Drowning in Sorrow


Written for Flash! Friday vol. 3-12. This week’s prompt is this CC image by Jbdodane.

Distant voices cried out above. “Man overboard! Diver!”

John pushed onward, wind whipping sand across his face until he couldn’t breathe. Salt burned his nostrils; sunlight burned his face. Were they all insane? Why send a diver into the desert?

His paycheck afforded only a meager honeymoon to John and his bride: Europe by slowboat. Claire didn’t mind that he booked passage on a cargo ship. Every midnight for a week they waltzed above the mighty Atlantic, deckhands looking on.

Then his world turned upside down. A great swell rocked the ship. Claire stumbled: John watched her falling, falling, falling in slow-motion toward the turbulent ocean. Crewmen rushed forth with life preservers.

They had not seen what John saw. Night turned to day, ocean to desert. His bride was spirited upward on the winds of a waterspout. Vicious sharks carried aloft in the cyclone thrashed and snapped at her with their hideous black teeth.

He leapt over the railing, hitting the sandy ground with a thud. Blinded by sand, he rushed forward screaming her name.

“Man overboard! Diver!”

“Save her!” John shouted back, drowning in sand. He pushed forward against the wind, determined to save his bride. Without her, how could he go on?

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