I like it when daddy takes me to the Sunday Market.
I like seeing the townsfolk in their smart clothes. Not like daddy who only ever wears overalls. The ladies dressed in pants driving their trucks. Daddy sees me lookin and snaps, “Get back to them apples, and don’t be getting any ideas in that head of yours.”
But ideas I do get. Sometimes I imagine that Tim with the smiling eyes is going to pull me behind the tent and whisper, “Run away with me pretty Sally. Be mine.” But then I snap back to reality… No one’s calling me pretty with them welts on my back.
Or am I just imagining it. At this point, I hardly know. Perhaps my desperate mind has started hallucinating… like seeing a mirage in the desert.
At least the cold has reduced. But then I think back to all those movies. The victims always stop feeling cold when they are about to die. Maybe I’m dying… This is it… The end. Yet I feel no fear. No panic. I feel nothing. I’m standing on the outside looking at this stranger. Look people, here she is.
The leaves rustle again. I’m too exhausted to even look.
He flashed his indicator and started merging into the right lane. The exit to the airport was just 7 miles away. His eyes darted to the clock. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes at the car-rental. Yes, he was making good time.
He had seen the marine plant truck pull in as he left. $55 a ton was good money and they wanted the load lifted as soon as possible.
They had thought him a fool for selling the place with the seaweed wrack.
The joke was on them. Only he knew what lay at the bottom of the pile.
Well, let me counter. If it didn’t, would you even be asking the question?
The human spirit, my friend, is like a cockroach. It will survive anything.
You may be under the blazing sun, you may be in beautiful meadows, the powers that be may have flushed you down a drain, the world may appear to be in the bowels of desperation, but if you look hard enough, you will find that little cockroach.
It may look lost. It may look dead. But believe you me, it will eventually start gasping for breath. Micro-inch by micro-inch it will crawl forward. And before you know it, that ferocious little sucker will be dashing away before your eyes.
Does anything even matter anymore?
We are not the first to ask this question, nor will we be the last.
It is this seemingly hopeless call that will herald a revolution.
Life will always matter. The future will always matter. Truth will always matter.
And even if there are but a few good people, this question will be asked, the people will rally, and this question will be answered.
What do you suppose they are discussing, with their heads huddled together?
Perhaps they are deliberating imperative matters of serious consequence. The strong tall leaders of fernkind… debating the risks of climate change… strategizing defence… “First we sacrifice the thistles,” they might say. Every great battle has its share of collateral damage after all.
Or perhaps they are just posturing. They who are in positions closest to the oxygen source may just be waiting for natural selection to weed out the small and weak.
You can’t blindly trust the leaders. One does not have to be great to get to the top – just tenacious.
My hands are frozen, my legs feel like heavy lead. My head is pounding, every cell in my body screaming for oxygen. I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. I scream for help. But nobody is looking for me. The only one looking at me is him. Unseeing, unblinking, his eyes grotesque and bulging. “Help me,” he pleads.
Insomnia haunts my nights; fatigue rules my days.
I reach for my PTSD pills. I don’t want the chemicals, but I can’t survive the dreams.
Because sometimes the dream changes; sometimes the unseeing eyes are mine.
Trauma effects not only the survivors but the rescuers too.
In 2011, the World Aquatic Health Conference recognised PTSD as a legitimate concern amongst life guards, particularly because the profession regularly employs teenagers and requires making split second decisions that have life and death consequences.