Lying In Bed

Lying In Bed by MJ Rose

Book: Lying In Bed by MJ Rose Read Free Book Online
Authors: MJ Rose
let that thing in your head interrupt you. You can do it, Marlowe.”
    He drew lines on the mound. His fingers were so facile, so certain of how to move. He didn’t wait for me to answer. “You aren’t exactly what you seem. Like the way you look at me, up from under your eyelashes. When I first saw you do that I thought you were flirting. But that’s not it. You’re hiding. Or at least part of you is. Then there’s this other part of you that’s fighting back. That’s out there, fearlessly, mixing up all those outrageous images you put together in those boxes.”
    The only thing I wanted to do less than make up a story in front of him was hear him talk about me and get involved answering his questions. I stood up. He followed suit. Looking down I saw what he’d been making – a sand sculpture of one of the shells we’d found. I had an urge to walk though it, and at the same time, I wanted to figure out how to pick it up and preserve it.
    “What happens next?” he asked as we continued walking.
    “She picks up all of the shells. Gathers them in her sweater. Brings them back to her towel. Washes them off in the water and is amazed at their opalescent color. Like Tiffany glass. Or something painted by Monet. Pinks, yellows, fading into each other.”
    Even though I wasn’t looking at him, in my peripheral vision he nodded.
    “She holds one up to her ear.”
    I wasn’t sure what was coming next. Turning to face the ocean, I felt the sea salt wind blow on my face, shut my eyes and let my mind go blank. Forgetting about Gideon and the job, I absorbed the sounds of the ocean. I took the shell from my pocket and held it up to my ear.
    What I heard was too clear. It was impossible. Not a name this time but whole words. Strung together. With meaning.
    “First she hears the waves,” I said, my eyes still closed. “And then she hears something else. A man’s voice. In her ear, coming from the shell. It’s the voice that was laughing. The voice that was whispering her name. It’s inside the shell.”
    Wind blew spray up into my face. It was cold and so salty it stung a little. I took a deeper breath, hungry for the ionized air. To swallow some of the spray. Even to swallow the sound. To take it inside me and translate it into the story. To feel overpowered by the sound. To be in its thrall. If I could have gone into the water I would have. I wanted to feel the power of those waves tug at me, pull me out into the ocean, which was like a man insistent on getting closer, determined to get what he wants.
    Gideon didn’t have to encourage me this time, I started up again on my own. “She hears the man’s voice say her name and thinks about how it sounds, as if he is talking to her though the waves. As if he were out in the water, submerged, but somehow able to speak to her.”
    I almost turned to look at Gideon but suddenly realized I could only do this if I focused my attention on the ocean and the feel of the wind. If I could forget he was there I could find the story.
    “He’s telling her that he wants her to lie down. Here on the sand. Close to the shore. He wants her to lay on her back. Near enough to the water so that she’s in contact with the spill of the waves. He tells her to shut her eyes.
    “But she doesn’t understand where these commands are coming from. She looks around, thinking it’s crazy. It must be someone she knows playing some kind of trick on her. But the beach is still deserted. The man repeats the instructions, kindly but with determination. He uses her name and cajoles her to do it, entreats her to try, promises that he won’t hurt her, that he’ll be gentle, that it will be lovely. Seductively he pulls at her the way an undertow does. You think you can go a little farther, that the pull won’t overwhelm you. So you swim out that small distance more and suddenly you’re overtaken. Helpless. Have no power against the swirls of green blue. Like getting caught in a current, she knows

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