Siesta by Elaine Peters

The pool shimmered in the silent afternoon heat and there was not so much as a ripple on the clear blue water. Everyone in the villa was taking a siesta. Even the two teenage boys in the group, drained by the heat and the unaccustomed alcohol at lunch time, had crashed out on the patio. 

‘They’re on holiday! Let them have a glass of Sangria!’ Pete had laughed off Debbie’s reluctance and the cousins needed no encouragement. However, she put her foot down and refused their younger sisters any. They had gone off to their room to play on their phones. My two brothers and their wives and children numbered five. Each family had the requisite two offspring, one of each, then Michael and Sally had a precious little afterthought, Daisy, nearly three years old. 

I was the odd one out being on my own. The single sister, invited as the villa had an extra bedroom. I expected to sing for my supper by babysitting occasionally while the couples went out to dinner together. 

The little girl in her bright yellow sundress toddled out onto the patio but the boys didn’t stir. No one noticed her making her way to the pool or leaning over to try and reach a floating flower. No one noticed when, with a small splash, she slipped into the water. 

I woke up and looked out at the baking landscape and decided to take a swim. I glanced over towards the pool and a flash of yellow caught my eye. Something was floating. It gave a little jerk then was still. 

I screamed and then I fainted. When I came round Debbie was with me, red-eyed and silent. ‘I saw her but it was too late.’ I sobbed. ‘I watched as she drowned.’ 

Published in Issue #9

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