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