What Appollonius Rhodius Didn’t Say

By Berrien C. Henderson

Drowning. Refracted light and the waves wreathe his body, borne away on the susurrus of a fading heartbeat. He’d fallen overboard, pushed by invisible hands drawn by some faint tinnitus, his equilibrium shot. His life, now, too.

Gasp! A sledgehammer of light in his eyes (the pupils shrivel to pinpoints, and for a moment relief blossoms in the waking part of his mind – I live).

Shade, blessed shade. Some graceful, svelte body, feathered by a soft robe, eclipses the sun. “Are you all right?” asks a feminine, euphonic voice. He coughs a gout of brine and imagines a smallish clump of seaweed had expectorated along with the water from his lungs.

“Thank you for rescuing me,” he says. Water breaks on the rocky shoreline while he pushes himself up on his elbows and shades his eyes. His head swims again, as before, the thin whine.

“You’re quite welcome.” Her face comes into focus, and…

…he never knew beaks could form such ghastly grins.

THE END

Berrien C. Henderson lives in the deepest, darkest wilds of southeast Georgia with his wife and two children. He teaches high school English, is a long-time martial artist and has a big, geeky spot in his heart for literature, speculative fiction and comic books.