words Kerry Lacey
Sienna listened to the soothing sound of waves lapping the shore and felt the warmth of the afternoon sun seep into her skin. She looked over at her daughter Kara: a small blonde girl with a big attitude. Kara was sitting a few metres away, busily building sandcastles and looking content in her flamenco floaty. She had pestered Sienna all day to buy that floaty. Sienna sighed, grateful for a moment’s peace and the smell of the ocean. She reached into her bag for her book.
As she rummaged around, her hands landed on something unfamiliar. She pulled it out; it was some kind of notebook… but, it didn’t look like any ordinary notebook. On the cover, there was an image of a mythical creature—half-giant and half-elf, perhaps? It was male, judging by its naked torso, which was decorated in tribal looking tattoos. He was the colour of fire. Behind him was a shadowy forest and in front of him was a small wide-eyed child. Printed across the image in white letters it read: Lost in time: Chatotkacha and the Game of Illusions.
Where did this come from? She was certain she had never seen it before.
‘Kara, honey, is this yours?’
Kara looked up from her sandcastle, stared at the cover, then shook her head emphatically and returned to business.
‘Yup,’ she said, followed by further, equally emphatic nodding.
Feeling slightly unnerved, Sienna decided to look inside—maybe she would find the owner’s name or contact details.
She opened the book and gasped as a name caught her eye: her own.
‘That’s a strange coincidence,’ she uttered with a nervous laugh, before reading on. It was a diary entry:
8:00am – Sienna leaves home, wearing her favourite grey suit.
9:05am – Sienna arrives at work, late and looking flustered.
12:00pm – Sienna goes for lunch with annoying chatty woman from the fourth floor.
3:30pm – Sienna leaves work—it’s her day to pick up Kara.
4:00pm – Sienna and Kara arrive home.
6:00pm – Dinner time.
8:00pm – Lights out.
Sienna’s chest tightened and a wave of sick rose up in her belly.
Someone’s been watching me.
Engrossed, she flicked through the pages, reading as quickly as she could.
10:00am – Sienna goes to the dentist.
2:00pm – Sienna fights with ex-husband for forgetting to call Kara on her birthday.
On and on it went. Someone had been watching her every move for almost a year. Her body stiffened, as she flicked through the pages to get to today’s date.
Sure enough, there it was:
1:00pm – Sienna takes Kara to the beach.
But, how could this happen?
She scanned her eyes down to the bottom of the page, gripping the notebook tightly in her hands.
2:30pm – Kara goes missing….
Sienna threw the book and stood up in a flash.
Kara! dear God. Where is she?
She was gone.
‘No, No, No, No, No! This can’t be happening!’ Sienna exclaimed, as she ran over to the spot where her daughter had been only moments ago. Her heart beating fast in her chest. Stunned, she looked around for something, anything, that would tell her where Kara had gone. But there was nothing; only her solitary sandcastle, which was now crumbled and stepped on, in her place.