She sank into the depths of her memories. Warm, salty air filled her lungs. Emily savored the freedom she felt in those deep breaths. The ocean waves sprayed her with blessings from beyond as her long dark hair danced upon her shoulders. From the tops of these cliffs she could see for miles.
Emily cocked her head and smiled. "Hey babe, remember when we were in Hawaii and we watched the sunset standing out on those large rocks?"
"Oh come on, yes you do. We were standing up above the water, but the waves would still splash us a bit." Emily dropped her arms to her sides and wiggled her fingers.
"I remember watching the sunset from the marina. Oh man, and we saw that one yacht called The Codfather? Remember that? It was waving an Italian flag and everything."
Emily remembered the marina. And the yacht. Friends they stayed with in Honolulu had a boat and the views from the docks were lovely. But she was somewhere else.
"No, that's not what I am picturing in my mind. There were definitely cliffs and dramatic waves and no one else around. It was peaceful, but I recall being a bit afraid. Maybe I'm thinking about something from our trip to California to see Julie?"
Julie loved hiking and exploring. Clearly this would have been the type of adventure her sister-in-law would have taken them on.
"I really don't think so, hon. I would definitely have pictures of that."
Emily knew he was right. In fact, she had twisted her ankle playing tennis their first day at Julie's and spent the remainder of the visit poolside. It was fantastic, but incomparable to the thrilling terrain she could not shake.
"Gah! I feel like I'm going crazy. It's so vivid. How can I not place it? What could I possibly be thinking of?"
"I don't know, Em. Could it be someplace you went as a kid?"
Emily furrowed her brow and grimaced, "Right, like my family would go somewhere you had to schlep up rocks? Puh-lease we went to the Jersey Shore every summer and you know it."
"Well, of course I know it. I'm just trying to help. Hey, maybe you're remembering a dream you had?
And then as certainly as it felt out of reach, it all came rushing back. It hadn't been a dream, but a construction of her imagination nonetheless. The echo of the caves, the insecurity of the coves, the rough feel of the canoes, even the smell of the wild dogs. And while Karana eventually leaves the island in the book, Emily had kept her there in her mind. At last, she knew where she was and she was so happy to have returned to the Island of the Blue Dolphins.
This work is a piece of fiction written in response to a weekly prompt. Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other awesome writers who hang out there. Or, better yet, join us at the best gin joint on the web.