So Beautiful – Part 4

by | Mar 26, 2014 | Fiction, Short story | 6 comments

Here’s the fourth installment of my short story So Beautiful.

The first three parts are at:

So Beautiful – Part 4

Marcie sees Jason go down, then Kelly. Unable to tend to both at once, Marcie races to the boy. Waves lap at Jason’s body, which is oozing blood into the water. Marcie sits in the wet sand and cradles his head in her lap. She pulls the green bottle from her pocket, uncaps it and pours liberally on wounds in Jason’s chest and abdomen. The boy lets out several short gasps, and his bleeding stops, but Marcie sees fresh blood on the sand. She looks at her belly and realizes the blood is her own. She slides Jason off her lap and, crouching, pulls him away from the water. She tries to stand, but stumbles and falls. So she crawls up the beach to Kelly and empties the last of the elixir into a wound in the young mother’s neck. She re-caps the bottle, but then grows dizzy; her body tingles; the bottle slips into the sand.

Marcie hears sirens. Commanding voices. Footsteps canvassing the beach. She hears Jason call, “Mommy! Mommy!” as he is carried away on a stretcher. Someone picks up Coco, who is wailing. A paramedic checks on Kelly. “I think this one’s gonna make it,” he says.

For Marcie, the cacophony of rescue, pungency of rotting seaweed and sunscreen, and sensation of blood pumping from her body quickly fade. Someone leans over her. The person’s lips are moving, but she doesn’t hear the words. She closes her eyes, lets out one last breath. And then Arturo is before her, holding out his hand. She pats her torso. She has no wound. Feeling vibrant and strong, neither young nor old, Marcie races to his embrace. “You are so beautiful,” he says. And Marcie knows in that moment he is absolutely right.

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The fifth and final installment is coming next week. As always, my friends, I will welcome your feedback. I still haven’t fixed WordPress so that it resumes sending me emails when people comment, but I’ll check my dashboard regularly so I can respond in a timely manner anyway.

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Copyright  ©  2014 by Laura McHale Holland

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  1. Barbara Toboni

    Okay. So the Ho character is dead from the last installment? He got shot in the heart. And Marcie has saved Kelly and Jason, and then she dies. She’s a hero. And what is in that juice bottle? I can’t guess how you’re going to end this. Good luck.

  2. Suz

    Hi my friend,

    Long time since I’ve written, so I knew I’d have to write now. : ) Your writing always intrigues me. It’s suspenseful, sometimes “shocking” because of where I was while reading and where you were as you wrote. Fun place for me, I’d say. I just simply enjoy your style and the surprises. See you.


  3. admin

    Thank you, Suz, for checking in here to appreciate my writing. I like that you signed off with “See you.” One of these days we will see each other again, and that will be fun.

  4. admin

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how the story has developed. At this point, it isn’t confirmed that Ho is dead, although if I were reading it for the first time, that is what I would assume. And, yes, I agree that Marcie is a hero for saving Kelly and Jason. I don’t picture the bottle as being a juice bottle. I see it as smaller than that, so I’ll need to describe it with more specificity, that is, unless it doesn’t matter if you and others picture the bottle as a juice bottle and I see it as something more the size of a perfume bottle perhaps. … Thanks for wishing me luck with the final episode. It will be short, and my aim is to bring it to a conclusion without tying everything up neatly.

  5. valerie lee

    Great beginning and just finished reading fourth installment. Very well done — like the idea of an elixir — could be a magic potent. So go many ways to go with this story. Good luck!

  6. admin

    Thanks, Valerie! I’m about to post the complete story right now. The last segment is very short.

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