Trip to the Sea
He looked out from the cliff edge. The waves down below rattled against the cliff face. Zach, overcome with vertigo stepped back from the daunting view. His heart was still pounding violently in his chest as his jacket rustled feverishly to his heavy panting. He could not run back down. This was the end of the line.
“Fuck!” he yelled at himself in frustration. He looked back down the dusty trail he had just hiked up. Myriads of bramble, twigs, thistles and leaves viciously engulfed the earthy path so that every blast of dust blown up by the wind was like a desperate cry for help; but Zach had no time for that.
He looked down at the sea again. The waves relentlessly snapped at the jagged wall below, the water frothing like a deranged rabies carrier. Nothing but complete and utter chaos reigned. Zach shuddered at the sight and turned away. Suddenly he felt his heart jump up with a glimmer of hope from what he had seen from the corner of his eye. Was his sick, tormenting mind playing tricks on him again? He looked back at the spot. The vicious and deadly cur had not ceased its attack down below. Zach squinted a bit harder and there, in the centre of the furious watery tirade was a pool of calm, navy blue water. An epiglottis tucked delicately away for the beast to unleash its loudest bark.
Zach now had options. Originally, it had been: stay where he is and die or jump off the cliff, hope he does not land on the jagged rocks, plunge into the hell storm of waves which will rattle him against the cliff before he can orient himself and then die.
“Now,” he reckoned, “there’s a ten percent chance I could land in that calm pool; presuming there isn’t a bed of rock under ten inches of water right there.
“Yeah, I’m still gonna be fucked but at least I’ll have a moment to figure out my next move.”
Zach paced up and down feverishly, the adrenaline and fear in his body causing the tears on his face to zigzag down his cheeks. Suddenly, he froze in place and listened. At first there was nothing. The wind whipped through the weeds sending out a cloud of dust while the vegetation rustled stubbornly without being displaced. The wind died down again and there was silence…
“Yeah! Wait there’s a trail! Let’s go up here!”
The voices pierced the calm air and popped Zach’s bubble of desperate hope.
“Shit!” Zach shouted as he grabbed his hair and began to shake even more uncontrollably.
There was a faint crackle of branches being trodden on in the distance. Zach began to pace up and down again; his heart beating so hard it added an extra shake to his body’s shivers. The footsteps could now be heard clearly as the voices, only a few metres away, grew louder. Zach began to feel dizzy. His breathing now turned to short, loud, painful gasps as he began to hyperventilate. All of a sudden, he felt something warm trickling down his chin, then a dull pain from his mouth as he realized, in his grimaced frustration, he had bitten cleanly through his bottom lip.
The adrenaline numbing the pain and his realisation of his impending doom cemented, his fascination got the better of him. The quivering in his hand ceased completely as he reached it up to his chin and spat out the bloody chunk into his palm. Zach could now hear their voices bellowing just from behind the miniature wall of weeds on the path in front of him, but he did not care. Nothing was going to stop him from seeing this. How many people can say they have seen their own bottom lip up close, un-stretched and not in the mirror? He carefully wiped the blood off of the small piece of flesh with his other hand and examined it. It was now a pale pink, ‘from all the blood draining out of it,’ he figured. It was still warm and the softest thing he had ever held in his life.
“Now step away from there and come over here. We’re gonna fix you up nicely,” one of the ghouls commanded as he gestured, but once again in vain as Zach did not understand a word of their babbling.
Zach looked up at the disturbing sight. Their pale, disfigured faces gleamed dully in the sunlight. Their snake-like eyes watching him intently. Their skeletal bodies ready to pounce at any moment. Zach pocketed his lip, calmly turned to the cliff edge and jumped…
Zach opened his eyes to a blinding white fluorescent light. He tried to move but his whole body was in searing pain and finally with some effort he managed to look down at it. He was lying in a bed. Both of his legs where in casts and angled up in the air from the pulley system they were rigged up to. His left arm was also in a cast and he felt his heart pound almost out of his chest then sink suddenly as he noticed that his entire right arm had been reduced to nothing but a bandaged stub. He closed his eyes and looked back up. A cold draft swept in through the window and for the first time in his life he could feel it hitting against his bottom gums.
Zach could hear a stirring coming from the side of the room. He looked to his left just as Dave was waking up from a bench against the wall.
“Daeh! What the h’uck hah’n’d?!”
“What happened?” Dave yawned while stretching his arms, “You took too much, cut off your bottom lip and jumped off your apartment onto the street is what happened.”
“Holy shit! Oh yeah! Shit! H’an, i’h you only knew what I saw! Ha ha ha ha! I was tri’hing g’alls!”