The rough waters crashed against the cement docks. A mist of water sprayed through the fence gate causing me to shudder and move away from the bench that I waited on. Opal wanted to meet here but I don’t know why. Not a soul would want to come to the boardwalk with the weather we’ve been having. She insisted and said that it was important and for me not to ask any questions.
She appeared in the distance; like a silhouette against the gray sky she hobbled towards me. I started towards her and yelled out for her.
“What’s the matter?”
She said nothing. There was something wrong with her. I knew that look she had plastered on her wrinkled face. In the forty some years that we have been friends, I’ve seen that face on a few occasions. She was somber. Her gray hair was disheveled, her eyes were wide and unblinking, she was frail.
“Now why on earth did you want to meet here on a day like today?” I said. “We’re going to catch pneumonia if we stay out here to long.”
Opal sat on the bench and stared off into the river as the mist sprayed us. I huddled deeper into my coat as I watched her and waited for her to speak.
“I need a favor,” she finally said. She voice was tired and weak. “Take care of the girls for me.”
“Now why on earth do you ask that?”
“Take them out of there. I can’t go back.”
“The house? Why can’t you go back? I love that house.”
She paused. “He doesn’t want me there.”
“Now come on Opal. Frank looked.”
“I’ve got scars.”
“That can’t be,” I said. “There is no one else there. That’s a nice new home.”
“He appears at night. And he talks all night long. I can never sleep. Look.” She opened her coat and pulled her arm out of the coat sleeve and gestured to her upper arm. “There are bruises from him pinning me down.”
I looked closer shaking my head. “Where? I don’t see a thing.”
She looked at me. Her eyes where vacant and glossed over. My heart was beating out of my chest. Something is wrong.
“Opal?” I said. “What is it now?”
“He want’s me out. He says that I have to leave. I just want to know that you’ll take care of the girls for me.”
“I can’t take on all those dogs. Frank would never allow it. What’s all this about anyway? You think you have a ghost in that house that doesn’t like dogs?”
She stood and looked out over the rough waters of the river. “No. He doesn’t like me.”
I started to laugh at the thought, but then she staggered to the fence, placed her foot on the lower bar, and before I could stand and say a word, she flipped herself up and over into the river below. She was gone.
This story was submitted to Flash Mob Write’s weekly flash fiction writing competition. You can vote for it, or see the results of it if the voting has closed, by visiting their website.
Copyright © 2016 E.F. Olsson. All rights reserved. Photo credit of ‘Bishop Park’ goes to city-data.com. I changed it to black and white.
Let me know what you think of this story in the comments below! If you like it, please share it with your friends on your favorite social media sites. And while you’re on those social media sites, make sure that you follow me on Facebook and Twitter!
You can always get in touch with me by leaving a comment below or by email: EFOlssonAuthor@gmail.com.