Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch

For my Creative Writing class, we were instructed to describe the scene in the picture below using each of the five senses at least once. For your enjoyment, the surfer.

Daniel stands before the churning green waves like a sentry, an avenging angel of the sea. Another wave crashes and dissolves at his ankles. He digs his toes into the sharp sand, mostly crushed sea shells, remembering the last time he was here. Because last time, Layla had been with him, and her wide, eager smile had shone brighter than the sun.
Daniel squints back tears as soft water mist brushes into his eyes.
One more wave, Danny. Please? He can hear her musical voice now as another wave builds far in the distance. Perfect surfing weather, as it had been that day. Just one more wave.
Water crashes at his feet, nearer, stronger, gaining breath and attitude after a resting period. The seagulls caw overhead, the sound lulling and familiar as a salty breeze cools Daniel's face.
He couldn't save her. His heart turns over in his chest at the thought he had punished himself with for the last three years.
It must have been near here, he thought, gazing out to where the sky met the water and down along the coast. Water far in the distance rolled in anticipation. Daniel remembered showing off for Layla as she paddled out a little farther. They were always competing against each other even though she was five years his junior. Daniel remembered cresting a great wave when, out of nowhere, Layla sipped alongside him. He had been so caught off guard that he turned his board hard and the end had caught Layla in the head. He fell into the water like a fish thrown back after a catch, and when he emerged sputtering, his board had washed into the shallow water... and so had Layla. Facedown, yellow hair splayed in every direction, she didn't heave or even twitch.
Danny had rushed to her and hauled her onto the beach, checking to see if she was still breathing.
"Layla?" he said. touching her forehead. "Layla?" He pressed his fingers under her jaw, searching for a pulse. People had started gathering, their murmurs swarming around him, but he paid them no mind. Daniel pressed his ear to Layla's chest and counted to four before he started CPR. Fifteen compresses, tilt, pinch, two breaths. Again, again, again....
Another wave crashed, washing away Daniel's nightmare. He took a deep, cleansing breath, tasting the energy in the air. He waded farther out, the anxiousness of the water mounting with his own rising adrenaline. Daniel picked up his board and went farther out, faster this time, and then slapped it onto the water, sliding easily onto his belly. Paddling out, he glanced down out of habit at the ribbony blue letters painted near the top of his surfboard. Layla, they read.
Come on, Layla. Let's do one more wave.

The photo is by G. Baden of Corbis Images. I think it's called Contemplating the Surf.


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