SOMETHING IN THE WATER
First it was one, then two, then three and by the end of the night there were thirteen little bodies washed ashore, their pale peace a startling reminder that brutal life existed outside of leisure in this paradise. The day was overcast and there was no one to witness the landing of the children. No one to welcome them. No one to mourn them. The winds were moderate, the air was cool, and the sky was filled with clouds that while not foretelling a storm did warn that the sun would not be making an appearance. With no sun the tourists stayed away and with no tourists the food vendors stayed away and with no food vendors even the gulls stayed away. The children were alone, together and alone.
They had come dressed for war. Their clothes torn and burned, faded and small. The oldest was ten, the youngest four. They came bearing no luggage. They had no identification. The only other survivor of whatever tragedy that had befallen them was a teddy bear with no head that lay near the feet of a little girl with dark hair and a deep bruise around her throat. The sun rose on the bodies and no one came. The sun reached its height and no one came. The sun began to fall and no one came. There were none to bear witness. None to give forgiveness. None but the water.
But the water did not leave the children.
The water kissed their wounds.
The water caressed their prone bodies.
The water held their hands and whispered that everything would be all right.
Everything would be all right.
By midnight the water had had enough. The children were but three hundred feet from a major roadway and no one, not one person had noticed the horror that lay on the beach. Not one person took their mind away from themselves long enough to give tears to the tragedy that lay in the sand. The water that had risen around the children and had begun to bubble and slowly the mouths of each child opened and in rushed the water, filling each of them with the whisper of the sea.
Come back to me.
Come back to Mother.
Come back to your first Mother.
Your only Mother.
The children stirred.
The children rose.
Thirteen children stood silently on a moonless beach, their bodies bent, broken, and bloated from the ocean’s kisses. The ocean roared behind them and the children began to move, slowly, deliberately, holding hands as they walked slowly towards the roadway and the cities beyond them. When the children reached the rocks they helped one another up them until they were on solid ground again beside the road. The street lights showed thirteen children with cold, gray eyes and white skin, hands held, moving slowly towards the world.
They were no longer human.
They were of the sea.
They were loved.
They were angry.
Behind them the brothers and sisters of the children began to make the beach, their bodies far less human, the work of the ocean far stronger, and their purposes far darker. One by one the children of the sea made land and began marching on humanity and the thirteen that had come first all smiled as they went to tell the world of the coming flood.
www.meepsheep.com for my books.