...continued With failing strength, Senna managed to clear the cabin’s doorway. She braced her feet on either side of the opening, preparing for one final push upwards. Carson’s body was now limp in her arms and she feared the worst, but she refused to let him go. Pushing against the doorway with all her might, Senna shot upwards, finally free from the sinking boat’s pull. Senna felt herself slipping into unconsciousness as she floated upward in a vast sea of darkness. She had done her best, but she couldn’t gauge how far she was from the surface. She didn’t have the willpower to go any further. The last vestiges of strength drained from her body. Although she'd stopped kicking her legs, she still floated upwards. The water was gradually warming up as she neared the surface but still, Senna was too far away to make it. As her surroundings blurred, everything moving in slow motion, Senna noted with detached interest the approach of dark figures in the water, swimming towards her gracefully. She felt Carson being pulled from her arms just before oblivion claimed her. ***************** The sound of waves gently lapping upon the shore somewhere nearby was the first thing Senna heard as she drifted in and out of consciousness. Her last waking memory had been of her weightless body suspended in shimmering black nothingness, holding on to the tiny, limp form of Carson. Vague images of dark figures swarming around her flitted through her mind. Had they been her rescuers or were they angels of death, sent to carry her to the unknown shores beyond the confines of mortal life? A cool breeze washed over Senna, toying with her hair and tickling her nose. When Senna attempted to move, all notions that she was dead fled from her mind. Dead people didn’t feel excruciating pain when they tried moving their arms and legs, did they? Her muscles screamed in agony as they fired to life after being deprived of oxygen for so long. Senna groaned, her eyes fluttering open to see the metal gray sky overhead. To Senna, it didn’t look as angry as it had in the moments before the ferry sank. Perhaps its malevolent force had been satisfied by the offering of the ferry and the souls on board. “Hey, there’s someone laying over here! I can’t tell if they’re alive or not.” A male voice exclaimed. Senna looked in the direction of the rapidly approaching footsteps, her head pounding to the cadence of her heartbeat. She didn’t recognize the two men who knelt beside her. “She's alive." The man called over his shoulder, relief in his voice. "You’re the newspaper reporter. Miss Norwood, right?” He helped her into a sitting position. “That’s me.” Senna managed to whisper before vomiting lake water in the kindly man’s lap. Embarrassment burned her cheeks as she wiped the vomit from her mouth with the back of her hand, but the man didn’t seem fazed. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize that would happen.” “It’s fine, Miss. You swallowed a lot of water. It’s gotta come up somehow. Here,” The man produced a tissue from his pocket, offering it to Senna. “That should help.” Senna’s gaze scoured the beach around her, searching for any sign of other survivors. “Carson! Where is he? I was holding onto him right before I passed out. Please tell me you found him. He's a little guy. Five years old. Blonde hair.” The men didn’t answer right away. A dark look passed between them and Senna knew. Carson hadn’t made it. “Miss Norwood, you’re the only person that has been found. There’s no sign of the other passengers and we can only assume that they’re still in the boat. There’s divers heading down there right now but quite frankly, there’s no way they could be alive after all this time in the water.” The older man said, his voice solemn. “Honestly, it’s a miracle that you made it out alive. You must have some pretty powerful guardian angels looking out for you.” Suddenly, Senna felt very tired. As more people joined the two men, gathering around her in hushed whispers, grief threatened to overwhelm her. Seen and unseen alike, Senna felt the weight of their gazes. Pity. Astonishment. Gratitude. How was it that life just kept dishing out these impossible circumstances upon her? Surely, Senna had already endured more than the average person could fathom in a lifetime. Just like that, the old wounds from five years ago had reopened and the past came rushing up to meet her before she could escape. As Senna was being assisted to her feet, unconsciousness claimed her once more. This time, she happily gave in to the oblivion.
** Blog picture was taken on my afternoon cruise across Loch Ness, right outside of Fort Augustus, Scotland.