Branksome Dene Chine

Not so safe in Branksome Dene Chine, beware of strangers lurking around the woods, beware of the dashing young aviator with the clear blue eyes, beware of the handsome gentleman, the wolf in sheep’s clothing. And beware of the ghosts that haunt the woods and cliffs as you take a leisurely stroll there with your lover or have your wedding picture taken. For blood has been shed in Branksone Dene Chine.

White sandy beaches, tea shops, hotels, magnificient seaviews, old ladies having scones and cream tea, Tory Party conferences. This is where Tess murdered Sir Alec, the lovable rogue…

Beware of smooth talkers… The Universe does not always reward virtue and innocence. Violence and fickleness can hide under a gentle appearance. Light can conceal darkness…in Branksome Dene Chine or anywhere.

Blood calls out for blood. But the world goes on regardless.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside… Oh we do like to be beside the sea…

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The drowning girl.

She is lying on a pebbly beach, her dress drenched in salty water. Her hair is matted with lichen. She has tried to swim, swim ashore, and has finally been dumped here, deprived of all her strength. Stokes bay. Gosport. She has been tossed and turned by the waves and swallowed a lot of water. The moon is bright red and huge in the starless sky. She is not dead yet but no longer fighting for her life. She is shivering. Her teeth are chattering. The coming tide will finally cover her body and she will close her eyes one last time on this world that didn’t want her. Or that she was unfit for. She is slowly drifting out of consciousness. Her breathing is raspy and erratic. She is hoping for a sign but none comes. She can smell the sand and the seaweed. She tries to grasp a fistful of sand in her hand and lets it go. She closes her eyes and turns her head away. Soon the seagulls will be picking at her eyes and little fish will enter her mouth.

The foghorn is blaring. It is a forlorn and desolate sound. She feels at peace with herself now, all her illusions gone and her desperate hold on life slipping away. She lets out one last sigh and opens up her big blue eyes to a new dawn on the seaside.