Even if she had heard the shout, it wouldn’t have helped. It all happened far to fast. Her eyes were closed, her arms were out, and she was away from the world in her mind, soaring like Jemima Puddle-duck, but soaring over a wide, wide sea, not fields and woods.
Everyone said later that it was a tragic accident. She was too close to the edge. There should have been signs warning of the dangers of that outcrop. Luckily no one ever normally went onto it, but it was a shame that she had. A great loss, said the newspapers, said the school headmistress, said her parents.
Nothing anybody could have done. The cliff was unstable. It crumbled under her weight, bringing Jemima Williams and half the outcrop down with her into the deep blue fathoms of the sea.
She skimmed along over the tree-tops until she saw an open place in the middle of the wood, where the trees and brushwood had been cleared. Jemima alighted rather heavily, and began to waddle about in search of a convenient dry nesting place. She rather fancied a tree stump amongst some tall fox gloves. But- seated upon the stump, she was startled to find an elegantly dressed gentleman reading a newspaper.
The first thing Jemima became aware of was the pressing cold that seeped into her clothes, her skin, and right into her bones. It was an uncomfortable, dark sort of cold, which made her shiver.
Opening her eyes, she blinked a few times to get accustomed to the gloom. The light had changed, as if its source was dulled, or far away. An eerie green made her skin glow pale white, and her blonde hair billowed around her shoulders in ghostly clouds.
It was as if everything was in slow motion. Jemima’s limbs felt heavy and dead, and she felt completely sapped of energy as if she had just run a marathon. Her head swam.
When she opened her mouth to call out, something wet and salty and dark rushed in. Panicked, Jemima screamed. Only bubbles left her mouth. As her mind tried to piece it together, she became aware of a tight pressing around her ribs, as if they were being compressed.
As the pressure on her ribs increased, something clicked in her hazy mind. She began thrashing wildly, screaming and screaming silently. The sea didn’t release its lethal grip on her. It sucked her further and further down, as her lungs burnt and thoughts turned hysterical.
Turning her face upwards, Jemima squinted up at the pale, hazy yellow light far above her. Automatically, she stopped struggling. She shut down. She gave up. There was no point in fighting it, she thought dreamily, as water flooded her, and she was taken completely by the green tinged darkness of the sea.
He had black prick ears ad sandy coloured whiskers. “Quack?” said Jemima Puddle-duck, with her head and her bonnet on one side- “Quack?”