Justin James

Justin James

Mornington Peninsula, Australia

I Found Him There

I found him there.
As I was walking along the deserted beach I call “The Beach of Lost Dreams”. The place where every tree that ever wanted waterfront exposure had been quickly clawed into the ocean by the relentless tide. Now, all the eyes can see are the sorry trunks and limbs of the victims reaching out of the water into the sky, reaching for a helping hand that would never come. Teamed with the gray sand and the blood red seaweed that litters the shore, this is a doomed place, a place to dwell, but never relax.

I remember it so clear, but I suppose moments like this have to be burned into your mind, so you never ever forget it. He looked roughly my age, about 22, although at the time it was hard to tell. His skin was white, not just pale, but that colour your body goes after blue, the one that makes it look like your glowing. He was lying there on the gray sand, making the view seem black and white. Pieces of the blood red seaweed were his only protection from the icy winter winds flying straight off the ocean.

The only break in this gray and white portrait were the dark and angry patches of blue, and the morbid greens of internal bleeding. These marks told a frightful story, the hand sized bruises around his hips that hinted rape, the dark blood on the back of his thighs that confirmed it. The deep shadow across his back that says “Stay down, and don’t move!”, and finally, the absence of bruises on his face that say he was smart enough to comply.

As I got close enough to touch him, I remember reaching down, thinking, “God, please let him move at my touch”. As I placed my warm hand against his cheek, a barely audible murmer was his only explanation of his near death…

…to be continued…

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