Scene 25 – John’s Awakening
As the sun falls beyond the horizon, the sky darkens to the east. The atmosphere on the beach is pure serenity. The temperature has dropped but is not cold, it is breezy but not gusty, the air is fresh, the tide is lulling and a slight whistling can be heard as the wind rushes over the water, through the trees and past the Sea Oats. A slight ruffling of dry seaweed can be heard somewhere nearby.
Su begins itching and slapping at the mosquitoes. ” That’s it baby, I’m going in before these damn bugs drive me insane,” Su says.
” I’m not getting bit by no-seeums,” he says.
” Skeeters,” she says, slapping at her leg.
“Oh ok, you mind if I stay out here for a while?”
” No not at all, give me a kiss,” Su says.
John leans to Su and they kiss one another.
” Love ya baby, I’ll be in soon,” he says.
” Ok, I’m going to try to play some games, the internet isn’t working still.”
” Ok, have fun.”
John watches as Su walks Lucky back to the cottage and notices Lucky isn’t having problems walking, nor is Su.
John leans to one side then the other and kneels down, ” Weird.”
John jumps and does squats, ” Really weird … No pain. I guess this place really is the fountain of youth. Wow! I’m going fishing…..”
John stands and is as comfortable as he has been in years. Taking in the beauty of everything he sees around him, he feels as if he can actually feel the energy of this place and it feels good to him. He wants to stay.
Closing his eyes he tries to be as still in his mind as in his body. A few moments later he sees a flash of light, like the headlights on a vehicle coming at him. The light quickly hits him square in the eyes, the light stretches outward in a straight line until his whole vision is filled with light and as fast as it came it was gone.
John jerks his head back opening his eyes and is surprised he is still breathing normally. He remembers having had dreams similar to this but always woke up short of breath.
” Whoa! That was freaky.”
John shakes his head looking around and sees it is getting very dark. He can still see the last remnants of sunlight over the water in the clouds and reflecting off the water. Looking away from the water to the east it is pitch black and there are stars and the moon in the sky overhead.
John walks through the soft sand, through the dunes and stops at the yellow flower. Thinking to himself, Su might like this.
Reaching into his pocket, opening his pocket knife, he kneels on one knee snipping the flower several inches down its stem and stands up trying to look at it in the dark.
Looking down he sees another of the same flower and kneels down and snips that one from its stem and holds it in his hand next to the other one.
Standing up again, just as he is about to take another step forward he sees another of the same flower in the same area. John looks at it suspiciously and taps it with his foot to make sure his mind isn’t reflecting the image.
” Didn’t see you here a second ago,” John says to the flower.
He looks around to see if there are any more in the general vicinity and sees just that one. I’ll leave it for someone else.
John leaves the flower and carries the rest inside the cottage to Su.
” Hey baby, got ya something.”
Su is sitting at the computer playing a game, she turns around with wide eyes and a big smile.
” You found one!”
” No, not quite a Junonia.”
Bringing his hand around to the front of him he shows her the flowers. Her facial expression changes from an excited look to a loving, happy look.
” Oh these are so pretty, thank you! I love when you bring me flowers. These are one of my favorites.”
Su leans from the bar chair and gives John a hug looking up and kissing him.
” Really?” he asks.
” Yes, they’re Beach Sunflowers.”
” Oh good, I thought you might like’em, was hoping.”
” Yes, I do. Very much so, thank you. That’s so sweet.”
I was gonna look for some fallen sea oats to add to the effect and thought they might be cool, but you can’t cut the sea oats here and it was too dark, I couldn’t really see any laying around.
“ Oh no, these are beautiful, thank you!” she says.
Lucky walks over sniffing and she holds them out letting him sniff them. Lucky gives them a sniff, sits, starts panting and lifts his paw.
” You begging already? I just fed you while Dad was out there.”
” I think I’m gonna go fishin’. You alright with that?” John says.
” Yes, I was wondering why you haven’t already.”
” Well, I dunno. Mixed emotions I reckon.”
” You go have fun.”
” You wanna go?”
” No, I think I’m gonna stay inside, those bugs love me for some reason.”
” Sweet meat,” John says.
” Yeh, I guess so.”
” Alright, I’m just gonna grab some shrimp out of the fridge and go right on out there.”
” No pole?”
” All my gear is in the car.”
Su reaches into her purse, pulls out her car keys and pushes a button on her key ring.
John kisses her and removes several shrimp from a bag in the refrigerator and places them in a small sandwich bag.
” Thanks babe, I’ll be back later. I’ll give you my lighter in case you decide to come down.”
” Le Torch huh?” she says jokingly.
” Yeah, seems like anything with batteries doesn’t really want to work.”
” The car works,” she says.
” Don’t jinx us. No, the phone is all wonky, my flashlight weather band radio doesn’t work. You got internet?” he asks.
” No, I’ve been playing games offline.”
” Yeah see — strange. Oh well, if worse comes to worse, use that Zippo to light your way, it’ll stay lit in the wind. Probably won’t hear you because of that wind tunnel and keep a knife handy.”
” Lucky boy will protect me.”
” You sure it’s ok, you want to come with me?”
” It’s fine babe, go fishing. Where’s that one knife?”
” That one big one you like because it’s made in the USA.”
” Good choice! Now that’s a knife.”
John goes into the bedroom reaches into the camera case, pulls out the sheathed knife and takes it to Su.
” Thank you baby.”
Su lays it off to one side of the counter.
” Lock up when I leave. I’ll bring you back another one of those flowers. I saw one I don’t think anyone is gonna find.”
” I love you, just don’t bring back any fish, I don’t want you smelling the place up, yuck.”
” Yeah, ok. I love you. Lock up.”
John hands Su his lighter and goes out to the car where the trunk is already open from Su using her remote.
He hears Su lock the door behind him.
” I guess something still works,” he says aloud.
John removes his fishing pole, homemade pole holder and a waist pack with his tackle in it that has a filet knife hanging from the belt, then walks down to the beach.
Taking a deep breath he pushes the pole holder deep into the sand. Letting out a short length of line he unlatches the hook from one of the line guides on the pole and puts his heavy 2 piece rod together.
He feels up and down the weighted rig for frays and checks the sharpness of the barbless hook. The hook easily grabs the skin of his finger.
” To catch or not to catch, this is my dilemma,” he says aloud.
Thinking for a moment he casts out his line without bait on it.
I don’t really want to catch anything, I just wanna let my spool out
John sits next to his pole gazing out at the line in the water letting his mind drift with the moon’s reflection on the waves. Moments later his reel sounds out with a clicking
Click , click click clickety click, Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Startled, John stands up looking at the slightly bent pole for a second.
Lifting it out of the pole holder he feels a slow, constant pull. Pushing up on the lock, the drag stops. He lets the weight pull his rod down and he sets the hook. The pole bends and he has something on his line. It feels very sluggish, not like a normal finned fish. It not jerking or really fighting. Probably a ray.
Reeling, the line seems to be going slack. Whatever is on the line seems to be coming at him. Reeling fast and then faster, he sees something near the end of his line in the water. At first it looks like a very light gray colored round shaped fish. Maybe a blowfish?
John keeps reeling, only able to keep enough tension on the line to let him know there is something there. It’s gonna get away.
He sees it again and keeps reeling fast, and pausing, pulling the pole back steadily over his shoulder, holding it there waiting for whatever it is to run. The line goes slack and he begins reeling again. Maybe an octopus?
The line tightens up and whatever it is keeps moving closer to him. ” This thing is gonna beach itself,” he says, slowly reeling just enough to keep tension on the line … then he sees it.
” One of them danged glowing jelly fish. Never saw one of these before,” he says aloud.
Pulling it up to shore he notices that it isn’t hooked. It is climbing above the 2 ounce sinker up the line. He stares at it almost afraid as the light it is emitting softly glows on his face, getting brighter as it gets closer.
He sees the blob like creature pulling itself up the line with hands on little muscular arms, like a human would climb a rope, with human like characteristics.
John drops his pole and the creature falls to the ground on its back lighting up the area with a soft , white yellowish blue light coming from tiny diode sized dots that circle around the edge of the creature’s underbelly. In the center of the lights, the creature’s soft, gelatinous skin has markings similar to those found on a sand dollar. It has a flat face, tiny glowing eyes, a slit for a mouth, two tiny holes for a nose that has two little lights above the openings, two tiny jointed arms with humanoid hands and arms, and tiny hairy jointed legs with crablike feet.
John stares at it in disbelief and wonderment as it just lays there on the beach looking back at him.
” What are you?” John asks aloud.
The creature seems to struggle a bit. John reaches out to flip it over and it makes a squishy noise ending with a little bubbly squeak. John pulls his hand back quickly and stands up to knock it over with his foot, when he sees dozens of the creatures come to shore.
One immediately goes to the one that is flipped over and almost seems to be kneeling over it. The others make a circle around John and an intense light is shone upon him by the creatures.
John looks around momentarily then kneels as the light continues to pulsate on him. In an instant he is shown and realizes his true situation.
The creature he pulled in on the line slowly crawls to where John is kneeling, it wiggles and shifts its body in the sand as if digging or laying an egg, then turns to the water and with moderate speed, disappears beneath the water as the others follow it and the light’s glow dims beneath the reflection of the moon on the waves.
John looks down and sees a Lace Murex shell where the creature left its mark in front of him.
He gently picks the shell up, slowly closes his hand around it and holds his fist to his head for several moments with his eyes shut. He has a grimaced disbelieving look on his face.
For several minutes John kneels, pondering in this position, then rolls into a sitting position with his forearms on his wet sandy knees, holding the shell staring at it as he rolls it around in his fingertips.
” The whole world at my fingertips. How do I tell Su?”
Standing up, he runs and jumps into the water and for the first time, he swims without the fear of being attacked by something in the water.
He swims deeper and deeper and sees the glowing creatures making their way out to deeper water and he follows them for a while watching them.
He swims back to shore, standing on the beach. He looks northward and starts running, faster and faster and faster then out of nowhere like a burst of first morning light, he speeds down the beach beyond the bend to the point he didn’t have the strength nor time to traverse just the other day. He stops at the point.
He looks around, then directs his attention to the large bend in the beach in the other direction and starts running faster and faster, then bolts all the way back to where he left his fishing pole on the beach.
” Oh my God!” he says, kneeling over from exhilaration.
John looks up.
” No offense. Thank you!”
John stares at the dark cottage window from the beach nervously and wonders how he is going to tell Su. ” Lights are out, she must have gone to bed.”
He rubs his face in his hands and walks through the sand to the dunes to the flower he said he would pick for her.
Reaching into his pocket he pulls his knife out, opens it and cuts the flower.
He cuts flower after flower after flower until he has a handful.
Walking towards the cottage he looks back and stares at a single yellow leafed Beach Sunflower that is lit up in the darkness and smiles.
Copyright © 2013 by John Edward Petersen