Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Fool's Paradise: Chapter5


The girl they towed away sits dejected, pouting as some people converse around her. We're all starving, but Angus warns us from the forest, probably because the "Demon" has taken residence there. The ocean, though is something we are currently focusing on. 

"You," Angus addresses, pointing to a red-headed girl in the group. She shoots up to her feet at his tone. "Go and check if there's any fish in the water."

"B-but, I can't swim," she stammers. Her hands fidget at the hem of her torn skirt. 

"You won't need to swim, just check," he commands and dismisses her with a flick of his wrist. 

To my amazement, she gets up and walks to the water. I turn to Brianna who has joined me on my blanket. "What happened to the guy who got sent to look for food in the jet," I whisper.

"He came back empty handed and crying so Angus sent him to the other side of the beach," she fills in, eyes wide watching the girl get closer to the water.

"To find food?" I ask. 

She doesn't turn to face away from the scene, but her eyebrows furrow for a moment in thought. "No. Angus got angry and wanted him out of his sight."

"Get in the fucking water!" Angus shouts from between cupped hands. His laughter is joined by others when the girl almost topples in the waves. 

The water is a mystery, mostly because I'm sure none of us knows how to swim. It just didn't seem like anything worthwhile when textbooks, research and exams occupy our mind since infancy. I'm fairly sure this is as close to the ocean we have ever been, and the mystery of the sea intrigues us with fear opposing our curiosity to check it out ourselves. So watching this girl roam farther into the ocean intrigues us and we all watch with a fascination of discovering something not taught. 

The red haired girl turns back to us and starts to yell something, but her voice is lost in the surf. She's too far for us to hear but we're too scared to creep any closer to the tide, so we don't move. 

Someone yells at her to repeat what she said. We wait and she starts to yell again. Her red hair, the only beacon of which to see her in all the foam and blue water, suddenly disappears under the surface. We all jump to our feet. 

The red pops in a flurry of splashing water before it dips back under. A series of fins slice through the waves, circling around where she should be and I gasp as the pieces fall together. Someone cheers when the body of a shark arcs out of the water for a moment before crashing back into the spray. The flurry calms back down and the ocean surface settles. 

This is absolutely mental. My eyes are still glued to the ocean, searching for the short bob of red to pop out. I can hear Brianna cheering with Angus and the others as they relay "how cool" the sharks are. 

Bile churns in my stomach and my hunger dissipates. A rush of nausea forces me down to my knees and I vomit into the sand, gagging, because I haven't ingested anything. Pulling my legs to my chest, I lay my cheek against my knees, turning away from the scene, and swallow back the bitter aftertaste.  


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