Monday, 15 October 2012

October writing challenge - Spa
A Hens Night in Iceland
©Jennie Jones 2012

Lizzie sank into the lava heated spa, her muscles relaxing as the seawater caressed her body. Heaven. The night sky was a cyclorama of spilt ink. The lagoon a blanket of hazy blue. White clouds of steam billowed like freshly plumped pillows, but it was the brilliance of the midnight sun that captured her heart. It hadn’t left the June sky. It hadn’t said, Goodnight northern hemisphere, hello Mr. Moon. It had stayed. A shimmering ball of diamonds hanging in the Icelandic night.
            ‘Come on, Lizzie,’ Cassandra called. ‘It’s even hotter out here.’
             ‘I’m gearing up to it.’
            ‘Scaredy-cat,’ Susan said from even further out in the lagoon.
             ‘I miss Daniel,’ Lizzie murmured before she could stop herself. A whistle-stop trip to Iceland to celebrate her hens night with her two best friends. They’d been exfoliated, massaged and manicured, and now they were soaking up the minerals of the Blue Lagoon. ‘Sorry to be pathetic, but I do.’ Impossibly silly to miss the man she was going to marry in three days when she’d only been gone from his side for seven hours. Since he’d kissed her goodbye at the airport and wished her a wonderful time, telling her, with a lowering of his brow, that if she didn’t return to London on the morning flight, he’d be coming to find her.
            ‘Okay,’ Susan said on a drawn out sigh. ‘It’s time.’
            ‘Time for what?’ Lizzie asked.
            Her friends waded towards her, their grinning faces heat flushed and a bit too excitable for her liking. ‘What are you two up to?’
            They each took an arm and frog-marched her through the water towards the walkway. ‘Out you get.’ Susan pointed to a small cabin at the end of the barrack-like building that banked the lagoon. ‘Through that door is the finale.’
            Lizzie drew her eyebrows together, shivering as she left the warmth of the water. If they’d planned something tacky, like a man wearing hardly anything as he gyrated his hips to some hip-hop song, she’d skin them alive. ‘I explicitly said no funny business.’
            ‘Hey,’ Cassandra said. ‘We sat patiently while you tried on seventeen wedding dresses. Would we do something trashy at this stage?’
            ‘Now I really don’t trust you.’
            ‘We just know something you don’t,’ Susan said as she pushed through the water, an arm around Cassandra’s shoulders. ‘Enjoy. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine without you.’  
            ‘Aren’t you coming too?’
            ‘Not for this. This one is all yours.’
            Lizzie glanced at the cabin as she picked up her towel and wrapped it around her body. A lamp was lit above the door. Diamond speckles of night sun spotted the roof but otherwise she faced a darkened, misty walkway leading to something she wasn’t going to like.
            She straightened her shoulders and headed for the cabin.
            ‘Hello,’ she called as she pushed the door open and stepped inside. ‘Is anyone here?’
            A shadow flickered in the darkness. Her gaze darted to the corner, her heartbeat stuttering like a firecracker let off too soon.
            The shadow spread to encompass the low ceiling as someone stood. ‘Didn’t think I’d let you spend a whole night without me, did you?’       
            Lizzie gasped, her skin prickling. ‘Daniel?’
            He walked out of the shadows with the tower-of-strength ease she’d been dreaming of all day. ‘Who else were you expecting?’
            ‘You followed me.’
            ‘I don’t trust those friends of yours.’ He raised his brow. ‘I hope you haven’t been dancing on another man’s lap any time in the last seven hours.’
            She grabbed him, wound her arms around him. ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about you.’
            He pulled her in tight, kissed the top of her head. ‘I missed you the moment you walked through the departure gate so I got on the next flight.’
            ‘Silly to miss me,’ she told him, looking up at his smiling face. ‘In three days you’ll be stuck with me every night for the rest of your life.’
            He bent to her. ‘Elizabeth, that’s three nights too long.’

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