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Unlikely Deeds Along the English Channel

May 17, 2010

File:English Channel.jpg

Standing on the shore of the English Channel. Alone. A fact discerned by the sight of emptiness and unturned sand; a feeling imbedded in the movement of my bare feet. Nowhere to go.


I saw a dock nearby and sat there, looking down at the unsteady reflection in the water. Who I was remained unclear. As I let my eyes wander over the horizon something patted my toes. Once. Twice. Then it clung onto my foot.
A woman’s hand.

Her face rose to the surface. The texture of her skin told me she recently drowned. After I tried to pull her out the first time, I noticed the water had become murky. Metal pieces and fabric were floating beside her. I jumped in, kicking my feet hard to prevent her from getting drawn back into the Atlantic.

File:White shark.jpg

Photo Credit: Terry Goss

A shark quietly approached and produced circles around me. I looked underwater to see if I recognized him. He wasn’t one of the sharks I frequently came in contact with so I sent a particle of sound through the water. It traveled for some time in the distance before he chose to follow it. As I stared at the ripples he left behind I noticed there were others. Men and women floating on their backs or face down. Some without shoes, others without clothes.

I panicked as I dragged the woman onto the sand. I wasn’t a good swimmer. Never was. How was I supposed to get to them? I stared at the black water and focused on my only advantage. I was afraid of the depth, the darkness and the possibility of running into another Great White. But I could breathe underwater. If I did it quickly and efficiently enough I would succeed.

I closed my eyes and dove. One by one I pulled them out and lay them down next to one another. The last victim was a young girl. She held a thick envelope in her hands. It was soaked and covered in seaweed, but its contents were almost legible. I read names. Names that would become comprehensible once the paper dried.

I began to dig the first grave waiting for tomorrow’s sun.

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