Guilty Water

cliff stormI felt dizzy. When I was able to open my eyes and look down, I saw the angry dark waves pounding at the base of the cliff. The rain continued to fall as I inched closer to the edge, moving onto the wet rocks tentatively. The sound of blood coursing through my ears mirrored that of the crashing sea, thumping away along with my heart. A light wind stung my unshaven face with salty abandon. I looked down at my hands and saw that the red had yet to wash away. Holding them up for inspection I watched in fascination as the rain diluted the remaining blood, turning the drips into a weak red, which were whipped away in the wind, down into the sea to disappear, evidence battered into untraceable parts per million.

I now stood, more swayed at the very precipice. When I closed my eyes again I could hear the waves calling me, beckoning me to join them, to be a part of them and their watery angst. I looked at my hands again, not a trace left but there were some splashes on my khakis embedded, the sort of stains that only a severe washing machine could lift…the sort of washing machine that lay before me, ready to rinse and repeat until not even my body remained.

At that point the needless taunt jabbed at my conscience – You can’t even swim!

In life sometimes you need to try something before you know if you can do it or not. I’d just shot a man I hated. And the sickener is, I still hated him and now I hated myself. The crime scene wasn’t exactly lacking in DNA. A cliff dive seemed preferable to a life in prison and the media scrutiny coupled with friends and family unable to look at me in the eye, unable to understand why…well that, that kills me.

So I leapt and let gravity work its magic. Can I swim? I won’t know till I try.

2 Comments

  1. You really drew me in at the beginning of the piece. I feel like you could’ve went into more detail about the hatred of the man that was shot. Why did “you” hate him? Or maybe explained more how you came onto the cliff or the crime itself. Overall I enjoyed reading it.

    I particularly liked the line “I looked at my hands again, not a trace left but there were some splashes on my khakis embedded, the sort of stains that only a severe washing machine could lift…the sort of washing machine that lay before me, ready to rinse and repeat until not even my body remained.”.

    1. Thanks very much for stopping by and for your constructive criticism, hugely appreciated 🙂
      The idea was just a very short story, so I didn’t go into further detail about the crime or anything else – I was trying my hand at flash fiction and essentially cut a story off until only the end remained.

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