The Passed Note Issue 4 June 2017 - Page 44

wind and sea fret. My sister smiled—a pathetic and heartbreaking smile full of impossible possibilities. A wave crested behind her, spraying foaming white mist backward and basking my sister in a momentary rainbow. I wanted to scream at her to stop smiling. To stop hoping. But even if I had the breath to tell her so, I had not the courage to voice my truth out loud.

That the ship was too far away.

That the water too destructive.

That no siren would rise to claim her purse and grant our wish. We would not get rescued. We would drown long before the speck on the faraway horizon reached us, and they would find but two more bodies floating on the shore amongst the greedy seagulls.

“Benedict!” My sister screamed, but I could not see her.

The heaviness of my soul became a weight; my hopelessness a vice that gripped at my ankles. And then I felt her. I felt the tug of the siren. In one short pull, I was under. The waves crashed with such violent ferociousness that I tossed and turned like a rag-doll. My arms and legs thrashed as I tried to scramble back to the surface, but like my hope for survival, it was out of reach. I screamed then, my voice muffled underwater, and the last of the air in my lungs escaped as bubbles around my face. My chest burned and heaved as she pulled me deeper. Convulsing, I tried my hardest to fight my body’s desire to breathe, a futile attempt to save my lungs from filling with rank seawater that would condemn me to a life sentence.

And I realized what the siren desired—life. My life. My death.

Help, I tried to scream. The word formed in my mind but got stuck as a sob behind my clenched lips as I fought the