THE NIGHT THEY CAME
Leonardo © 2012
Spring was waning and summer was only inches from waxing on that thirteenth day of June. The on-going battle for domination of the weather between the two seasons produced some mighty thick fog. My government-issued flashlight was of little help. It did a great job of scattering light but a lousy one of directing it. Thirty minutes into my patrol and into the new day, my eye was caught by the only thing visible south of the dunes, a long, lone cloud passing between myself and the moon.
As I was staring at the dense pileus form which gave the moon a Saturn-like shape, a feeling I had never know before seemed to engulf me. I lowered my gaze from the lunar ring, and more with my ears then eyes, scanned the horizon, like you do when you hear a tiny sound that you can’t fully make out.
Then I closed my eyes-cause it helps you hear better, at least that’s what our commander tells us, and he does it all the time. But we think he does it because last fall Lauren Bacall knocked on our station door, asking if she could use our phone and while she was waiting for the call back, she told our commander he looked like Spencer Tracey, especially when his eyes were closed (Which still to this day, I can’t understand why, for even one half second, anyone would close their eyes when Lauren Bacall was in viewing range) anyway, ever since then he likes doing what we call, “The Tracey face.”
Like lonely rail road tracks, my body stood quiet and still, and like the bed-side of a pillow, my eyes knew nothing. After what seemed like a long time but was probably thirty, maybe forty seconds of silence, I opened my eyes and just as I was about to take a step, I thought I saw something moving, coming over the dune. My heart started to pound-hard. I could feel it beating up in my neck. I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds, and then, when I started again, the first thought that came to me was, I have a flash light, then I remembered to grab it. I pointed it in the direction of the moving object, but nothing. Not even a scattering of light this time.
It was as if the light was sucked into the blackness of the night, or maybe the object it self. That was when I felt my heart beating in my wrist. The pounding was so powerful I could feel it pass through the flash light. I turned my hand up to look at my wrist, and that was when I realized, I never turned the light on.
Feeling foolish I finally clicked it on and pointed it back towards the object, however the mist in the air refracted light partials every where, as fog loves to do, which did little more then create a glowing sphere of yellow/white light.
I figured if I couldn’t see anything at least my ears could hear, so I called out, and immediately heard back, “We’re fishermen fromSouthampton.” Then the figure moved closer, bathed in the warm-yellow/white light of my flashlight I could make out a man, at least six inches taller then me. His clothes and hair were wet and his face, from what I could see, was intimidating, but not so much so that I was scared, I mean, more then I already was, that is.
Before I could fully make out his features he continued his sentence, “We’ve run ashore.”
“Well sir I am Seaman second class John C. Cullen and our Coast Guard station is only a few hundred yards from here. You and your crew are welcome to dry off and stay the night,” I replied. By now he was close enough for me to make out his features. He looked at me and I at him, then his face seemed to take a hard posture and in a slightly agitated manner said, “We don’t have a fishing license.”