Black Sunday by Debbie Robson

No comments

I miss the clouds. Up there the perspective is all encompassing. Lives make sense. Even the loss of lives is part of a pattern that is more easily discernible from above.

I am earthbound now with clipped wings, but I still have certain powers even in this continent of trees that flower red and purple, crows that sound like they are dying and the bluest skies I have ever seen.

It’s hard to wonder what it all must have looked like from the clouds that day in 1938. Thousands of people on Bondi beach, a hot afternoon and then several massive waves that came in to shore without respite, taking a sandbank and hundreds of people with them.

How many reel lines went out through the broiling surf; how many lifesavers crested white water; how many swimmers were dragged to shore and resuscitated? I couldn’t count in all the turmoil but I knew five of my kind were waiting, for five that wouldn’t be saved.

I found one of the victims near the channel, determined to keep him earthbound and breathing amidst all the panic; wings beating and patience that could last centuries was hovering nearby whilst a human chain kept the crowds back from the dozens lying unconscious on the sand.

When I got close to him – only young, perhaps twenty years old – I knew immediately that there was nothing I could do. His blue eyes opened briefly. I smiled at him and held his hand until his grip loosened and clouds were reflected in his eyes. A lifeguard pushed me away but then said, “He was gone earlier. I didn’t get a chance to cover him.”

“I know,” I told him, to make things easier. Not worth saying he had come back for just a moment.

And what was the point of that, the winged messenger asked, softer than any question ever asked on earth.

“Thirty seconds of peace I hope. More than anything you will ever understand.” I watched all five gather the souls of their charges. They rose up and we were left behind – I and the multitude on the beach.


Debbie Robson

I am the author of Tomaree and Crossing Paths. I love to write fiction set in the first half of the last century, particularly little known events of both world wars. I also write poetry and have performed my poems in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Newcastle.

Other Works

Mr. Peregrine – on Typishly here.
Recovery – in The Mystic Blue Review here.
Ithaca Road – in Cabinet of Heed here.
Podcast – Radio Adelaide here.

Social Media

Author Websitehere.

Photo by Pixel2013

To celebrate the release of


We are offering a whopping 60% off previously published STORGY titles:


That’s 21 stories for £4.99*
or 42 stories for £9.98*

*(R.R.P. £12.99 each. Postal charges apply)

Simply click on the images below and take advantage of this limited time offer.

Discount code will be applied at checkout prior to purchase.
If not automatically applied add discount code HOPEFULMONSTERS

Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.PayPal-Donate-Button

Sign up to our mailing list and never miss a new short story.

Leave a Reply