Read A Sea Change Online

Authors: Annette Reynolds

A Sea Change

BOOK: A Sea Change
7.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

A Sea Change

Annette A. Reynolds


Text Copyright © 2013 by Annette A. Reynolds

Kindle Edition

All Rights Reserved

Cover Photograph “High Tide” Copyright ©  2012 by Kiara Rose Photography

All Rights Reserved

Published by Annette A. Reynolds

Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book is dedicated to all the people I’ve loved and lost.

And to Michael: someone I found and love.


Although Salmon Beach is very real, the characters that people this book aren’t. This is, after all, a work of fiction.

Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner.





First Journal Entry

April 6, 2000







Chapter One

Chapter Two



Journal Entry

April 7

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Journal Entry

April 8


Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Journal Entry

April 10

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight



Journal Entry

April 13th

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten






Journal Entry

June 22

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve



Journal Entry

June 29

Chapter Thirteen


Chapter Fourteen

Journal Entry

July 1


Chapter Fifteen


Chapter Sixteen

Journal Entry

July 5

2:40 a.m.

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen



Journal Entry

July 8

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One



Journal Entry

July 11

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three



Journal Entry

July 21

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five




Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Journal Entry

July 25

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One



Journal Entry

July 27 – 8:30 p.m.


Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four


Chapter Thirty-Five



Journal Entry

July 30


Chapter Thirty-Six


Chapter Thirty-Seven


Chapter Thirty-Eight


Chapter Thirty-Nine



Journal Entry

August 8


Chapter Forty


Chapter Forty-One






Journal Entry

September 23


Chapter Forty-Two


Chapter Forty-Three



Journal Entry

October 4


Chapter Forty-Four


Chapter Forty-Five



Journal Entry

October 18


Chapter Forty-Six


Chapter Forty-Seven



Journal Entry

October 26





Chapter Forty-Eight



Journal Entry

November 26

Chapter Forty-Nine


Chapter Fifty


Chapter Fifty-One


Chapter Fifty-Two



Journal Entry

December 5


Chapter Fifty-Three





Final Journal Entry

April 6, 2001







A Sea Change


Annette A. Reynolds


“Though his bones are of coral made

Those are pearls that were his eyes

Nothing of him that doth fade

but doth suffer a sea change into something rich and strange.”

Act 1, Scene 2 “The Tempest” – William Shakespeare


First Journal Ent

April 6, 2000

I had the strangest dream last night. I’m standing on Jaed’s deck. It’s early morning. Foggy. The bridges aren’t visible. Neither is the water. I look up the beach and the houses seem to float in mid-air. The pilings have disappeared. I’m holding something in my hand. Don’t know what it is, but it seems familiar. Like something I’d had most of my life but had lost. All I know is that I’m glad to have it back. I say, “It’s empty.” Have no idea what that means. Then I say, “I’m cold,” which makes a little more sense because I’m naked.

And here’s where it gets
weird. A female voice says my name. It comes from just below where I’m standing. “Madeleine,” it says, “can you come closer?” So I kneel down, and I can actually feel the rough wood of the deck on my shins. I look but still can’t see anything, but then I do. I see a huge rock that’s never been there before. And the fog seems to clear around that rock, and sitting on the rock is a mermaid. Well, you know how dreams are. This seems perfectly normal.

Like most mermaids (and I’ve seen
so many
in my 39 years…) she’s very beautiful. She smiles at me, and when she does the fog begins to slowly roll away. When she speaks again, it disappears completely but the water is a deep shade of gray and I feel disappointed. “Madeleine,” she says, “Do you like what you see?” I tell her “no.” She laughs, and suddenly the color of the water is a vivid aquamarine. I’m absolutely delighted, and I’m no longer cold. The last thing she says to me is, “Madeleine, do you know what a sea change is?” I shake my head. “Well,” she says. “It’s coming just in the nick of time.”

And I wake up. And just minutes later, at about five o’clock this morning, I’m searching for the boxes I’ve marked ‘BOOKS.’ And after rummaging through two of them I finally come across my dictionary. I look up “sea change,” which Webster’s defines as:
a transformation: esp. a major one.

So, while the two students I’ve hired to load the rental van earn their ten dollars an hour I’ve decided to start this journal in honor of my mermaid and her Sea Change. It only seems fitting. Because starting today I’m back to being Madeleine Victoria Phillips, alone for the first time in her life.

I’m terrified.



The man who calls himself Phil Madvick doesn’t remember his dreams. His subconscious won’t allow it anymore. When he sleeps – if he sleeps – his mind is a place with no room for fear, or desire, or hope. It is much like his waking heart.

But there was a time, almost twenty years ago, when he did dream. His dreams were vivid, heroic interludes in an otherwise powerless and confusing life. A life filled nearly to the brim with humiliation, and a desperate yearning for belonging.

From the moment of cognizance he instinctively knew he would never fulfill his father’s hopes for what a son should be. Did he understand, in his child’s mind, this wasn’t his burden? That it was the father’s? No, of course not. For that is the sorrow of the unwanted.

This became clearer to him with each passing birthday until, in his sixth year on earth, he overheard the words spoken aloud. “A mistake,” his father had called him. “Something that never should have happened.”

The little boy knew what a mistake was: It was something you got in trouble for. Something you had to say “I’m sorry” for.

And his mother, a woman who up until then had fooled the boy into thinking she could love him, sobbed her agreement with his father.

In reality, the mother’s words were merely an appeasement. But a child doesn’t understand the negotiations of adulthood. A boy of six wouldn’t realize the compromises adults make to cling to security.

And so, from then on, he knew what he’d always felt to be true. He was an error. Something faulty and unfixable. The garbled message had been decoded. He had no worth.

There had been, however, one small space in his heart where love – and a feeling he might have mattered – lived. It was the place reserved for the only person he trusted; the only person he was certain cared. That tiny spot was the reason his soul survived. His sister’s love for him was all he knew of hope and he anchored himself to it. He worshipped her for it. He loved and protected her because of it.

It was a pure and unconditional love, and in his thirty-seven years Maddy was the only person he’d ever said the words to, and meant them. Because love was an impossible emotion if you didn’t trust. And trust was unthinkable to someone like the adult, who grew from the boy, who was sure he’d been a mistake.

And so, the man who calls himself Phil Madvick doesn’t dream. But there was a time – when he was still Danny Phillips – that he did.



“The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again.”

A. Bartlett Giamatti


Chapter One

“…and aroun
d the Puget Sound look for scattered showers with a few sunbreaks…”

Maddy viciously punched the radio’s on/off button and in the ensuing silence said, “Why don’t you look outside, you idiot?”

Instead of an occasional sprinkle, the solid gray sky – and the powers that be – decided a steady drizzle would be just the thing for this Tuesday morning. Which also happened to be the day of Maddy’s move. Scattered showers would not only have been normal for the Pacific Northwest in April, but at this point would have been welcomed.

Her day had begun at 5 a.m. It was now 8:45. The college kids had managed to load the thirty-some boxes, and very few pieces of furniture that had been Maddy’s “
(Before Ted), in a little over an hour.

Ted, using uncommon good judgment, had stayed away. But he’d called earlier to say, “I trust you won’t do anything stupid.” Her reply had been, “And you would certainly know ‘stupid.’” Little did she know that would be the highlight of her day: Sixteen years of her life coming down to biting remarks and thirty damp boxes.

The students unloaded her belongings at a self-storage unit a couple of miles from her new home, which wasn’t hers at all but would have to do for the next year or two. She paid them and, as a tip for working under such miserable conditions, gave them two rolls of quarters she’d found in one of Ted’s drawers. It had been a small way to get back at him for the phone call. Besides, she didn’t have a dime to spare. Then it was back to Gig Harbor, and the house she’d put every ounce of herself into, to finish packing up the things she’d need to survive at Jaed’s place.

Maddy stared out the kitchen window, unable to process the finality of what was happening. The only thing left to do was walk out the front door and drive away – across the Narrows Bridge and into Tacoma. An hour earlier, as she’d crammed suitcases and boxes into every conceivable space in the Volvo, Maddy had tried a more positive approach to her thinking.
You’ll never have to cross that damned bridge during rush hour again. You’ll be able to sit and watch those poor suckers from Jaed’s deck at five o’clock, with a latte in your hand and a smile on your face, because you know they haven’t shifted out of first gear for the past five miles.
It had worked for a few minutes.

But her eyes took in every rose she’d planted – every fruit tree. The Italian plum and cherry were in bloom. The apple was just beginning to bud. She couldn’t bear to look at the blueberry bushes. They were her favorites. Then, without really thinking, she opened the sliding glass door. She crossed the deck and went down the slick steps to the garden shed. While rain dripped into her eyes and down her face, Maddy dug up the one rose she didn’t want to live without.

She’d started it from a cutting and it had lived in a pot for two years. Once planted in the ground it had taken way too much babying, and never really got enough sun, but Maddy was stubborn and it had finally grown three strong canes a few years ago. It had been worth the wait. The blooms were huge, perfectly-formed, and fragrant; its color, incredible. The tops of the petals were a deep, velvety red – their undersides, silver.

There was no way to know how long the house would be on the market. With Ted there, she knew the plants would suffer. And when it sold there was no guarantee the new owners would give a damn about the garden. She couldn’t leave her
in the hands of just anyone, and so Maddy gently transplanted the rose in the biggest pot she could find. She’d had to drag it around to the front of the house and muscle it onto the front passenger-side floor of the old Volvo wagon. And then she finally drove away.

Her clothes and hair were so wet that the car’s ancient ventilation system couldn’t keep up with the steam on the windows. The sleeve of her jacket didn’t do anything but make a smeary mess. So, with the front windows cranked all the way down, and the fan cranked all the way up, Maddy managed to find a spot to peer through. For once she was thankful that the traffic on the bridge was crawling because she was driving blind. The wiper blades were shot, too.

Maddy’s stomach began to growl as she turned onto Arnie’s street. She tried ignoring it, but it just protested more loudly, and when she stopped the car at the bottom of the Stannard’s sloping driveway Maddy painfully hiccupped. “A hungry hic,” her mother used to say. But she didn’t have time to eat if she wanted to make high tide.

BOOK: A Sea Change
7.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Hampton Manor by K. J. Janssen
French Pressed by Cleo Coyle
Confabulario by Juan José Arreola
(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki
The Color of Secrets by Lindsay Ashford
Widowmaker by Paul Doiron
i 9fb2c9db4068b52a by Неизв.
Bound by Her by Fox, Danielle