Death keeps brushing against Street Norris' legs in the water at an Atlantic beach resort.
Five Lives in the Water
By B. B. Riefner
‘No one ever finds a needle in a hay stack, Bear.’
‘Agreed. But how come you found me?’ The Bear, more commonly known as Street Norris, added a wink, and Betsy Hancock winked back taking the hairy paw closest to her.It was almost seven AM, on the Fourth of July. They were trudging through ankle deep surf, headed to Street’s guard’s stand, three chairs from the southern end of the beach.
It had been eight days since Betsy barged into his first civilian summer.He was in his chair, fighting fatigue, needing a nap. She ended all that by simply coming into view. There were mobs of gorgeous women, tanning and scanning on Henderson City’s beach. However, Betsy was the only one wearing a cut down version of a faded gray fencing costume for a bathing suit. It’s large black heart emphases her ample left breast.
She spread her towel at the foot of his stand, as Street decided this wasn’t a normal beach patrol groupie, so he skipped lame opening lines. After an hour or so she leaned on her elbows, stared through sun glasses and asked, ‘ Just what the hell do I have to do to get a rise out of you?’
On their seventh morning they in front of her hotel, and took his hand as they ploughed through the advancing surf. However, this was the first morning he knew why he’d been selected.
Last night they were having a beer after dancing to a live band. Without any prelude, she reached in her purse, pulled out her wallet, unfolded it on the small round table, then pushed it toward him. He glanced down, focused, and snorted at how much the face in the photo resembled him. ‘Maybe it’s the crew cut,’ he mused to himself.
‘His name was Stanford Dutton Kendal. Marine Captain. . . Fighter pilot . . . Off an aircraft carrier. . . Killed June 8, 1944 bombing something called San Pans.’
‘Amazing. I was a Marine Airedale.The San Pans were fishing boats the Japs sent out to spot the Super Forts going up to bomb Japan.I made a couple runs on them. Sometimes they were armed.’
She spent the rest of the evening on details. Stan was her first sexual love.They use to meet in New York, at the Woodstock Hotel.; always the room with the sunken tub. ‘We had white roses floating in the tub. White rose petals sprinkled on the b lack silk sheets I always brought. . . Black silk sheets and body lotion. I didn’t need any clothes for however long we had.’Then she bent forward and planted a gentle kiss on the still red scar under his left eye. He was disappointed she said good night on her hotel porch.
‘You thinking about us?’
‘About am Iworth giving up the half naked girls you can lay?’
‘No. . . . Yeah, maybe. . . .Just a little.’
‘I gotta get over him, Bear. It’s been four years.’ You’re the first kiss.’
‘You mind the no sex thing too much?’
‘Not yet. Maybe soon. But not yet.’
‘I’m leaving tonight. Gotta get away from you. It’s not right. Both for you and me. But I’ve really enjoyed . . .’
‘Jesus! What the . . .!’ Street’s guttural shout, stopped her pre-planned delivery. As a larger wave broke and covered the fencing suit. Street’s head disappeared as he stooped, digging both hands into the sand laced froth. When he rose he held a child in both hands!
To read the conclusion of this story and other stories by B. B. Riefner, see his collection: Mind Travels available through Redgate Publihsing Co., Amazon.com and for Kindle e-readers.
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"...we can tell people the truth..." "...Yeah? Well, most of â€˜em couldnâ€™t tell the difference, could they?..." we can summon that no matter how we take things, today, no one will see the difference.
A Coast Guard kind of vignette to educate us landlubbers ignoramus.