A Sea of Stars
[a short story on the nature of death]
I lay on the sand, the waves lapping gently across the shore.
On them, I knew, lay the moon; spread over it’s rippling expanse like molten silver, so ethereal as the muffled sound carried over the bay—so distant, yet so near.
I looked to the stars reflected on that surface, so densely populated they seemed as swirls of mist.
I had never seen the ocean before—not like this. And now it lay before me, the glassy entrance to another realm, even as my own heartbeat failed…
I could feel the blood as it caked the sand.
The ocean’s song washed around me, over me; the kiss of waves lapping gently against the shore, slow, and peaceful, as if timed in a space far greater which only it could understand.
I knew the tourniquet was soaked through, could feel as time slipped away from me like the grains of sand on which I now lay. And yet the waves continued, so calm…
I was surrendering to that realm, I knew. Slipping away into it’s silver expanses, while the sound gently carried me to the shores of another world, far, far from this one…
I shut my eyes.
“Hello?” I asked, struggling to understand. It was late, and my friends were gossiping over a cup of coffee. I ran my fingers through my hair, pressing my hands against my eyes in an effort to wake up.
1 AM. My shift was nearly over.
“I’m sorry, I can’t understand you. Where are you?” I asked, trying to concentrate.
“On the beach…” came the voice, distant, strained. “I’m not quite sure where, you’ll… have to track the number.”
“Tell me exactly what happened.”
“It was a shark. I’ve… tourniquet’d the wound, but… the artery…”
I stood up straighter, the pump of adrenaline rushing through my veins. There had been many calls tonight, things I had become accustomed to in my nocturnal world—but none of them like this. It was usually someone else I spoke to, not the victim themselves…
I notified the dispatch, trying to keep the dimming voice on the line.
“There will be help for you soon—you need to stay awake. Listen to the sound of my voice.”
There was a long sigh, as if she hadn’t registered my words.
“Thank you… for being here. It’s better to go—” there was a gasp.
“…talking to someone, than being alone…”
I put my coffee down, leaning towards the screen as if the small, coloured text held the veil between our worlds.
“Hello? Are you still there?”
There was the rustle of noise against the speakers, then only the distant sound of waves, as if lapping gently against the shore…
Then the line cut, the tone sounding long and loud in my headpiece.
There was another heartbeat now, distant, yet stronger than my own. I could feel as it grew closer and closer; the blades of a helicopter, slicing through the warm night…
In my hand lay a phone, it’s face blank.
Note: I will deal with the formatting later, I’m not really sure what’s going wrong here. It wasn’t published as long ago as you think.