Swimming from the pier at midnight

Later that evening the children jumped into the sea from the end of the pier. It was still raining and the wind had picked up by then whipping across the bay. The boats jostled where they were tied and there was a perpetual noise as they bumped against each other.

The tide was not quite in and there was a drop of about four feet down into the water. They wore wetsuits and egged each other on to be the first in. Two of them jumped in together screaming as they went.

I looked up towards the pub. The lights were on but the curtains closed. I could see movement by the door. Someone having a cigarette.

The children flung their arms wide as they went in. They went under in splash of brown foam head then coming up and breaking the surface shrieks from the cold. The youngest held back and shouted ‘Are there jellyfish can you see any jellyfish?’ Her sister took her by the hand and they jumped in together. ‘Its like jumping through glass’ one of them said.

One of the boys came up the ladder with a piece of blue rope over his shoulder. ‘I’ve found this’ he shouted and started to pull at it out of the water. ‘Put it back’ I told him ‘It’ll be doing something.’

Having jumped in and out three or four times they started to get tired and cold. They ran back down the pier in their bare to towels and a hot shower.

I stayed there for a while in the rain. Although it was nearly midnight there was still music coming from The Tin Pub and it swirled and was almost lost in the wind. The water was choppy now and uneven in the half light from the pier.

I turned to go back wet to the skin.

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