Like all of her friends, she left the island as soon as she was old enough.
Unlike the others she came back, bringing a husband and a daughter with her.
The distant city that in her youth she had worshiped had lost its shine; the thrill of the energy transformed into fear and frustration. In turn the carefree peace of her childhood quickly became mythologised and when Beth was born she longed to have the same for her.
Idle throwaway remarks quickly became forceful arguments with her husband but eventually she won him over with stories of summer skies sparkling with fireflies and bathing in diamond pure lakes.
At first it was largely as she remembered. They even managed to catch a large brown crab with a hunk of bacon in their first few days, and the three of them sat around a small fire on the beach, prising the buttery flesh out of the limbs with their tongues.
Summer rolled in, dry but not oppressive like in the city. Fresh fruit and vegetables were plentiful and the neighbours were only too happy to share with the island daughter who came home. One day Beth picked a basket of peaches and took them down to the beach to share with the other children.
And then, a few days into September there was a knock at their door. It was their neighbour, a greying elderly woman who had run the local store for as long as anyone could remember.
“Good evening Mrs Munro, I’m sorry to call unexpectedly but I need to talk to you regarding something delicate to do with your daughter. You see, some of the people around here have been expressing a few concerns about her clothes.”
From that moment, everything on the island changed.