The Water Calls

Free Verse by Lee Conrad

It is night and I am on my own.
I run, panting, along rain-slicked cobblestone lanes.
Gaslights cast shadows in the mist like shrouds that threaten to engulf me.
I hear them now. A low thrum, like angry bees ready to sting.
I hasten down a side alley past shops of fine linen and sundry goods.
One keeper looks at me, hears the voices, steps inside and bolts the door.
I must get to the river and the ship… to safety.
The water calls.
The mob closes in. The flicker of their torches dance on stone buildings.
My heart is ready to explode.
I reach the dock and emptiness. The ship sailed with the tide. No time for an errant sailor.
At the top of the lane leading down towards the quay, the mob stops.
The chase over. Their quarry cornered.
No escape.
I walk to the edge of the dock, turn and face them.
The dark turgid mass of the river swirls behind me.
With arms stretched out, as if to embrace my tormentors, I lean back and fall.
Oblivion my master, the river my ship.

First appeared on Storystar.

Lee Conrad lives in upstate New York with his longtime love and their three rescue cats. His stories have appeared in Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Ariel Chart, Sundial Magazine, The London Reader, Books ‘N Pieces and Written Tales.

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