This flash fiction piece started its life as a squiggle. With all my artistic abilities, I scrawled a couple of funny little lines on my paper. My writer friend filled them in and came up with a woman in the surf.
Salt water threatened to drag me under. I struck out against the current. Another wave hit me. Bigger this time. I managed to gulp in a tiny breath before I was smashed down again. Rolling and tumbling in horrifying somersaults, fine sand ground into my eyes, my nose, my mouth. My lungs screamed for air. Glimpses of the blue sky far, far above mocked me.
My eyes fluttered open. Above me, leaning over my face, was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Wet, black curls clung to his strong, tanned face. Concerned, questioning dark brown eyes, fringed by thick, black lashes, held my gaze.
“Amber?” he said again. A small hint of a pleading smile.
I sighed in admiration and closed my eyes again. If you’re going to be saved from the surf by a lifesaver, he may as well be lovely. It was amazing how great I felt, I thought in surprise. Peeking up again, I saw white, even teeth, a masculine blade of a nose, firm lips turned up at the corners.
He drew back to sit on his haunches, so I let my eyes flit down to the rest of him. His body matched his face. Lean, wide, bare shoulders, a rigid six-packed abdomen, and a chest with a smattering of delicious black curls that led down to…well, tight fitting board shorts covered up that interesting area.
Two things hit me at the same time. I struggled to a sitting position, staring beyond my dark haired lifesaver to the empty beach beyond him. “Where is everyone? This place was packed when I went in the surf. And how do you know my name?”
His face fell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such sadness. “You’re not my Amber,” he said, his voice flat. He set his jaw. Then, observing my bafflement, he smiled. A tight, disappointed smile with a hint of tenderness. “So many Ambers,” he mused.
Totally at a loss, and just a little frightened, I forced my voice to be firm. “Did you rescue me?”
“Kieran,” he supplied, his eyes wistful, so sad.
“Kieran, thank you for saving me. But you haven’t answered my questions. Where have all the people gone? And how do you know my name? I don’t know you, do I?”
Silence stretched for so long, I wondered if he was going to answer me.
“There are no people here, because this is my Paradise. Mine and Amber’s.” He sighed, and said again, “So many Ambers.” He frowned. “Are you married?”
I shook my head, swallowing, searching the empty beach for some sign of life.
Kieran gave a half smile. “Good. I know that sounds crazy. You aren’t my Amber. You can marry anyone you want. But the last Amber was married to a guy called Dave, and it hurt. Crazy huh?”
He seemed to be talking more to himself than me, but I couldn’t agree with him more.
He seemed to observe my mounting fear, for he smiled again. A huge, sweet, comforting smile that worked. “Don’t worry, Amber. You’ll be fine. I’ll just keep waiting for my Amber. She’ll come.”
His lovely smile blurred, dimmed, darkened.
I woke up in a hospital bed.
My eyes fluttered open. I smiled up at the concerned, worried face of my sister.
(I’d love to know what you think this was about.)