The Beach

E.D. Martin
5 min readOct 25, 2017


Sleet soaks Pría’s dress, but she makes no move to seek shelter. “Ég mun alltaf elska þig,” she whispers to Eyjólfur as his flaming barge drifts into the sea. I will always love you.

The snow melts and tender shoots of grass emerge. Life resumes in the village, trapped all winter by the harsh temperatures. New livestock is born; crops are planted. Pría feels life stirring inside herself as well.

Geirmar, a young warrior in her village, falls into step with her one morning as she walks along the beach. “I’m so sorry for what happened.”

Pría shrugs. Warriors are meant to die; it’s not his fault.

“Perhaps, one day, you’ll find room in your heart for another.”

She stares out at the waves, at the spot on the horizon where she last saw her own warrior, on his funeral barge with her heart tucked alongside.

“Perhaps, one day, it will be me.”

“Perhaps.” The life inside her is still.

Geirmar and his father are both at dinner that night. Geirmar can’t stop smiling at Pría. His happiness and excitement are contagious, and soon everyone else is smiling too. She makes the motions alongside them. If not Geirmar, then another young warrior; she is too old to stay with her parents, too apathetic to pick someone else. Geirmar is strong and will be a good provider.

She sleeps fitfully, her dreams filled with Eyjólfur.

They walk along the beach, hand in hand, smiling. True smiles. He stops, lays his hand on her flat stomach, a question in his eyes. She shakes her head.

He nods, as confident now as he was in life, and his smile widens. She is still shaking her head when he grabs her hand again and pulls her along the beach. She barely keeps pace with him. She trips, stumbles to the ground, clutching her swollen belly. When she looks up, all that remains are the ashes of a funeral pyre.

Pría wakes with her hands on her abdomen. She takes a few deep breaths, then falls back asleep.

Again she is on the beach. She hears her name on the wind, turns, but no one is there. Her name comes again, but this time it’s Eyjólfur. She runs to greet him as he staggers towards her, one hand holding his shoulder, a trail of blood behind him



E.D. Martin

Writer with a knack for finding new jobs in new places, telling the “what if” stories of those around her. She/her. Read more at