The Sea by KL Hughes is a paranormal short story (4000 words) about a literature professor who has lived too long and become jaded by life. Professor Louise Richards’ apathy lasts until an intriguing new student takes her class. Nicole Stark is different, vibrant, and alive. Something about her calls to Louise and she is hard pressed to keep her natural reaction at bay.
The story is short, you don’t get much of a snapshot of who the characters are. I think the mystery is there on purpose. You can certainly extrapolate though based on the story itself. Louise is lonely, living a solitary existence. Her problem appears to be the longevity of her life, since all lovers she could possible take would die as a drop in her bucket. And in contrast, Nicole appears as alluring and as full of sparkling life as Louise is full of sadness. Despite the lack of detail I was intrigued by each.
The Writing Style
The Sea is told in first person from Lou’s viewpoint so that adds to the mystery surrounding Nicole. As you go through the short you accumulate little details about Lou’s person and her life. Because it was first person the novel was written in a very introspective manner, which helped add to the sense of maturity you felt with Louise.
The short was a little deeper and introspective than many I’ve read. And despite knowing something was coming, I was still pleasantly surprised by exactly who the characters were at the end. I was also left wondering exactly who they would be to each other at the end. You could take it as potentially positive, or maybe even slightly dangerous.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous!
The Sea was exceedingly short. I felt as though it could be something you’d find in an anthology but other than that it was written quite well.
I enjoyed The Sea by KL Hughes. Though it was a short read there was a lot of depth and detail packed within the pages. I’m hoping that this short story is a precursor to a book about the characters down the road. I would love to see what becomes of Louise and Nicole. While there was no sex or romance in The Sea, I have a feeling any future interaction they have has a potential to be equally as intriguing as it is hot.
Excerpt from The Sea by KL Hughes
“Dr. Richards!” Her hand moved as a wave would, rippling through the air as if part of its very current, ebbing out and drawing me toward her. I went. I found I could do nothing but, and in seconds, I stood beside her on the bank. She looked at me, her eyes a placid sea in the moonlight. “Out for another late-night walk, I see.”
I drew my arms around myself as if to stave off a temperature I couldn’t feel. “Aren’t you cold?”
She laughed and lowered herself to the ground, near the water’s edge. “It’s August,” she said, and I cursed myself. “The nights are still warm.” The lake’s surface rippled around her foot as she dipped her toes in. “So is the water.” She looked up at me, eyes so bright in the moonlight they seemed unreal. Haunting. “Would you like to join me?”
Yes, I thought. An impulse. An instinct. My body answered her so readily, as if it was she and not I who commanded it. I bit into my bottom lip, feeling the familiar sharp points growing in as if to serve a painful reminder to back away, flee, while I was still able. Still able to resist.
“No,” I said, clearing my dry throat. “No, thank you. I shouldn’t.”
“Why shouldn’t you?” Her smile teased and taunted me. “Why shouldn’t you do what you want?”
“I…”My voice faltered, a harsh separation from her enticing melody. “I don’t want to. I’m sorry.” I backed away, each step like trudging through muddy water, through drying cement. “Have a nice night, Miss Stark.” With that, I turned and fled as I should have done at first sight of her. I heard nothing in response, no plea to return, no parting words. At a safe distance, I looked back only to find she was gone. The moonlit water rippled in slow, silent circles, and her dress lay empty on the bank.
Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
KL Hughes Online
Note: I received a free review copy of The Sea by KL Hughes. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site