Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BLUE (11/09/17)
- TITLE: Languid
By Tracy Nunes
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I’m dead; in essence, truly dead - and I’ve come to the shore of the Sea called Dead to get life soaked back into me. Ironic.
I should explain.
I had plans. The stockpile at the rainbows-end was real and it was for me. All I had to do was reach out and touch it. Grab it and dash. So, grab I did - a lot of things. That was three marriages ago. And five kids I don’t know.
As I step off the resort’s walkway to the shore, my heals scrape into the salt encrusted sand that rings the strangest body of water on earth. So low and odd that it can’t be compared to any other water - anywhere.
I feel like I’m in fitting company; it occurs to me that this sea is probably like me: all hype, no delivery. Salty, old and lifeless.
Ah yes, the leftover sting of last night’s cocktails isn’t helping my mood. Whatever.
I try hard to fold in and be as unnoticeable as possible. A few people here and there on the beach gaze longer at me than others as I walk to the water’s edge. My face daily plastered on the front pages of the news will do that, I guess.
My doctor said it might be worth a shot to come here; I’ve got time on my hands anyway. I looked at the brochure from his posh west-end office, surprised that he would still see me after all the publicity. If I keep it private that I’m his patient, and pay him a lot of money, he won’t kick me out. Money still talks, even when power mutes.
Seemed like each new day brought new accusations: last week, last year, thirty years ago – didn’t matter. Enough truth in all of it to be the end of life as I knew it.
So, the shell that I am heads toward the water yearning for a moment's peace. To float in the azure waters and receive some of that so-called ancient magic. Some restoration of my dry bones and leather spirit. Maybe there is some special magic for me. I certainly need all I can get.
I reach the edge and the languid blue water feels like a warm bath that I instantly remember from my childhood. A memory invades of a voice, a female one, singing a haunting song that sounds mournful yet, I don’t know, triumphant.
I shake my head. I stopped allowing the memories a long time ago. If I let one settle - a good one - I’d soon find a horrid one chasing it away and one wasn’t worth the other. So, I blocked them all out before the scenes of groping hands found their way in and reminded me that I’d become what I’d run from.
I’m up to me knees; a cut on my ankle starts to sting but I expected it. I keep stepping forward. They recommended shoes but I’m not fond of listening to warnings. If only I was.
Now, up to my waist, I’m supposed to lean back and let go. Relinquish control and let the water buoy me. I’m finding that impossible, so I try to sit and begin a wrestling match with water. Bobbing and grasping, I splash and try to keep myself upright and not let my face go into the salty brine. I’m not sure how it happens but I end up on my back, floating at last.
I feel strangely exposed. My hairy, swollen belly sticks up and I feel embarrassed. Losing power and status uncovers me. But I close my eyes because my fight is gone and I’m done with the struggle. I sink into it.
I lay there with only my head, belly, hands and toes above water. I bob at the surface. A stillness washes over me as I spread my arms out wide, and as I sink into it I hear the strains of that haunting voice once again. This time, the words sing, and I cannot stop them.
Just a-as I am, with-out one plea, but that thou blood was shed for me…
No magic happens but surrender finally stops running from me. The words of the song float me across to redemption.
Oh Lamb of God, I come…I come.
*Just As I Am
Lyrics by Charlotte Elliott, 1835
Music by William B. Bradbury
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