As a kid me and my cousins would go to an island every year in Branford called Pot Rock. It was a pretty place surrounded by rocks and filled with beach roses and lush trees. It had two main parts connected by a small lagoon that had a sandbar. We would sometimes go down there to search for seashells but were warned never to stay too long because when the tide rose you would be stranded. We were also not allowed to leave our part of the island because the adults feared we would get struck on the wrong side. But as young children we were curious to what the other side was like. This is the story of the time my cousins and I decided to cross over.
We all sat huddled in our secret room. A small area inside the walls of the house accessible by going into the upstairs closet and opening a small door. Our area was nicely decorated with a spare blanket as a rug and lanterns and flashlights dangling from the walls. We would come here to talk about things we didn’t want the parents to hear about.
“ Soph, you’re old enough to come with us now. I trust you.” My older cousin Kira said.
“But don’t tell Auntie Karen” added Jack, my other cousin. All the cousins had gathered here today to discuss whether we should finally cross to the other side of the island. Hesitant to agree, I fiddled with the hem of my summer dress.
“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to. Just don’t tell anyone where we are” said Brynn. Not wanting to miss out on the fun I decided I should go. I only got to see all of them over the summer and didn’t want to waste my week without them.
“Yeah, sure i’ll come!” I exclaimed.
“Cool. It will be loads of fun!” Kira started. She began to ramble on about how the other side of the island would be so cool but I wasn’t listening. Tonight was supposed to be the super moon. That means the tides would be extra high and extra strong. Why had i agreed to go? Would we end up getting stranded? I started to speak about how it would be unsafe with the high tide but was interrupted by my aunt calling for us downstairs. Pushing it to the back of my mind I thought I could just mention it later. I never got the chance too.
The next day I was awoken by the soft arguing of my cousins below me. We all slept in the same room. It had 2 bunk beds and one twin bed and was painted a beautiful forest green. We spent most of our time either here or outside. Many of my memories from the island were made playing games and joking around with my cousins in this room .
“It’s not safe anymore” whispered Jack. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep hoping to get some insight onto what they were arguing about.
“Jack quit being a party pooper.” Retorted Brynn in a normal volume. She earned many shushes from Kira and Jack.
“Yeah Jack, it will be fine. I’ll make sure we get home before the tide rises too much” Kira added. “Hey go wake Sophie up and tell her to get ready. We should head out soon.” I shut my eyes tighter as I heard Jack walk over to where I was sleeping. He lightly shook me and told me I should start getting ready. I nodded and got out of bed. I headed to the bathroom with a bundle of clothes in my arms and got prepared for the day
It was now noon. We had snuck out the bedroom window and ran down to the connecting beach. The tide was low and we easily crossed to the other side. We spent the day walking on the rocks on the outskirts of the island and creeping through the small forest. I enjoyed my time exploring and mostly forgot about the hight tide. But, as the time passed I noticed the rocks slowly started to disappear and worry replaced my happiness. I tried to focus on having fun and tryed to not look out to the ocean.
Finally i gave in and looked out to the water. When I looked out there were no more rocks, the water had risen so high that it started to creep onto the grass.
“Guys” I hollered. “We need to head home! The water has risen too high.” I saw them stop walking and look back to the lagoon.
“God Kira, look at the beach!” Jack said pointing out to the area of water that was once the connecting beach.
“How are we going to get home!” I wailed. I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to come when the super moon was last night.
“Let’s go back and see if there’s any way to get home,” announced Kira. I tried not to notice the undertone of fear in her voice. We all started running back to the path that led to the beach. As we arrived I noticed that I couldn’t see the bottom and the waves started to pick up.
“Uh Kira…” whispered Brynn. We all looked to where she was pointing. In the dark water I could make out a small gray fin poking out. A shark.