DAY 1: Today wasn’t like most days. The sky was misty, the trees were a bit limp and even the people eyen the people acted quite peculiar. Only people who live here, like me in Southern California, Santa Monica would know this. Usually people keep to themselves either staying at the beaches, like me, or they went in the more mountainous parts of Cali. But today, the people I saw didn’t go in the water. It was probably because an ominous fog had crept over each wave, not knowing what lay five feet ahead of you. Today, just like any other Tuesday, I walked across the beach, a simple passerby you might call me. I usually skim the horizon, but today it looked a tad crooked. There weren’t as many surfers as expected, there were only four or five. They were scattered, and always bobbing about, like a bird anticipating its next meal. Off one of them went, paddling, popping up, and riding the wave with clearly tremendous effort, trying to stay on his board. He plopped back into the water, and turned, but instead of steadily paddling back out to try again, his gaze stays fixed on what’s to the right of him, about 20 feet away. A girl, who must’ve been in her twenties, appears stirred up to say the least. She has been desperately trying to stay afloat on her board while paddling, and now she seems too familiar. I’ve seen her before, and talked to her once,
It’s only name that comes to mind, so it must be hers. I can recall our conversation so easily. It was the first year she lived here, and the first month she tried to surf. Of course, only a fool would try and surf without a lesson or instructor, but she had a reason for her ignorance. Who knows anything about surfing when they’re previously from Nebraska? But today, her expression was that of a school nun, tight, pursed lips, but the rest of her face was that of a terrified child. Something was wrong, so very wrong. The man, who had watched just as long as me, gasped, heaved up his arm, and pointed and yelled, “shark!” Almost instantly, she was jerked under her board as the sea swallowed her, limbs and all. That must’ve been the hardest I’ve ever ran. I wasn’t any Olympic sprinter, but I could run. I had reached the edge of the water, which was unusually cool and clear, but saw nothing except some bubbles that surfaced, and the surfboard, perfectly perpendicular, sometimes dragged all the way under, just to pop back up again. These few seconds seemed like forever. Screaming people rushed for land, while the familiar surfer who first spotted her, Gabe has detached his leash and bounded across the waves as if they were one foot hurdles. He paused about five or six feet from where this was going on, realizing a drop off lay ahead that could be anywhere from 8 to 50 feet deep. There was nothing more to do but watch and wait. As soon as she came back up, everyone seemed to materialize out of thin air, the National Guard, Life Guards, Coast Guards and just about every other big service that helps with this sort of thing.
She was good as dead. I knew it, they knew it, and she probably knew it the second she was hauled under. What was left of her surely made everyone’s stomachs flip. She was scraps on a dinner plate put into a blender. Her head, arms, and chest were intact, her wetsuit was cut through like paper and where the waist was, or should’ve been, there wasn’t much, and it wasn’t taken off cleanly either. Ripped flesh either dangled or fell off her like a tender piece of meat falling off the bone besides the clumps of damp sand that slid off her. Her skin was of raw, hard, frigid stone; almost no blood escaped her as they laid her on the gurney. Quiet mumbles came from the small crowd surrounding the ambulance, and the tension…