Blanche loved to walk along the beach at this time of the day. If the tide was in she would slog through the water, typically just up to her ankles; sometimes she would wade in up to her knees. The sun would be setting and she would watch in anticipation of the day’s end and its fresh painting on Earth’s celestial canvas. This evening the sky was a remarkable sight: deep hues of red and orange; streaks and billows of gray clouds filling half the canvas, and the sun a yellow disc at the Earth’s horizon.
Red sky at night, sailors delight
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning…
He was hiding in the tall grass. She was looking up and marveling at the composition of textures and colors. He sprang up and ran towards her, grabbed her at the waist. Blanche screamed in terror. He was yelling something but she couldn’t hear him over her screaming. Finally, he put his hand over her mouth and spoke to her. She stopped struggling and screaming and he removed his hand from her mouth and thrust the dagger under her breast, between the ribs straight to her heart. Death took Blanche by surprise. The killer picked up her body and waded into the surf up to his chest and pushed her body under the gloomy water.
Back on the beach, he made sure her shoes and cell phone were not in plain sight. He figured she wouldn’t be missed for at least 24 hours. That would give him plenty of time for the other one.
Her lungs felt as though they would explode . She had to find the surface. Her one good arm above her head was reaching toward what she hoped was the surface. She was about to let the water into her lungs when suddenly and unexpectedly she was breathing air. There was intense pain and her breathing was ragged. Every cough brought stabbing pain. She reassured herself that at least she was alive, but Blanche knew the danger of being in the ocean with a bleeding wound. Soon there would be sharks. Coughing, and cringing from the pain, she inhaled all the air she could and side-stroked towards the lights on shore. With each stroke she prayed for the strength to make it back.
Blanche was exhausted . She floated on her back and cried. She was trying so hard to live yet she knew the odds were against her. Suddenly Blanche was coughing up salt water. She must have passed out again. Her body was in survival mode, waking her when she was near the point of drowning. But she was so tired and the pain–she prayed for some relief. Her thoughts kept roaming to that place in her mind where she could easily let herself drown. A place where the agony would end. Then Blanche went to that place where near death and uncertainty meet–she bargained with God, making promises she knew she would not keep, in exchange for her life.
Then Blanche felt it. Her foot touched something. She began screaming. She was so terrified that she would be eaten alive by a shark that she didn’t realize her foot had touched bottom. The surf carried her to shore, where she lay, thanking God. Her mind began drifting. She heard distant voices–a woman. Was that momma coming for her? Blanche thought how good it would be to see momma again…
It wasn’t Blanche’s dead mother calling her. It was a Detective from Cape Cod’s Police Department, who was waiting for her to regain consciousness after her surgery. The Detective sat at Blanche’s bedside. He was amazed that the young woman had survived. Any other person would be dead from the stabbing. Blanche had some long medical name for her heart being on the right side of her chest, dextrocardia situs inversus, not where the blade went in. Then to swim back to shore so badly wounded! The Detective spoke to Blanche about the person who tried to kill her. Blanche didn’t want to open her eyes. She was too tired to remember, but the Detective was persuasive and helped Blanche picture the face of the man who sent her on her odyssey that night.
She opened her eyes and screamed…
Once More with Feeling #17 @ Cognitive Reflection
Photo Prompt: Credit Unknown Source
Word Count: 715