CARMEN`S PRAYERS

Nick closed his eyes and imagined the next day how the whole family would go to the beach, how he would make a running jump into the waves and swim, chasing away the sharks. How good that school is out!

He bent his legs at the knees, pressing them into his belly, and fell asleep.

***

It was nighttime on the streets of Sea Gate. Quiet, with only the chirping of the cicadas and the roaring of the ocean. The bright moon illuminated the deserted streets. Roy walked up to the metal mesh covered fence that ran along the coast. The gate to the beach was closed at night. However, the fence was pulled back from its posts in various places. Roy slipped through one of these openings, jumped from the low sandy cliff, and went down to the water.

“Di-ing…di-ing…” sounded the old beacon. The beacon itself wasn’t visible in the darkness, only its red lantern swinging on the waves, and there was the clanging of the iron clapper from inside its rusty caging. “Di-ing…di-ing…”

The beach where they’d swim during the day was far away. Here was a desolate abandoned shore: blackened moss-covered logs lay about, and shapeless heaps of boulders loomed, appearing as the wreckage of schooners. White flakes melted on the churning, waving surface of the water. And, off in the distance, the Verrazano Bridge and the skyscrapers of Manhattan were bathed in light. It was an uncommon alloy of the eternal and the momentary.

Roy sat on a log at the water’s edge. The cool air refreshed his face. He peered into the darkness and it was as if he saw there his deceased grandfather Victor, an image of him from an old photograph. The face of this intelligent man, who was a good psychiatrist. “Well, film director, did you get what you want? A new life is beginning for you now. Just be careful not to lose your head: don’t suffer from stardom!” admonished his grandfather. He winked at his grandson, and taking a pocket watch on a chain out of his vest, added, “Uh-oh, time flies.”

“Hi, amigo. Are you also here?” a female`s voice sounded on his back.

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