A story by SOFIE KITTS.
Four girls sat on the berry heath in a circle, plaiting their long hair with daisies and singing songs their fathers taught them. These were the songs the sailors hummed and roared as they roamed the coast. The girls didn’t think about the blood that washed in, sloshing about the inlets of Miðvágur’s beaches. In August after the hunt was done and the children had flitted about the rocks, searching for pretty shells, the thick gore that stuck to the bottoms of their sandals took bleach to scrub out.
‘This is for the best,’ the tallest of the girls spoke softly, turning the knife over in her dainty hands. Its hilt was bone, gilded into a tangle of vines and wildflowers.
‘This is for the best,’ the rest echoed.
Thick lines were cut across the wrists, horizontally like they’d read about, and no noise was made. The knife was passed on. The cuts were made again. And again.
They all lay back, their heads knocking against each other and hair intertwining into one blonde, lion’s mane. They watched the clouds floating above.
‘They are whales,’ one said.
‘Pilot whales are black.’
‘They turn white when their spirits rise to the sky,’ one said, her eyelids drooping, half closed. She said the lie easily, and they all nodded, wanting to believe.
‘We will join them,’ the tallest, bravest girl whispered, ‘we will protect earth. It is easier when you’re in the sky, you can see everything. You’re so high up. This is for the best.’
‘This is for the best.’
Blood, red as the berries that grew in the brambles around them, gushed into the short grass. They heard the shouts of their fathers, who still stank of fish.
They rose. They saw everything.