Lindsay hung onto the branch for dear life waiting for the mayhem to stop. Her ears were ringing as though someone had sounded a tuning fork in her head. She was hit in the face by an object she didn’t see coming. Blood dripped into her eyes but she felt no pain. Dear God let this be over. She thought about letting go, ending it all. The sole survivor of the hellish fire, she wanted to die. Death must be better than this!
“Who’s there?” Lindsay asked, feeling she wasn’t alone. The hairs on the back of her neck bristled and she felt a chill running down her spine. Her hands slipped a little and her toes hit the cold water.
“Just let go Lindsay, join your friends. You deserve to be with them. You’re as guilty as they are. You bloody English thing you own the world.”
“What?” Lindsay looked up and saw a shadowy figure standing above her on the path. It was Colleen. Her terrible beautiful face was contorted in pain and anger, her dress red with blood. A shadowy figure formed by her side.
“Come on Patrick, let’s go now. There’s nothing for us here!”
Patrick? The shadows faded, merged with the breeze. Back on the water, shapes appeared, a shoe floated past, part of a backpack, a plastic bag, a glove with something trailing out of it.
Oh God, there’s a hand in there.
“Help, can somebody help me.” Lindsay shouted.
She was surrounded by silence, but not for long. Voices approached, shouting in panic, followed by footsteps.
“Lindsay, hang on. Bill, Steve, make a human chain get her off that branch, it’s not going to hold much longer.”
She looked up to see Barbara and two other police officers. They were reaching down to her.
“Take my hand love.”
Lindsay obeyed, but daren’t let go of the branch.
“I’ve got you. You can trust me.”
She did as she was told and felt herself being pulled to safety. She collapsed weakly to the ground and looked back towards the river. The glove had floated out of sight. A human shape had taken its place. It floated lifelessly, face down in the deep dark water.
Patrick? Could that be him? Is he with his sister now? For a moment no one moved.
One of the Police Officers sprung into action, pulling off his shoes and jacket. “I’m going in, I’m a strong swimmer.” He plunged into the cold water and made short work of reaching the shape, pulling it easily to dry land. Lindsay was aware of a gathering crowd, some of whom helped pull the lifeless body out of the river.
A woman pushed her way through the crowd. “I’m a nurse”, she said and tried in vain to resuscitate the man. Someone else bound the stump of his arm, where his hand used to be.
Lindsay knew it was too late. Patrick had joined his sister.
“Who is this, do you know him?” Barbara asked.
Lindsay opened her mouth to speak, but screamed instead. A second shape appeared in the water. It was Michael!
Oh the stories that rattle around in my brain. Check out my first novel Dead of July is available on Amazon for $0.99. Give it a try.