The next day they were planning to have a fun afternoon at the beach. Playing in the sand while listening to the radio and the like. But the day before was no different than any other. Her mother would give a boat tour showing off the Florida Bay. All who have not seen it would come to view the lush coast and blue waters. This day was almost like any other.
“Careful driving today, folks. We’re going to be experiencing some thick fog--”
“Mom!” a girl called to the hall behind her shoulder. “They said that it’s gonna be foggy today.” With a sigh the girl turned off the morning news.
“I can still be a tour guide in the fog, June,” came a reply from the hallway. “I’ve done it before.” In stepped a woman pulling back her golden brown hair. “You ready?”
“Yeah, just waiting for you.” June got up from her spot on the couch.
A loud and gentle yawn came from the hallway. Then a man wearing a sleepy smile entered the scene.
“Morning, Dad.” June saw his barely open eyes and chuckled, “Did you sleep well?”
“Very funny, Junebug.” He straightened his back with a light crack.
“June, give your dad a hug before we go. We’re almost late.” June’s mother grabbed a breakfast bar from the nearby counter before kissing her husband’s cheek.
June hugged her father, and he rubbed his scratchy, unshaven face into hers. Then she was off to tag along with her mom.
It was foggy outside just like the weatherman said. June turned her head to the side and peered just beyond the other houses. She could hardly see past the intersection closest to her house. Palm and pear trees slowly disappeared into the cloudy curtain.
“June!” her mother called. “Are you coming?” She was inside her red car with the window rolled down.
“Yeah. Coming.” June plopped into the passenger’s seat and turned on the radio.
“Did I tell you that you could have music?” her mother deadpanned.
June shrugged. “Sure.”
Her mother shrugged in response. “Can’t argue with that.”
The radio’s music filled June’s ears with its gentle sound. The beat pulsed gently like a calm heartbeat. The techno bells sprinkled the background, while the melody of the singer’s voice pull everything together. She really didn’t pay much attention to the words. Instead she watched as the silhouette of stone giants slowly emerged from the gray, and turned into skyscrapers. Her tired mind lazily observed the sights outside the car window. At some point she must have closed her eyes, because once they were open her mother was parking. June stretched and got out of the car. As her mom checked in, June made her way to her mother’s boat.
The boat swayed in the calm waters. On the side the painted name “Bridget” was bobbing just above the brownish-blue liquid surface. And with a careful step, June made her way onto the craft. Despite the fabric roof, leaves covered the floor and seats of the Bridget. She knocked off a few so she could sit and watch the foggy horizon.
“Hey, you awake, June?”
June body jolted in response to the abrupt awakening.
Her mother chuckled and patted June’s knee. “Help me brush off these leaves before the tourists show up, okay?”
June kicked a leaf. “There wasn’t a storm last night, was there?”
“It’s the wind that blows them in, sweetie. Now get a broom and help me.”
June rose to her feet with a yawn. With broom in hand, she began sweeping up the scattered leaves before tossing them overboard. Soon Bridget was leaf free, and tourist ready. A half hour later people began boarding onto the boat until every seat was filled. June weighed anchor, and then Bridget was freed from the dock.
“And if you look to your right, you’ll see an Arctic Tern preening in that tree.”
The expected oohs and ahhs came from all the passengers, save for June. She heard it all before. Plus her mother’s tourist guide voice annoyed June on so many levels. Tour after tour the fog got thicker and thicker. June watched the fog hover over the water the same way she’d watched the buildings emerge from the gray. Soon she began nodding off in the dim, fogged light. Just as her eyes began to close the screams of the passengers shot through the air.
June woke to a metal ship just yards away from her.
Suddenly her vision went black. Brisk water immured June as her head throbbed. Metal grinding echoed in the water that threatened to choke her. An unbelievable pain crushed her leg and shot through her body. June cried out in agony. The salty water filled and burned her lungs. She couldn’t think! She couldn’t move!
Then came the beeping of a monitor. A sound that would haunt her for years to come.
This would have been a day like any other.