Walking on Water
Water to wine
Love lasts forever
Wish you were mine
Walking on Water
CHAPTER SEVEN: Drown
She must have blacked out because she dreamed. There was Tisha surrounded by nothing but darkness, a starless night sky above, up to the hips in black water. At first. Then there was white. Swans. About seven, big, long-necked fuckers with snapping orange beaks. They dove out of the air flying in a circle around Tisha their wings beating like drums. It frightened Tisha, she covered her ears suddenly naked.
One of the swans reached out with its neck, snatched her hair loose, and their flying became more frenzied.
“There are no swans in Texas,” the thought occurred to Vonne, as she was trying to dissociate from the image, it was a dream, she should wake up and find her wife.
One of the large, white bodies bowled into Tisha from behind, she stumbled, but did not fall, the place between her shoulder and neck was caught in a giant bill, webbed feet planted themselves above her buttocks, the bird pressed its body close and flapped its wings.
Another swan flew into her middle, a black webbed foot curling around her hip, it lowered its body onto her sex, neck and head snaking between her breasts. Tisha gasped and Vonne recognized it as the type that sometimes entered her ear on those rare occasions when their lovemaking took a rough turn. A sigh of pleasure and pain.
Vonne fought her way back into conscious, found that she was leaning against a brick wall, water to her ankles. She heaved her self to her feet, waving the air manically fighting the nightmare.
“Goddamnit,” she exclaimed, stooping to pick up her flashlight, she turned a circle aiming into the darkness.
“Tisha,” she called, “Tisha.”
The boat. She needed to get back to the boat. Vonne stumbled around the school building searching with her light for her fucking boat.
There was some sinister shit going on, she could not quite recall, the fall from the gym had knocked the sense from her. She stopped in her tracks. She had fallen. She had been pushed. By whom?
She continued sloshing through the flood, all she knew for certain was that Tisha was missing, that she had to hurry and find her before they got to her. Who? The swans.
“No, that was a dream,” she told herself out loud, earlier that afternoon she caught Tisha thumbing through some book of art inspired by myths, one picture displayed a naked woman in close proximity to a large swan, in fact the bird was posed between her legs.
“It’s Michelangelo’s Leda and the Swan,” Tisha explained, “Zeus disguised himself as a swan and seduced her.”
“They were into some freaky shit back in antiquity,” Vonne observed.
“Some stories say that he raped her,” Tisha said her matter of fact tone betrayed by a quiver.
Vonne had reached for the book.
“You shouldn’t be looking at stuff like that,” she said.
“It doesn’t make me scared,” she replied handing over the book, “It’s just a myth.”
Vonne agreed, slightly disturbed. Now, as she waded through the flood, it disturbed her deeply.
“Your mind’s playing trick on you,” she said, “Just find Tisha.”
She saw her boat in the gloom ahead, moved faster, the shinning light reached it before she did revealing the bottom of the hull.
The boat had been turned over.
“Hell no,” Vonne groaned, “My boat.”
She paused and searched the bottom with the light, not only had it been turned over but someone took the time to vandalize it as well. Once familiar graffiti had been scrawled on the white fiberglass, insults in a sickly brown color like mud or shit.
The main taunt stood bolder, the lines thicker.
We got your bitch
And the artist, the artists names were signed: JJ, Ya Boy Fila, Mark-ill, Al and GiGi.
Those names. Someone was fucking with her out there in the flood. Cause there was no way those kids turned over her boat, then tagged it. There was no way. They were dead.
But then, hadn’t she just come across Al in the gym of her old high school?
“No, that was a dream,” she said, “Just like the swans.”
She paused in the darkness, silent save her breathing, blinking her eyes rapidly as if she could erase the images, the memories welling up behind them. She was seeing the white Bronco skidding up on Sargent’s Bridge over the deepest part of Legacy Bayou, as swollen with rains eighteen years ago as it was the very night.
They started it. The whole thing sounded childish, but they had, Vonne was driving home after a date with Carolyn Bimmel, back in Coolwood the summer after their first year in college. They had a few beers at Carolyn’s momma’s, who conveniently was out of town for the weekend. Vonne was certain she would get laid that night, but her would be lover backed out and could not be convinced otherwise. So, they just got tipsy on the back porch laughing about high school.
She left Carolyn at about 2.am, climbed into her battered ’72 Chevy Cheyenne pick-up, and rumbled towards Hink’s, where she stayed the summers after Momma died.
She was damned near across Coolwood when she realized the white Bronco behind her most likely belonged to a drug dealer who went by the name Mark-ill. He had it in for her since New Year’s Eve when his girlfriend GiGi confessed that she fucked Vonne. Which was a complete lie, GiGi had been around so much, Vonne would have been suicidal to touch her.
GiGi enjoyed setting Mark off making her the most blood-thirsty of the Coolwood Posse, she seemed more of a leader than her boyfriend. Mark-ill sold the drugs, GiGi made shit happen.
They were about fifty-five strong a decent size for a small town gang, Mark and GiGi were the most notorious members, along with JJ, a big burly son-of-a-bitch, and Fila, a natural born sociopath, and finally Al, a runt with a smart mouth, the name kid who coined the phrase “pussy-biter” back during their freshman year of high school.
All five of them were in the Bronco that night when they followed Vonne on to Legacy Bridge, a narrow overpass barely wide enough for two lanes divided by a faded yellow line, with no streetlights for miles.
“Motherfuck,” young Vonne said as she looked in the rear-view mirror past her reflection at the square headlights behind her like glaring robot eyes.
She sped up suddenly the Cheyenne’s wheels squealing on the road. The Bronco’s lights flashed bright signaling that the chase was on.
The newer vehicle quickly caught up, and they were side-by-side. She forced herself to look over at them, saw the five jeering silhouettes, JJ, in the driver’s seat. It was a known fact the Posse carried guns. Vonne braced herself and hit the brakes suddenly. The Bronco zoomed on.
There was not enough room to turn around fast enough. She flipped the Cheyenne in reverse and sped backwards.
The Bronco did the same swerving slightly.
Vonne narrowed her eyes and watched it come at her. Suddenly completely sober and very much pissed off, she braked again, and went forward. The Bronco was clumsy in reverse at such a speed.
“I’m going to tear this bitch up,” she said through clenched teeth. It was not as if Mark-ill purchased the car with honest money, or its occupant total scum. She was tired of hearing stories about the Posse beating up people, shooting up gatherings into scatterings, tired of seeing their tags all over town. Their poison had killed her mother, and ruined many other lives.
They impacted in the glare of her headlights, the right side of her sturdy chrome bumper rammed the left tail end. She could see them jarred by the crash, limbs flying. They swerved past, still in reverse, out of control; the Bronco flipped high, clearing the three-foot guardrail of the bridge with a loud metallic scraping sound, falling over.
Vonne stopped the truck, heard the splash. She sat there for a moment, looking at her face in the rearview mirror, still not sure what had just happened. She opened the driver’s side door, got out on wobbly legs, toddled over to the guardrail. A slight bend in the metal and the glow of white paint of the rusty guardrail, were the only remaining trace of the Bronco. She looked over, saw the water white from the shock, she could make out the shape of the car, but barely. She was then sure the water down in Legacy could not be so deep as to cover the Bronco, the Posse could get out safely, the worst of their maladies bruised ego over their ruined ride, sopping wet from head to toe.
People survived shit like that all the time.
She returned to the truck, pulled a flashlight from the glove compartment, and returned shinning it down on the brown-black water. Other than a few ripples there was no sign of the Bronco. The water had swallowed it up.
They were found a few months later when the bayou dried up, the Bronco on its back in the muddy bed, the windows cracked but not broken, five bodies trapped inside bloated by water, spotted with algae.
“The cops said it was like the water washed the color off them,” Hink who had connections with the Coolwood police informed her, “Their eyes were gray, and white, their skin-”
“They’re dead,” Vonne shouted at her years later as she stood out there in the flood confronted by graffiti on her over-turned boat, “People do not come back from the dead. That is strictly Twilight Zone shit.”
We got your bitch.
Vonne remembered navigating the flood in her boat earlier, how the current changed direction sending the Beetle right into her boat. The body in the driver’s seat.
It was one of the Posse, they wanted Tisha overboard, so they could take her, so they could get their revenge on Vonne after eighteen years.
“It’s always trying to find a way in” Tisha said earlier, “They said they would come back for me, and you too, Vonne, they want you most of all.”
The words had angered her, and frightened her, but now they chilled her. The Posse had found a way in, according to Tisha they were working on it for a long time.
“Coward motherfuckers,” she announced to the flood, “You could never handle me, not the five of you, not the fifty of you, so ya’ll had to snatch my wife. Hey. It’s me. I’m the biter, but ya’ll are the pussies.”
This time the water did not gather, it surged up at once into a narrow, curling wave that pulled Vonne’s boat up into the air about three or four stories, like a giant looming arm threatening to hurl her own boat at her.
She turned and ran as fast as the flood would allow her, she did not let the monstrous whoosh to hinder her. The wall of water that crashed into her stung as if under a high pressure like those fire hoses used on protesters.
Vonne felt herself washed along like trash in a gutter. The Posse had her in a grip from beyond the grave with the power of a flood at its whim they would drown her and Tisha.
To be continued in chapter eight: tidal
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