The Stranger That Took Me

stranger“You dreamed about it again?” He asked.

I nodded. “I dream about it all the time now. I remember that woman from the beach. I can see myself sitting there…watching it all happen…”

The beach was hot and hazy, the sand liquid fire on my feet. I spread my towel out and jumped onto it, thankful for the barrier between my skin and the burning sand. I hadn’t been there but a moment, when little feet ran by my towel kicking sand up onto my legs as two kids drug their mother out toward the water. I brushed the sand off me and watched them, caution making them slow down at the wet sand’s edge. They held tight to their mother’s hands as she guided them towards the water.

The waves were big and frothing white. They fell and swept in like the rows of white teeth in a shark’s jaw. Salty water sprayed up over the children cold enough to make them gasp and squeal. They bent and slapped at the water as it receded and then braced themselves against their mother as the wave came back. Slowly their feet sunk into the sand like the beach itself was eating them.  

It could have been hours of this, or five minutes. I don’t know. Everything happened so quickly. I heard a scream. The mother’s hand was empty. Beside her stood the small girl, but on the other side the boy was missing.

I watched her look, from her daughter to the ocean.

I watched the choice. A split second decision.

She let go of her daughter’s hand, and dove into the water.

People began to gather. The crowd grew so thick, that I was forced to stand to see. I watched others getting into the water. I watched them point and dive towards something I couldn’t see.

I watched a man in blue swim trunks and a grey shirt walk up to the little girl. I watched him bend down and talk to her.

He took her hand and walked away with her across the beach, towards the boardwalk.

I never saw the mother come out of the ocean. I never saw if they found the boy, if they pulled him in safe. I don’t know if they laid his body on the beach and pumped the water from his lungs.

I don’t know what happened after that man walked me off the beach, and put me in his car, and drove away.

“I think it’s time we call the police to investigate this,” he said.

I looked over at my doctor – the man who had been working with me the last two years while pieces of this dream surfaced. My father was in the waiting room.

The father who had raised me for 13 years.

The father who had once walked with me across the beach in blue swim trunks and a grey shirt.

The stranger who took me.

prompted-buttonWord Count: 491

The prompt this week for Tipsy Lit was an impossible choice. One of the things I experience most during pregnancy is an unusual amount of nightmares. The terrible part is that most of these revolve around my children. Sandy, my brilliant friend from Mother of Imperfection, told me this morning that it probably had something to do with all the hormones raging and my protective instincts soaring. Last year around this time we took our children to the beach for the first time ever. I wrote about it briefly here. This Sunday we are taking them again, which probably is what spurred the horrible dream that brought this bit of fiction out. I suppose this not sleeping well thing does do wonders for my creativity. Silver linings…

Copyright Laura A. Lord ©2014

32 responses to “The Stranger That Took Me”

  1. Very intense. I can understand all the hurtling emotions right now too. I hope you are able to get some peaceful rest soon and enjoy your next trip to the beach.


    • Thanks, hun. I’m sure we’ll have a good time. If I were to think logically about it, I know we’ll be fine. It’s the emotionally out of control thinking that is screwing me up lol.


  2. Emotions run wild.
    Great writing as always and closer to reality we like to admit maybe.

    Oh well have a great time at the beach. It may be good to kick those hormones into a relaxing mode.

    Be well Lady Laura and keep on smiling.


  3. This blew me away. I am unashamedly hypercritical of the fiction I find on blogs – have little tolerance for sloppy grammar, weak imagery, flabby plot lines and characterization, so I almost never comment. But this was just … wow. And ouch. And … wow.


  4. That is a bone chilling end there! I love your descriptions in the flashback scene, where several hint to an edge of danger, such as waves like “the rows of white teeth in a shark’s jaw” or the beach seeming to eat them. All very good an ominous signs that this trip to the beach will not end well. Love it, and would definitely be interested to see what the full outcome of that day at the beach was.


  5. I really like your style in this piece. What is left out is as important as what is put in, and you leave the reader with just the right amount of work to do. You set it up well – I wasn’t expecting the ending and had to go back to the beginning an reread that. But it works! I like your use of language, and the imagery is fitting – shark’s teeth having just the right amount of menace.
    I second Belladonna Took’s comment – I very, very rarely comment on fiction on blogs for exactly the same reason she gives.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: