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A Short Story - one Last Wave

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Annabeth Bilodeau


Creative Writing

21 November, 2016

One Last Wave

April rolls around and the season begins to change on the Northshore of Hawaii. The plants bloom and sound of cicadas echo through the grassy lands. The sound of the white waves crashing is audible as soon as one approaches the warm sand. The sand is hot underneath your feet as the sun beats down upon the beach. Children run to the sea, red buckets in hand as their parents set up multi-colored umbrellas. Their mother's scorn them for not waiting for their sunscreen to dry, but smile as their children laugh and play near the ocean. Sweat beads the brow and the sunshine tickles the eyelids of sunbathers who have forgotten to bring their sunglasses. Teenagers set up radio’s on top of their towels and tune it to their favorite station. Music sounds throughout the whole beach. The foamy mists from the ocean spray circulates in the air as surf boards splash on the water and the clear blue sky shows no indication of a storm on the horizon.

The ocean seems calm enough, no indication of a rocky ride. The beach is unfamiliar and remote, the chances of finding it again are slim to none. Suddenly, it becomes eerily quiet and calm. A cool breeze swirls through the air and gray clouds paint the sky. The air turns cold and the waves begin to beat against one another. His board rocks back and forth against the rough waves, threatening to send him overboard with every movement. The buoy a few feet away sways back and forth against the attacks of the waves, it’s bell ringing loud enough for Russia to hear. The sunbathers have begun collecting their beach bags and have made their way back to the refuge of their homes. The families have packed up and headed back to their minivans. There is a feeling of uneasiness in the air.

As the surfer paddles out, he can hear his friends call out that he’s gone too far. They scream that the waves look too rough. He insists it’s his last ride of the day and he can see the perfect wave coming in. He doesn’t want to miss it. “I’ll be back in a minute. Just one more ride, it’s not going to kill me!” He assures them. “Okay, we’re heading over to the restaurant, meet us when you’re done” His friend shouts as he makes his way back to the shore. He smiles as he breaths in the salty mist of the ocean air. He can’t wait to go devour a meal the size of a shark after this, he’s starving. He can feel fish underneath his feat. They’re swimming fast, the type of fast that they would only swim if they were swimming away from something.

Suddenly, he notices how far out he is. A shark danger sign flashes in front of him as he looks back to the far away beach. Suddenly, he realizes that he is the only one still in the ocean. Now, he can remember watching the news about tropical storms in this area that have brought foreign sea creatures closer to shore. The news reporter had cautioned everyone to not venture too far out in the ocean. As a fin swims a feet feet away, he wish he had listened to the women in the pastel blazer on the television. The shark seems to be swimming in no predetermined direction, just going wherever he pleases. His heart begins to beat against his chest, his breaths picking up their pace, and his hands trembling. He does not want to die.

“Help!” he screams at the top of his lungs. He can see more sharks approaching. One by one he’s being surrounded by multiple sharks, all of which terrify him. He isn’t sure who he is yelling to. He’s too far out, he can hardly see if anyone is still on the beach. Out of options and scared of the fish underneath him. He paddles to the buoy. He can see a shark following behind him. He begins to sweat and paddle faster in hopes of beating the shark. As he climbs on, the shark stampedes into his new raft, sending it rocking back and forth once again. He holds on for dear life, afraid of what lies beneath him.

All of the sudden, he notices something a few feet away from him. A a paddle boat, tied to a small floating dock, no doubt deserted by one of the families after the storm started to hit. Staring intently at the boat, he thinks about his options. “If I try to swim to the boat, what are the odds of me actually making it? How fast do these sharks swim anyway?” He thinks to himself. He watches the creatures dart back in forth in the water. “Okay, fast” He says answering his own question.

His eyes dart back and forth along the coast, looking for options. He’s looking for a way to survive this. He tries to think about all the stories he’s heard about shark attacks. He’s trying to remember what his Pa said when he first took him out with him. He can’t remember anything. He was preoccupied with which board he was going to use, he had never truly listened. Looking at the sharks beneath him now and the far away shore, he wishes he had. His eyes come across something. Tied to the buoy, a bucket of bait. “At least now I know why the fish had been attacking the buoy, they had wanted food.” He almost chuckles to himself. He realizes that he now has a plan. He stares at the sharks, blocking his safe travel to the boat. He holds the bucket up and throws the red bait as far as he possibly can from his path. They dart away in pursuit of their next meal. He dives into the rough water and begins swimming towards the boat. He gasps for breath as a feels a sharp pain on his foot. He’s been bitten. He swims faster and faster trying to escape the shark following behind him. He can feel his foot bleeding, only bringing more sharks towards him.

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