Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)
TITLE: No Day at the Beach
By April Bailey
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Bathed in beauty, I have found peace. Slight waves add a gentle rocking to my world. Heaven on earth. Fingers of water trace my cheeks, dissolving in my hair. Ocean calls to wind and air, growing louder, and still, I am soothed by the sound, fooled by its rhythmic caress.
One wave, a rogue perhaps, washes over my face, seasoning my eyes with salt, interrupting tranquility. A second, invading the nostrils, brings rigidity to my body, and I tilt upright realizing the sea’s mood has changed. It’s time to go in.
My strokes, smooth and strong, are lost in growing walls of water and, instead of advancing toward shore, I am cast adrift. My host has gone cold, welcoming waters becoming a greedy lover unwilling to share me with land. Its temper ignited by the tide, my liquid universe betrays me, quickening its assault with a dragging from below.
Tumbling beneath the depths, I am held captive by that which seeks to possess me. Futile efforts leave my lungs pleading for mercy. Entombed in this treacherous womb beyond the surf, I surrender, offering to God what the deep desires.
But then death’s baptismal is breached … hands grasp and arms pull from above. Someone has braved nature’s fury to rescue me and, once again, I am free, my attacker quite timid now beneath the boat.
How easily I was seduced by the sea. That mysterious universe of untold beauty and majesty. I praise God for the guardian who plucked me from its clutches. I underestimated its power, drawn in by blue-green glory. I have newfound respect for the ocean, for I have seen its dark side.
And though thankful, I do not envy the lifeguard. While the view from the edge of death may offer a new perspective on life, it is one I do not care to see again.
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