Fantasy Fiction posted July 11, 2019


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It would always be their beach...

Forever, My Frogman

by Y. M. Roger

At the Beach Contest Winner 

I stood, silent, as the cargo plane rolled to a loud, ominous stop.  I wanted to turn around and run. Run long and hard down the interstate to the beach exit…OUR beach exit.
 

“This will always be our place, Frankie. When I’m off playing Frogman, and you need to feel me, come here.” His strong arms held my back against his front as the waves lapped at our feet. “This is where you can always find me.” The ocean winds wrapped his scent around us.
 
But the hot breeze brought nothing but the stench of airplane fuel today. I hugged myself for the umpteenth time, closing my eyes to wish it all away – the color guard, the by-standers with their American flags, and all the damn eyes full of pity I could feel boring into my back – wish them away and recall his face.
 

“Come on, Frankie, I’ll catch you, I promise!” Only his head and shoulders bobbed above the swells beyond the breakers. “Don’t make me come and get you!” I tried to be brave and dive under, but he’d always have to drag me under for that initial breath.
 
I opened my eyes to hold onto the tears. As I rubbed my arms, the bridal set on my finger caught the sun’s rays.  
 

“Sapphire, Francesca.” The ring fit perfectly as he slid it on my finger. “Because it’s the color of the ocean.” Then he stood and held me to him. I breathed him in – the deep rumbling of his voice so comforting, so safe. “The place we’ll make our home.”
 
I choked on a sob and shook my head. That was my Arthur, always talking about life in the ocean.
 
The huge plane throttled down, and flag-draped coffins started rolling out the back. Somewhere, I could hear that lone bugle howl as the others around me began to break off into their family groups when names were called. I ignored them all. It was just me and…yeah, just me now.
 
One of the Marines in those striking dress blues broke from the guard, making his way in my direction by way of the straight lines they always trod while in formation.
 

He tossed the hat far out over the surf and proceeded to unbutton the heavy navy jacket. “I hate these uniforms.” I laughed and splashed him – my sandals in my hand and my skirt soaking wet. “You hate all clothes, Arthur!” I tried to snatch the jacket from the air, but that well-honed body was too tall and too strong – the jacket sailed into the waves near the hat. I turned to scold him, but he scooped me up and carried me out into the water. “Because they get between my skin and yours, Frankie.” He kissed me deeply as I wrapped my legs around him, pulling our bodies closer together. He broke the kiss only momentarily. “And I hate anything that does that.”
 
The Marine cleared his throat softly to draw my attention to his presence. God, how had I not seen him standing there in front of me? I reached out, hands trembling, and received the folded flag.
 
Arthur’s body had not been recovered after the mission off the African coast.
 
“He fought bravely, Mrs. Curry. Please accept this…” The words became a humming noise at that point. I nodded my head at him and turned to leave. I’d done my part. I’d sort the paperwork later.
 
I could hear others shouting for me, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was getting the hell away from this place and down to the beach. To our beach.
 
*************
 
Our beach was just as beautiful tonight as the hundred or so times we’d been here together.
 

“This will always be our place, Frankie.”
 
The sunset had been gorgeous – I could not bring myself to leave. I sat, soaking wet and sandy. It was black as pitch around me, but I didn’t care.
 

“This is where you can always find me.”
 
I kept staring out into the blackness, listening to the waves break as the breezes swirled around me. I had run out of tears hours ago.
 
“You remembered,” Arthur’s voice rumbled as strong arms lifted me up and against a familiar body.
 
“What are y–” I struggled for speech as I ran my trembling hands over his body, and the lost tears reappeared.
 
“You made me come and get you again.” He smiled mischievously.
 
I stared, unbelieving.
 

“The place we’ll make our home.”
 
“Home?” I managed.
 
He nodded and pressed a wet kiss to my face. I held onto him, trembling in wonder and happiness.
 
“Come on, Mrs. Curry.” Arthur took my hand in his. “I’ve got you, I promise.”
 
We dove into the surf together. My Frogman and I were home.

 


At the Beach
Contest Winner

Recognized


Frogman -- Navy SEALs are named after the environment in which they operate, the Sea, Air, and Land, and are the foundation of Naval Special Warfare combat forces. ... Today's SEALs trace their history from the elite frogmen of World War II and many times still refer to themselves as Frogmen.

Breakers -- spilling breaker (or surf wave) An over-steepened wave in which the unstable top of the wave spills down the front of the wave-form as it advances into shallower water, so that the wave gradually diminishes in height until it moves up the beach as swash.

Dress blues -- dress uniform worn proudly by members of the United States Marine Corps

Just FYI, the name Arthur Curry was NOT random....wink, wink. ;) ;) Thank you for reading me! ;)

Image of 'man carrying woman in arms' by Eldar Nurkovic at ShutterStock [www.shutterstock.com]

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