The first story is about the hands. The second is about the image of the girl. Click for the images. ***The LetterHe had told her everything that needed saying, three neatly scrawled words on a bit of yellowing parchment, leaving his hands covered in black ink.By the SeaThe young girl was always there. Standing beneath the streetlight at the dead of the cold autumn’s night, drowning in a pool of orange light that glistened against her drenched auburn hair and clothing, her skeletal figure stood hunched forwards limply. She never moved and he never saw her face. His hazel eyes watched her as he quietly crept along the small cobble-stoned path that led through his lonely mother’s rosemary garden, carrying a wrapped package of carrots that he had picked up earlier from the local grocer’s for supper. The small home’s red door creaked open as soon as he arrived; the small, frail woman had been waiting expectantly by the window for him. A wrinkled hand settled itself on his back. “You gaunt-looking man, Cathal,” she said, “You must be hungry by now.” He slipped off his black, dry mud-covered wellingtons and grey battered fisherman’s cap and entered the warmth of the home. By the fire crackling in the hearth, family albums lay open on a coffee table, filled with pictures of their travelling the Irish country many years ago. After taking the package of carrots from him, his mother stiffly made her way in the direction of the kitchen and as she did so, she paused briefly to close the thick albums, which snapped shut with muffled thuds, and turned on the radio. It was a surprise to hear the old gloomy Gaelic song that had once been popular when he was a young boy in the sixties when his family visited the village of Dúlainn and the karst landscape of the Aran Islands as a child. He sat there quietly reminiscing the days he journeyed as a boy across the country in a white Volkswagen Beetle with his family. The lush green scenery of rolling hills, winding roads and stonewalls, and the dark clouds rolling overhead, scattering shadows across the land, would rush past his car window. He remembered how he sat crammed in the back with his brother Carbrey, older sister Aislinn, and a bunch of luggage and how he would look forward to the next time they would play by the seaside. “How have you been, son?” his mother’s voice called from within the kitchen. She was chopping the carrots. “Fine enough,” Cathal answered. The life of a fisherman never gave him any trouble; he had no family to care for. The dimly lit house smelled of lamb stew and of his mother’s collection of peculiar floral-scented candles. He settled himself in a tattered pink chair by the window, pulling back the clear white drapes to peer at the girl past the reflection of his greying black hair and long, thin and sallow face. It had started raining. He remembered the wet early morning when he first saw her. Even while wrapped in his knitted navy-blue jumper, it was chillier and darker than usual; not one small glowing light was lit, not for a couple of miles. He stood above the ink-black sea at the edge of a crag, the smell of salt filling his nostrils. Faceless and staring at the churning white water, she stood below him at the small stony beach, looking out to where she had drowned.