Giving Up Her Dead
I saw my first dead body tonight. Twenty odd years I was able to avoid it, which is probably some kind of statistical achievement in itself.
I was on the shore, beyond the boardwalk, past the lights that were winking off now that the tourists had gone to their hotels. The tall grass runs down to the water line, mingling with seaweed that’s beached itself and been left to dry when the sun comes back up. That’s why I didn’t notice at first.
I couldn’t tell it was actually hair, not until I was almost on top of it, and when the surf receded a bit there was a head behind it, along with a shoulder and a pale, feminine arm.
It’s hard, sometimes, to see things as they are in the darkness. I’m hoping that explains what I I saw before I ran. I really hope it does.
A finger twitched in the sand, as the water came back up, and the arm made a feeble attempt to raise up. As the surf closed around it, her head lifted, and behind the curtain of wet, dark strands I could see an open, milky eye, fixating on me.