A short story
She lay stretched out on the sand, gazing up at the starry sky. The moon was nowhere to be seen that night and the enveloping darkness seemed like such a blessing. She enjoyed being half submerged in the water, feeling the grainy coarseness of the sand beneath as well as the soft caresses of tiny waves all around.
Somewhere behind her and beyond the small hillock lay fast asleep the
A soft warm breeze was kissing the parts of her body that were out of the water. She sighed again, suddenly felt needy in a way she hadn't felt before. And then she heard the sound. Someone was approaching, moving slowly through the water. She lay absolutely still as he came really near. In the feeble starlight all she could make out was his dark, big outline.
Minutes passed as he settled in the shallow waters beside her. He seemed to be waiting, hesitating. Twice he moved towards her tentatively, as if expecting her to draw away, but then he rolled back again, unsure. And then he eased towards her till their bodies touched, side-by-side. She tilted towards him in encouragement. Their bodies grew closer together and she felt his limbs wrap her body in a sensuous embrace.
They lay like that for a long time, holding on, bodies rubbing against each other. It felt wonderful, unlike anything she had experienced before. She wondered why she felt so comforted in the arms of a total stranger. Did it feel right because it was so wrong? Her thoughts drifted to Sada, who used her often but had never given her this kind of pleasure. She sighed again and nestled as close to him as possible, feeling his roughness against her smooth surfaces.
A few hours went by in total bliss. Then slowly the darkness began to lift, and so did the tide. It would be daybreak soon. As the water began to inch upwards, he started moving. Their bodies rubbed together faster, harder. She heard his groans as he beat against her repeatedly. Froth formed amongst the waves as they broke over their struggling bodies. And then, with a final climaxing wrench, he disentangled his limbs from her and was gone.
The first rays of the sun lit her world. She wanted to laugh out aloud, but couldn't. She could still feel the remnants of his touch and somehow knew that he had taken away a bit of her identity with him. As the tide flowed in fast, she felt all her weariness slip away, and her body and spirit floated and danced with the waves.
Sada rubbed his heavy head as he clambered over the hillock looking for Ipsita. It was time for them to be on their way, and he cursed the hangover under his breath as he labored under the heavy bundle of net and bait. But as always, his face brightened when he saw her. He followed the rope out into the knee high water and was about to tip his load in when he saw the damage and gasped. Her insides were littered with soggy leaves, twigs, pieces of bark and sand. Her paint had been severely scratched and chipped all along her side. She looked ragged, but yet funny, as she bobbed along merrily with the first ' I ' missing out of the Ipsita painted along her bow.
With tired eyes he looked around trying to spot a possible cause or culprit. He looked at the narrow strip of sand, the rocks and hillock beyond, a few other boats tied up at a distance, the line of palm trees towards the north and the dense clump of mangroves in the south. And then he looked out onto the water and spotted the gnarled old mango tree floating away in the distance. Its dying branches were outstretched exuberantly towards the sky, as if on some final mysterious high...
- Vivek Rao