… As I felt myself toppling backwards, into the portal and being sucked into darkness. Darkness. That’s all I could see. Then colours flooded into my eyes as the ground came rushing towards me and as the darkness swallowed me once more.
When I woke, I could hear the sea. I could also taste it – the faint hint of salt tingling on my tongue – and smell it. The sea, calming, yet powerful. The sound hurt my head. I groaned and opened my eyes.
The world exploded with colour. I seemed to have landed underneath two palm trees. Golden white sand stretched out to the tide line, where the crystal clear ocean reflected the blue of the sky. Out in the distance I could see a rock, shining in the sunlight due to sea spray. Palm trees were everywhere, most with ferns growing at the bases of the trunks. Some had coconuts growing in the topmost branches, only just visible under the large palm tree leaves. It looked like some sort of ocean paradise that you would see on postcards, or read in books. Behind me, the sand turned into lush green grass. A few branches, which looked like they belonged to some sort of berry tree, but the berries were much bigger than I have ever seen.
To my left was a two story building completely made of shells, sticks and sand – the walls made of wet sand decorated with shells, the roof made of twigs and also decorated with large, flat shells. The same types of shells were placed in large clusters, pressed into the sand, rather like stepping stones lead up to the house.
To my right were large leafed bushes covered in butterflies and the most enormous clovers I have ever seen! A few stray shells which had washed ashore lay here and there, glinting in the sunlight. Mingling with the smell of salt was the smell of palm trees, and fresh grass. Never had I breathed air so fresh! Not polluted or contaminated with the smell of rotting fish, but clean, as if smoke was nonexistent. Everything was so bright, so vivid. Now that I was listening more carefully, I could hear the sound of bird calls in the distance – not the loud screechy type of sea gulls, but the sweet chirping type, adding to the sound of the sea. It was so beautiful, the kind of landscape you can stare at for hours on end without getting bored of it. I imagined walking up and down the shore line for hours on end, perhaps picking up stray shells every now and then, feet cooled by the water and feeling the touch of the soft sand.
My thoughts were interrupted by a groan not far from where I was lying…