Story written for cliff hanger contest.
|Leaving the past behind was not always an easy thing to do and that was a hard lesson I had learned well. The cold, wet sand clung to my bare feet as I slowly made my way along the empty shoreline. Resisting the pull, that came from somewhere so deep in my soul, I waded out a little further embracing the cold water as it licked my ankles and up my calves. The storm brewing was coming closer and the waives were more forceful than usual. The ocean called. It whispered soft caressing promises of gentle peace. Soul deep rest and eternal, uninterrupted reflection of what my existence really meant.
Did I really need an eternity to reflect on something which, in my opinion, was minimal in the great universal picture. One mere, single tiny soul? The pull became stronger. I gazed out at the vast, powerful sea. It's waves seemed to be like arms held wide open waiting for me to step into it's embrace. I took a few more steps into the salty water until my footprints were no longer visible to the eye, but were concealed by the tide.
As I accepted the sea's invitation and went dipper into it's depths, the cold darkened sea swallowed me to my waist. It was so easy to feel the strength of it's pull. Memories of the past flashed like a video in my mind. The heavy, cloying cloak of despair I often wore was replaced by a light sea mist. I could breath. I closed my eyes and lifted empty hands high towards heaven. I felt free, I felt light and warm. Yes, a warmth unlike anything I ever felt engulfed me and I felt the ocean pulling so strong, almost beyond my will to resist.
Just let go. The though filled my mind. Let go and fall into love's embrace. The current snaked around my legs and waist and pulled hard, wanting to hurry up and swallow me. I wanted to let it. Oh how I wanted it. Just let go...what a beautiful, freeing thought. Suddenly, I did. I let the current sweep me off my feet ad I was immediately swallowed up by the cold, stormy waters. I struggled for breath. I felt the air leave my lungs and in I felt something new. Fear snaked its head into what was supposed to be blissful peace.
Instead of letting go and giving the sea it's way, something deep within me woke. And it rebelled fiercely against the darkness rapidly treating to over take me. Unbidden, the question was yelled at me like a battle cry. Will the treasure slip through my fingers? What treasure? I defiantly asked, yet, knowing the answer. Even as I asked, I began to kick and claw at the water around me. I began to fight to regain control of myself and to fight to get back to the surface.
My chest felt as if it were on fire and would explode any moment. My arms and legs felt like dead weights. Just let go, the thought came again. It's to late. You made your choice. Your mine now and for eternity you'll be held in my watery embrace. What have I done? I cried in desperation, Please, Help me! I cried, not really expecting an answer at this point. As life began to leave my body, I felt a vice like grip seize me around the waist and I was being forcefully pulled but I did not know where. I lost all baring of direction. Everything was growing dark and distant.
Hard hands gripped me and in my mind I protested being handled so roughly. Air was being forcefully filling my lungs. The water in my lungs struggled to get out and I coughed and felt myself being turned on my side and the fluid was released. I took a gasping, unsteady gulp of air.
“Lady, what the crap were you thinking?” A none to gentle or soothing voice demanded. I opened my eyes and was eye to eye with deep, angry green eyes. They were the eyes of a stranger, but felt familiar somehow. As I began to become more stable, I listened to his rating lecture, I closed my eye.
This time, another thought came to mind. His voice had lost it's harshness and he was asking now if I was alright and talking about getting medical help. Deep inside, I knew I had all I needed. I smiled at the man that had pulled me from my watery grave and thought, there might be a way out after all.