Something else in their language by Alex Lockwood

She’d never heard of the Isle of Hand before the six-seater plane clawed a landing out of its tiny airstrip. Winds were stopping them getting closer to their destination. ‘It’s one of the smaller islands,’ the pilot explained, ‘but it’s got somewhere to set down.’

‘Worse coming,’ Walter, sitting next to her, said. They had not met before, a tall and bearded Norwegian not part of the expedition, but he’d heard of the problems. ‘We’re not like you,’ he said when she told him what they were doing. ‘When things happen to our sea, we know about it.’

She could see the Isle was not hand shaped, with five fingers splayed out into the Arctic and ridged with laylines. It was curdled, petrified rock.

Her colleagues were standing a way off, debating whether or not to unload the kit.

She asked the pilot about it.

‘It means something else in their language,’ he said, standing with a shoulder on the wing. ‘Don’t lend anyone a hand here.’

‘It’s warm,’ she said, although she still pulled up her coat collars. ‘I thought it would be colder.’

‘It’s a strange place,’ said the pilot. ‘Look.’

Along the edges of the landing strip stood, incongruously, palm trees. But then the Gulf Stream touched this place, she knew. She looked again. The palm trees shook in the wind, as if they were lurching towards her, their long leaves gifted upwards, splayed and reaching.

She looked around. But no-one was talking about it.


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Filed under Alex Lockwood

9 responses to “Something else in their language by Alex Lockwood

  1. Strange tale, like something from the Bermuda Triangle. :)

    • alexlockwoodresearch

      Thanks, definitely my least favourite of the pieces I’ve written for 52250. Serves me right for trying something different… ;-) but a good exercise. Thanks for reading tho’

  2. I like the strangeness and mystery in this story. The “palm” trees beckoning, the warmth, the reflective character. Thanks.

  3. I like this, and I think the voice and the set-up are the keys to the story. Well done, I’d say!

  4. Stella, Susan, thank you, much appreciated.

  5. Randal Houle

    nice description of this “Isle of Hand” I wonder when the plane will ever get “out of hand.”

  6. Love the ambiguity of the last line. Peace…

  7. Pingback: Week #29 – The palm of your hand | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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