I could taste the salt on my lips. The old wooden pier stretched out before me. Fog hung low in the sky like a thick, woolen blanket. The wind ripped at my hair and dress, blowing my jacket open as I walked. I stopped for a second and looked down over the side.
The Sea. I’ve always felt a strong connection with it. I don’t know why. It almost killed me once, when I was a child. My father and I went sailing one evening and I leaned too far over the side. I fell in when his back was turned and he didn’t notice. I was in the water for three minutes, fighting a losing battle against my Sunday dress, which was dragging me down to the cold depths. I didn’t even think to scream. I don’t remember thinking at all. I was swallowing too much water. If my father hadn’t seen me when he did, I wouldn’t have been able to keep kicking. But the last thing I remember was feeling his hand close around my wrist and pull me up out of the water. Then everything was dark.
Furious, white waves raged 20 feet below on either side. Their fearsome beauty fixed me to the spot. I was physically incapable of pulling away. I felt that draw, that call to it, that I had this morning. It was a part of me; I needed it. I took another step. The rotting wood gave a terrible creak and it splintered beneath my heel.
Full story available in Midnight Diner.