Photo by Liam Macleod on Unsplash

The sea beneath me rises and falls, lifting my form as I lie suspended in water—and in time. The sun on my skin, the wind caressing my cheek, all senses fade to the beat of my heart, a rhythm growing disconcertingly slow. The blood in my veins feels thick and sluggish as it flows through my body into the ever-growing pool of red around me.

“Don’t go swimming at dawn or dusk,” they said. “Don’t swim alone.” You never think it will happen to you—until it does. Something tells me I should be scared, but how can I be? It’s so peaceful here. And the music: I’ve never heard anything like it. So clear, so sweet, like the sun itself is singing. Or the suns; there seem to be more now.

Someone shouts from close-by and the water around me is suddenly frothy with movement. I wish they’d leave me alone. So much fuss when everything is so peaceful—it’s almost sacrilege. Pain crackles through what used to be my right arm as the blurry figures try to stop the bleeding. I don’t think they are having much luck—one of them is swearing.

The roaring engine followed by bumps and jolts tells me I’m in a car of some kind, far from the wind and the rhythm of the sea. I’m tired, but someone won’t let me sleep. They’re insistent on it, even though they must realize how hard it is to stay awake. A brief flash of sunlight, then pain as harsh bluish lights race by above me. So much hurry.

Everything is distant now, faint. Once again I’m floating. Floating in the sea, with the wind drying my tears and the suns singing to me.

This story was originally published in Splickety Prime, September of 2015.

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