~ This is a small portion of my new writing project. I'm not sure what will come of it, but I like it so far. What do you think?~
I hear the rhythmic sound of water seconds before I actually see it. I open my eyes and breathe deeply, the salty, moist air invading my nostrils. It weighs heavily in my lungs, briny tentacles filling me up until I'm close to bursting and I'm forced to exhale. It's beautiful here at the precipice of the world. I imagine the continent stretching out behind me as I gaze out over a very small portion of the Atlantic. I think of all of the people, memories, and places at my back and I step forward until waves bubble up around my ankles and then my calves. I'm tempted to keep walking, submerge myself completely in the cool water. Could I escape myself out there?
I lift my hand, it feels like lead and it takes a Herculean effort, but the sun is so bright here. Too bright for nighttime. My brain is trying to communicate something to me. Why do I think it's supposed to be dark? I shade my eyes from the glinting water and watch the waves, my heart thumping in time to its lazy rhythm as I imagine how deep the water really is out there in the murky, mysterious depths. I think it would be quite peaceful to drown out there.
“Drowning is not so pitiful
As the Attempt to rise.
Three times, 'tis said, a sinking man
Comes up to face the skies,
And then declines forever
To that abhorred abode,
Where hope and he part company-
For he is grasped of God.
The Maker's cordial visage,
However good to see,
Is shunned, we must admit, “
Like an adversity.” I recognize the words and her voice, her beautiful, sweet voice and suddenly I'm crying like a lost child. I didn't hear her approach, immersed in her words as I was. Mom loved that poem. With her vigorous lust for life, I never could understand her kindred spirit with Emily Dickenson.
She smiles and runs her fingers through my long, black hair- ever the patient caregiver. Her muddy brown eyes mirror mine, everyone says we look alike but I don't see it. She's so beautiful and lithe. I'm more lanky and clumsy.
“Why are you here Kassie? Don't you have things you should be doing?” She's scolding me, making me uncomfortable in my own skin beneath her watchful stare. Nothing escapes her notice.
“I don't want to do anything at all. I want to enjoy the day with you,” I plead, reminding myself of someone much younger than my twenty-three years.
“It's so dark out here,” she lets go of my hair and looks out over the black, menacing ocean. My hand drops uselessly against my side as I mimic her pose. She's right. The sun is gone and I step back into dry sand, suddenly afraid of the water. There it is again, the changing of light and the tugging in my mind. There's something I need to be aware of.
“Don't be so frightened. It's not so bad,” she smiles, but it's weak. Her once healthy skin is suddenly stretched taught over her bones and her eyes, alive with love for me only moments ago are dull and glassy.
I dash forward, my movements much slower than I thought they were, weighed down by the sand. I catch her, easing her onto the cold, wet sand. It's my turn to smooth her hair with my hand and I attempt to hide my fear as clumps of it fill my palm and then fall uselessly beside her. “Oh Mom, I'm so sorry,” I'm sobbing, but somehow my words are still strong, much stronger than I am.
“Be happy Kassie,” her words echo in the stifling breeze and she's gone. My fingers grab for her in the dirty sand and broken shells. I have to find her. I have to know she's okay. I search for her, rubbing my palms and fingertips raw on the abrasive sand. Not even her hair remains.
I scream and I can't stop. Grief is a living, breathing, thing clawing my insides and the salty air only adds to my agony, filling the empty spaces and making my blood burn.
|:. A fitting Image, I think.:|