#149 Feet First

by Therese Cleveland

The wharf cut the cerulean blue of the sky and water in two, and then segued into one unbroken depth of color at the end of the jetty. She was surrounded by fishermen and lovers walking the expanse, but she didn’t notice. She took in the smell of the sea, the taste of the salt, the screeching of the raucous gulls riding the waves. She saw the fins of the dolphins out beyond the breakwater; struck by their freedom and good sense to come no further towards shore. It wasn’t kind here; a fact she knew like breathing.

Fresh flowers floated on the water’s surface near the wharf and she wondered who had died; who had spread them in a loved one’s memory, a custom for the native islanders. She leaned further to watch the flowers drifting around the pylons, up under the crashing waves, and marveled at how they emerged, still whole, to carry their colors further up the beach.

She climbed the fence of the wharf and, to her amazement, she became airborne and flying. She was flailing and screaming, her body gleamed in the rays of the sun. She had never learned to dive. She hit the flowers and the water feet first in a cacophony of sound and color. She dug her toes into the sand in the warm womb of the sea and remained suspended for a moment, watching the petals fill in the opening she had made in their midst.


Bruce Roush said...

I love your descriptions and wonderful adjectives.However, I'm puzzled about the "why and how" of her plunge.I know you gave a clue in the last line of the first para. But did she "slip"..."push off with all her strength"..."gulp a last breath before falling forward"?

Tom said...

That's up to you to decide. Sometimes the answers aren't readily available and sometimes you have to make up your own.