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I feel sick, so very sick. I lean over the cold railing smelling the salt of the ocean. When I was little it only smelled like death. A musty odor that loved to strangle you. The wind blows the water into my face. The waves move with life below. The sun beats on my flesh and glows off the waves revealing diamonds that hide on the bottom. The boat moves silently, fighting off the rushing water.
How did I get on this boat? I hate boats and oceans and water. I hear a little girls joyous laughter. Oh yeah, I remember a Mother’s love. Such a thing when they look up at you and say please with big eyes. I gave in.
I look around and see my kids running around the boat having fun. Didn’t I tell them to be careful? They never listen. I go back to looking at the ocean. I look deep into the water until my eyesight blurs. That’s when I see a hand. No! I fall back hitting my head on the deck. Darkness crawls across my eyes. I can’t hear anything just like, just like that time.
“Scarlet come play on the deck with me.” My little sister Willow says. Her hair tied back with a blue ribbon and a wide teeth smile on her face.
“Not now,maybe later. I feel sea sick right now, so I’m going to rest below deck.” I smile and she pouts, but eventually gives up in the end.
“Fine,later, but you better promise.”
“I promise. Now go play.” I say, giving her a little push towards the stairs. She goes up skipping.
I lay down and stare at the wood walls. It reminds me of the bark of a tree. I smile. Such a pretty boat it’s even named after our town. Balance. My sister loves the sea, so she was really happy when our parents said we were going on a boat.
I turn my head to the side and look out the little window. The waves are really rough today. Something floats by my window. A ribbon? A blue ribbon! Willows ribbon!
I hear pounding from the deck and a yell that shatters my heart. “Willow!”
I get up and storm out the room. My chest slams on the metal railing. Leaning over it, almost going head first into the water. I couldn’t see anything in the water, nothing at all.
We searched and searched that whole day, but found nothing. A few days later her body was pulled out the water. Without her blue ribbon. Ever since that day I’ve hated the creatures that lie in the sea. They’ll grab you and pull you under. Your soul bound to the waves.
“Scarlet come play on the deck with me.” I should’ve played on the deck that day.
My eyes flutter open and I meet and pair of eyes.
“Mom?” It comes out in a small whisper.
“Yes, Rose?” I get into a sitting position on the small bed that rocks with the waves.
“Are you okay?” She says sitting down next to me.
“Yeah I just fell in.” I said lying. “Go play with your brother Rose. You did want to come on a boat for your birthday.”
“Okay. I’ll tell them you’re awake.” She goes up the stairs onto the deck.
Maybe I should go up there too? I get up from the bed and it creaks. Walking up the stairs I fell dizzy. I get to the deck and lean over the railing. Looking at the water, I almost yell at it. Why isn’t Willow here with me? Why did she have to be kept hostage?
A scream breaks the fragile air. “Mom.” Than two splashes one after the other.
How did I get surrounded by coldness? All I remember is seeing the ocean water, too close for comfort.
The deeper I got the closer my goal becomes, but as I swim uther down so do they. I swing my arm out and grip something small. Pulling it up with me. My air becomes limited as I push against the creature. It’s like playing a game of tug of war, but I won this game. Even though I’m screaming on the inside and want to run away.
When the creature finally lets go, I break the glass surface. Sucking in air even though it burns my lungs. A whimper comes from my shoulder. “Will it’s alright the creature didn’t get you.”
When we get on the ship I break down. It was so very scary. The creature that killed my sister was defeated by me. I look down at the ocean and see nothing. The creatures disappeared. Nowhere to be seen. The ocean doesn’t seem frightening anymore rather it seems happy. I smile as the water falls on to the metal railing.
Everything that happened after getting off the boat is one blur, except that night. That night I had a dream of my sister forever trapped in her young body stood in front of me. She handed me a blue ribbon and with a smile she said goodbye, as she walked into a light. Disappearing before my eyes.
“Bye Willow.” I whisper as the light fades to black.