The Cliff’s Serenade

The Cliff's Serenade

Sophia Zhang


Our family had a pet called Sand. She swam around in the waters under the cliffs where our sunny house sat, but for some reason, none of us ever caught her. Well, except for my sister. The day my sister caught her with all the strength she could muster, all the power in her slender arms, my family erupted into tears of disbelief. Yes, for as long as I was born, none of them even 

caught sight of Sand. Yet my sister, with her gem-like eyes and happy demeanor, managed to do the impossible. 

Sitting on the high cliff, watching the sunset with all its glory, hearing the waves crash through the rocks, sending little pebbles down, I could see a glimpse. A flick of Sand’s tail. Majestic it was – a blue, sparkling gem-like tail that whispered to me as the sky did in the ever-lasting quiet. It reminded me of my sister’s eyes that shimmered like the glossiest turquoise under the sun. 

I could remember the day vividly. My sister, with her joyful little baby girl, bounded over to the family, her husband trailing behind her like a ghost flickering in the wind. She didn’t mind, though; they always had that dynamic. They had been together since high school. By a twist of fate, they had been desk partners for three years before finally declaring their relationship in senior year. I didn’t think much of my brother-in-law: he was moody, and his black hair and dull eyes didn’t help his case. Nevertheless, we could all see the sparkle in his eyes whenever he looked at her. 

Until we heard the beginnings of screaming. My sister’s voice, strained and taut, began to unwind like a thread leaving a spool. Slowly and slowly, that thread floated away, carried by a dense red needle, and with a plop, fell into the ocean. And my brother-in-law’s knife was dripping with more needles. Plop, plop, plop. I could still hear it. The sound of blood-like

needles on the floor like the rain that used to pitter-patter gently on our roofs. It was a sight. I think even Sand could hear her cries; she came like a great herald, her blowhole exhaling so much water that it rained all over us. Even him. And my niece watched beside him silently. 

When we finally reacted, my sister flew out and over the cliff, gazing at Sand with such an intensity that it frightened me. The spindle inside me started to unravel, and she carried the ends with her as she hugged Sand with all of her heart and soul and tears. She did it. She did what none of us could do. Sand must’ve known, for she had answered with a mourning bellow, and everything turned dark. 


After that day, we never saw Sand again. I think she went to accompany my sister. It’s a crazy speculation, but I reckon they climbed the stairs together. But with the sunset, it becomes useless to wonder about such things. Brushing off the sand that had crept through my skirt, I returned to my broken, blue house.