Beneath the Surface
I knew my face was sun-scorched long before I opened my eyes. My skin was an elastic band, stretched taut across my face and ready to snap.
A rocking motion nearly soothed me back to sleep. It felt as though I was out at sea, adrift in an unmanned boat.
A tug forced my eyes open. Big mistake. Water stung them and bit at my sore face.
My head bobbed above water, and then went back under. I swallowed water. It was salty, but warm.
I angled my eyes to the side.
There was no boat, just water.
I felt another jerk – this one more violent.
I sank below a wave, taking in more water. It took longer for me to reach the surface this time. I sputtered and stared upward in disbelief, realizing that I couldn’t feel anything from the neck down.
I angled my glance down the length of me. Two glass-like orbs stared back at me. A gutted fish. It was tied to my chest.
A wall of white high above caused a flashback. There was a white envelope.
I cut my eyes to the side, sure I was seeing things. The relentless sun was causing delusions. The water was murky red and blue. The red reminded me of the envelope again. What had it said?
CONFIDENTIAL – stamped in red.
Inside the letter read, “I’m sorry to inform you…house is in foreclosure….”
Impossible. I gave my husband money for the payments every month.
I’d been about to voice the questions that shaped my brow when a needle punched through the skin at my neck. My husband eased me to the floor and withdrew the needle.
I’d been able to hear him and see him, but I hadn’t been able to move. He’d used a fast-acting drug. I remembered wondering where he’d gotten it. He’d explained about the money he’d spent. He’d made bad investments. He’d reasoned why he had to move on and why things weren’t working out between us. He’d apologized about the injection and the chloroform he was about to use.
The chloroform. A rag doused in it.
It had all gone black after that. I’d woken up in the ocean.
I was angry, but there was nowhere to direct that hostility. He’d probably get away with this. He’d said he was going to run and start over again. I hoped to come back as a ghost, so I could track him down and haunt him.
I felt another jerk – not unlike a wisdom tooth being cracked and maneuvered from the gum. I could feel the break and the tug, but there was no pain. At least there was that. He’d made it painless, though impossible to escape – both mentally and physically.
I glanced up at the clouds one more time before I was enveloped by a wave. Then my body was pulled in different directions.
The sharks frenzied over the scent of my blood – a scent that they could smell for miles; a guaranteed fresh meal. I watched horrified as chunks of me were pulled away.
I closed my eyes, not wanting to see another moment. Not wanting to feel my eyes burn from the salty water. I thanked God that I couldn’t feel the pain.
Speaking of God….
There He was now. Smiling…. Welcoming….
Copyright August 4, 2009 – Sheila Roy