Under the Surface
by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Our gray cliff-top summer house huddled steep-roofed and curtain-eyed in the
crisp, sunny air. Dad pulled the minivan up to the door with a spray of gravel. We
all spilled out of the car into a day alive with the rush of waves on the beach below.
My younger sisters, Leila and Kala, ran to the silver-weathered railing beyond the
grass and looked down.
I stood with my hand on the car door, snared already by the presence of the ocean.
I didn't need to see it. It called and welcomed me, a rolling whisper in my ears, a
rise and prickle of the small hairs on my forearms, a pleasant tug inside my chest.
The ocean. I could use the ocean right now. In Guthrie I wouldn't need to think
about Gavin Reichs all summer.
"Edona." My older brother Harrison thumped my shoulder. "Quit zoning and help
us carry stuff in."
I blinked and went to grab luggage out of the car.
At first I thought the house wasn't happy to see us. I'd been counting on that rush
of house welcome when we came through the door, the sense that the house was
coming out of hibernation, stretching and scratching its back and greeting the
season with joy.
There was too much sleep in the air, and something else, something that scared me
even though I didn't know what it was.