10 - 13 Years Old
Sonya lived in a quiet neighbourhood in South Florida. She loved the heat and didn't care much for other people's company. Most afternoons she sat out by the pond on her deck chair reading her magazines and watching the golfers enjoying their game.
At the end of one particularly hot day, Sonya finished her chores and took her chair and her magazine down to the pond to relax.
The sky was a lovely deep blue and the pond was like a mirror shimmering in the sunlight. Cranes picked their way around the reeds pecking at invisible prey. The surface of the pond was clear but for three turtles floating lazily in the late afternoon heat. Apart from the continuous chirping of the crickets the only noise was the rumble of a far-off thunder storm.
Sonya closed her eyes, enjoying the peace and quiet and the slight breeze blowing across the water. She thought about her family in New York who would be coming to visit her in a week. She would have to plan some trips as nothing much exciting happened around here. Her eyes started to droop in the heat. Just a short nap then she'd start planning. Her magazine dropped to the ground and her glasses slipped to the end of her nose.
She woke with a start. Ripples and shadows spread across the surface of the pond. The cranes had taken off and were squawking noisily at each other as they flew over the trees. The turtles were nowhere to be seen. What had woken her and spooked them? Perhaps the storm was closer than she thought. But the sky looked clear enough. Perhaps a stray golf ball or a diving turtle?
Sonya checked her watch. She had another hour before her daughter was due to call from New York. She picked up her magazine and started reading. As she gazed sleepily at the words and pictures, her eyes started to close. She put the magazine down and stared out across the pond. Its surface was flat again. Yesterday's storm had blown branches and rubbish into the water. She would call the pond cleaning man and get him to remove the large scaly-looking branch floating near the middle.
Sonya checked her watch again. She would shut her eyes for a quick 5 minutes then call the pond man. She took off her glasses. She could feel the heat of the sun through her eyelids. All was quiet except an occasional splash from the pond. Her chin dropped to her chest.
Sonya's phone rang and rang. Her daughter was sure they had arranged a call this afternoon to discuss the trip to Florida. A stripy deck chair was on its side by the pond. The pages of a magazine fluttered in the breeze. The ripples on the now deserted pond started to flatten out and the setting sun stained the water red.
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