She felt a shift.
It wasn’t noticeable to the other surfers out the back of the break mainly because, as men tend to do, they were too busy sharing unbelievable tales of their death-defying feats with the obligatory cheers and jeers.
Not her. She would always set herself apart; trying to absorb the peace only salt water can offer away from the noise.
But, the shift in the current did not make her feel peace, it made her feel apprehension. Fear.
She looked to the horizon and decided that the glassy flat of the water was not a good sign. Quietly, so as not be noticed, she started to paddle her board toward the shore.
“Look at her. She’s done for the day.”
“Shelias can’t handle the surf.”
Sighing at the inevitable taunts, she continued to paddle to the shore as a strong current water rushed under her board, trying to pull her out to the ocean. She glanced over her shoulder and on the horizon a wave began to form.
Realising that there was no way she’d get to the shore without riding it, she quickened her paddling and glanced over shoulder.
The wave had grown and was bigger than anything she had seen before.
The bragging of the men had now stopped as an uneasy silence settled across them, all crouched in preparation to ride the monster which began to loom over them all.
Her biceps sang as she pushed the against the current as the water began to rise; a sign that her ride was to begin.
She set her eyes to the shore as she leapt to her feet; faltering momentarily she stuck out her arms to balance herself and touched the oily skin of one of other surfers.
“Get out of the way, little girl!”
I’m toast, she thought.
She faltered again as she decided to drop from standing to the safer position of lying on her board. When she tried to do this, the oily surfer roared across the wave above her head as the wave crashed onto her; the green room becoming a green tomb.
Her lungs screamed as she desperately struggled through to find air, but leg-tie, still attached to her board, had other ideas as it dragged her down. Reaching down, she released the Velcro strap reasoning that she would never surf again so it was pointless saving the board and scrambled to the top.
The air tasted sweet as she burst through the surface and inhaled deeply. She suppressed a sob as she scanned the water around her lest there be some meathead surfers within hearing distance.
There were no surfers, but her board shot up from the deep beside her, stood majestically above her as she marvelled its beauty before landing on her face, breaking her nose.
She wiped the blood painting her face red as she slid onto her board to paddle back to the shore.
Maybe her surf would be better tomorrow.