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Welcome to Flash Fiction Fridays, where I will attempt to regale you with a tale of my own creation. Flash fiction is gaining popularity among writers, from what I’ve been reading, and can be defined as a story which is told in under 1000 words, some editors preferring the length to be no more than 750. Here is my first attempt.
Just to be on the jetty again was such a thrill, sharing the same space with the seagulls and egrets was her idea of Heaven. By the time the excursion was over, Kelly Butler would realize just how close she’d come to becoming an angel.
Salty waves rolled over her toes as she searched the beach for the coveted shell de jour. Sand dollars. That was what Sherry wanted for her next project and Kelly was determined to make it happen. Sherry Campbell was her best friend in the world and Kelly just loved her creations. Restoring other’s cast-offs was her specialty and Kelly had been the lucky recipient of more than one of her home made treasures. Assisting her locate the perfect shell insured her chance the project would possibly grace a spot in her home.
It had been ages since she’d been back here in Nueces County and the smell of the ocean, along with the sound of the waves gently lapping at the shore had her feeling somewhat giddy. The beach was yielding no treasure at the moment though, so Kelly made the decision to explore the rocks that made up the jetty for a spell. Sherry seemed reluctant, wading and watching as Kelly wandered off, content to do things her own way-at her own speed. Kelly knew the jetty boat would return soon, however, and was filled with a sense of urgency at the thought of not finding the prized specimens in time.
They were on the beach side, so Kelly felt safe peering down through the cracks and crevices the jetty created, careful not to slip on the slimy algea and mosses that grew there. Finding nothing but hermit crabs and sea trash had her fearful the day’s quest would go unfulfilled, when Sherry suggested they try the inlet close to where the jetty boat docked. Game for adventure and eager to please, Kelly followed her down the long, cracked and somewhat crooked sidewalk atop the rocks that made up the jetty. Just as she was about to snap a photo of a great white egret, it flapped its mighty wings, startling her and causing her to slip over the side of the jetty.
Sherry turned in time to see Kelly, feet airborne as she slipped into the rocks and waves below. Shrieking, she ran to the edge and stepped down to the driest boulder available. As soon as the waves receded, she dove into the ocean, clearing the rocks and diving down in search of Kelly. Another round of waves crashed under the dock where Kelly had drifted, limp and unconscious. Sherry broke through the surface of the water, flailing and struggling to avoid the rocks as the waves continued to pound against them. Internally, she was freaking out, anticipating the arrival of the jetty boat about thirty minutes away.
Fighting the urge to struggle, she tried frantically to see any sign of Kelly as the waves kept pushing her toward the giant slabs of granite. Out of peripheral vision, she saw the strap of Kelly’s hot pink bathing suit top and started trying to swim in that direction. She had to reach her before she went under and was lost forever. Adrenaline took over then and with the next wave, her foot struck the rock and she pushed off of it, launching herself sideways, towards the dock. Luckily, at that moment, a lull in the waves allowed her to reach the support pilings, which she clung to for dear life. With one hand grasping the the wood, she reached out and grabbed Kelly’s floating foot with the other. Kelly’s head was bleeding profusely, but she had her and she refused to let go.
As she tried desperately to hold on to Kelly while holding the dock support, she saw the first of the other island visitors approaching the landing, as it was nearing time for the jetty boat to arrive. Sherry screamed “Help” for all she was worth and luckily, one of the beachgoers heard her cries and ran to the dock. After what seemed like forever to Sherry, a human chain had been constructed, leading from the jetty down to the closest boulder breaking the water’s surface. The next thing she knew, an arm encircled her waste and hoisted her and Kelly onto the rock’s edge. The next person in the chain took charge, grabbing Kelly from her arm as another person grabbed Sherry’s bathing suit straps and held on as she turned to climb up the next rock. The gentleman who had rescued Sherry held tight to her waist as he tried to hoist himself onto the rocks next to her.
The waves were relentless, threatening to drag them all back into the sea as they desperately clung to each other while simultaneously trying to make their way back to the safety of the jetty walkway. An exhausting fifteen minutes later, Kelly and her rescuer were at the landing, her rescuer attempting CPR. Sherry and her savior and the remaining beachgoers were alternately sprawled across the walkway, panting and shaking from the effort to climb their way back to safety. As the jetty boat approached the dock, the captain viewed the chaotic scene. Before he exited the craft, he radioed for assistance from the coast guard and grabbed his first aid kit. Docking the boat, his first mate jumped off the bow and onto the landing, racing to reach Kelly’s side.
Kelly awoke hours later, at the medical center, confused and disoriented, but alive. She tried to think but her head was pounding her limbs felt weighted down. As the room slowly came into focus, she saw Sherry standing at the rail of the hospital bed, a look of concern and worry on her face. “I thought you were shark food” she said and that’s when realization dawned on her and she asked her what all had transpired. Sherry told her of the saviors that had rescued them both and how all the beachgoers had pitched in to help. Kelly’s eyes brimmed with tears and she reached for Sherry’s hand. Sherry grasped it, and leaning over the bedrail said to Kelly, “I didn’t need the sand dollars that bad girl!!”