Broken Bones

Javier steered his little rowboat around the airplane’s wing. It stuck out of the shallow water like a tall white rock, smoothed by the ocean’s waves. A man sat opposite of him, wrapped in Javier’s thin wool blanket. The man stared between his feet with glazed-over eyes. Javier had pulled him out of the cold waters just moments before.

Suitcases, pillows, and clothing were bobbing on the water all around them. The air smelled of fuel and smoke. A few bold seagulls flew overhead, looking for anything edible amongst the flotsam.

“You know, I had a feeling something bad might happen today,” Javier told the man as he kept rowing through the debris.

The man didn’t react. Javier often talked to himself when he was out here to fish.

“I sometimes have these…” he paused, trying to find the right word, “premonitions.”

A body floated face-down against the side of the boat. It wore a navy-blue suit. Javier winced as he gently pushed it away with one of his oars, dislodging the dead person’s wig in the process. It floated off like a separate, hairy casualty.

“I get this feeling and my left hand tingles.” He held up his hand with the unnaturally bent fingers towards the man. “Dropped a large shipping crate on it. Broke all the bones. Now, when something bad happens, it starts tingling. Like it knows something I don’t. Tingled just before the freak storm we had last summer, the one that toppled my cousin’s boat. He almost drowned.”

“I felt it tingle today, but” Javier scanned the chaos around him, “I didn’t see that coming.”


Copyright 2021 Sven Camrath
Photo ‘floating’ by mhobl

About the story: Based on a writing prompt on Secret Attic that required to use of the sentence “I didn’t see that coming.”

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