Sunday, November 22, 2009

#12 Innocence

Outside of the house there was a semicircle of large overgrown tea rose bushes off the north east corner. You could see the outer arch of the circle from one of the living room windows. It was a perfect spot for three island teen age girls to spread out their blankets and giggle long summer nights away. They were close enough to the house for safety and far enough for adventure.

There was a small private road that curved near the yard and rolled out towards the paved beach street. It connected the hidden vacation homes in the wooded hillside to the tidelands. One evening the girls talked about the water in the bay. Older girls had told them of the shimmer swim that occured only during a full moon. As their gaze swept the evening sky for the brilliant moon they each agreed to venture down the road to the midnight beach.

The paved street ended onto the beach with dirt roads heading to the left and right fronting the seaside houses. The girls headed to the right and climbed over the logs that divided the sand from the dirt road. They walked down the beach towards a secluded area that had an anchored raft about twenty yards out in the water. They striped their clothes off, piled them on the shoreline and silently ran into the surf together. They dove into the water then surfaced and swam towards the raft. With each stroke their bodies emitted thousands of sparks in the water as if shedding glitter in their paths. This was a glorious shimmer swim. The phosporous in the water was shinning like burning silvery green embers everywhere the girls motioned.

They climbed onto the raft and sat on the edge dangling their legs in the water, enchanted by their sparkling feet unconcerned about their nakedness. A sudden movement on the beach caught their attention as five summer house boys were quickly decending on their pile of clothes at the edge of the water. The girls silently slid into the water and minimally paddled to the back side of the raft, quietly peering around the corner at the activity on shore. Three of the boys stood for a moment looking out beyond them then turned around heading back from where they came. The remaining two boys stood a moment, then in a flash shed their own clothes and splashed into the water diving under as soon as they could.

The girls heard their smooth strokes as they neared them. The boys came up to the raft and grabbed the front edge while the girls were hanging on the back edge. Introductions were made. Realizations that the rafting group members were not total strangers but passing flirtations between island girls and summer boys made it easier for the boys to drift closer to the girls. Hearing their approach, the girls let go of the raft and silently floated away. The boys let go and stroked towards them, their underwater bodies shimmering in the moonlit water. Facinated by the glow, the girls broke out into gestures that would highlight their own bodies just out of reach of the boys.

They swam danced in the shimmering, glittering water. Never touching but glowing off of each other, they dove under and parted the water with their strokes - shooting off sparks in their wakes. One by one peaceful exhaustion overtook them. Each on their own swam towards the beach, lifting themselves out of the water to shine no more. Dressing in the moonlight, the island girls and summer boys shyly smiled goodby and went home.

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