the faintest notes of a siren's song drifted over the waves.
"She was my gift," Grandpa whispered, clutching my hand. "My gift from the sea."
Thank you Stacy (AKA @Rowanwolf66) for luring me into writing a piece of flash fiction on the first morning of 2013! The 12 Days badge was designed by artist and writer, Angie Richmond. You can read my recent interview with her here. Rose Petals into the Sea is 288 words. I'd love to hear what you think!
Image credit for the photograph: http://night-c-h-i-l-d.tumblr.com/post/24863437429.