The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine

05 - Stray From the Water - Kimberly

The cold, pounding surf carried him from the shore. It pulled him from his unconsciousness only to let him gasp for a single breath before pulling him back into unconsciousness.

Someone about his age was watching and taking pity on his floating body that was being carried further into the murdering surf with every second.

While he existed only in bodily form to the world around, that someone waded into the water, grabbed him and pulled him from impending death.

Had anyone seen it, they would have witnessed Taylor Hanson's frail, water-soaked body in the arms of a girl who was nude but for her hair which was long enough to drag in the sand that she walked upon.

Taylor awoke to the feeling of salt and sand covering his pale flesh. He sat up quickly and realized that he was in a small cave lit and warmed by a fire on the far side of the rock formation.

He stood up and stretched his exhausted limbs carefully. Suddenly, he felt a cold gust of wind hit him in the small of his back. He looked down and was greeted with a view of his glistening, young body in the fire's light. Despite the fact that he saw no one else around, he covered himself up as much as possible with his hands and began searching the cave for any clothing that would fit him, but hopefully his own. He loved those tight jeans.

Upon searching in every crevice that he could see for any type of cloth to shield himself with, Taylor became too tired to venture any further. He collapsed in the soft sand by the fire with his only thought being about the fact that the sand was actually inside the cave.

The sound of soft humming brought him from his seemingly eternal respite. He languidly stretched in the warm sand, then opened his eyes.

Soft, blue-green eyes stared down at him from behind reddish-brown hair that trailed to the ground and barely covered her otherwise bare body.

He moved to speak, but his words were captured behind the lump forming in his throat. The girl with the eyes and the hair tilted her head and smiled at him. She extended her hand to him and he automatically grasped it. In mere moments, he was on his feet next to this girl. He spoke the first words that came to mind. "Who are you?"

The girl's eyes opened wide, reminding Taylor of Tori Amos. She grasped his hand and placed it upon her breast. He pulled away, confused.

She shook her head and grasped his hand once again. This time when she moved his hand to her chest, he left it there. After a short moment, he saw words fly through his head reading, "I am Jogn."

He asked out loud, "How do you pronounce that?"

A new print followed. "Zha-oh-ga-een." Taylor spoke the word and found it to be very difficult. Another message. "It is a tongue foriegn to you. With practice you may pick it up, but for now, communicate to me through writing."

Confused, Taylor sat down on the ground, Jogn immediately following suit, and thought for a moment. Then, with determination, he created a typewriter within his mind and began to "write".

The time passed quickly as the pair wrote back and forth. It was a sort of internal AOL Instant Messenger that was even faster than "Real Time".

Somehow, they got on the topic of why it had all happened in the first place. Taylor gave way to the dam of emotions and let them flow into a long message.

"It all started last Thurday. We're on tour again and everyone is fed up with everything. Well, Ike is out every night doing who knows what. Zac sits in his room smoking or snorting who knows what. Dad's off finding yet another mistress. That's what they do every time we tour. Me? I head to the water, get some sleep beside it and wake up with the sun. This time though, I decided to see what Zac was doing. I went in his room and he was lying on the bed looking so peaceful and he had a rolled up dollar bill and a few lines of cocaine beside him. I don't know why, but I saw his peace after taking it and I decided that I wanted the same peace for me. So, I snorted a line and wandered off to find some water. Now, I only knew how to do a line because I'm a teenager and you can't be a teen now and not know all about the cliche' of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. Anyway, I find this beach and I lie down in the sand, but it was too warm for me. So, I got up and went down to the water and lay down. I think that's when I passed out. You know what happened after that, I guess."

He was answered with only a nod. Suddenly, he realized that his hand was still upon Jogn's breast. Blushing, he pulled away.

Jogn's eyes smiled, though her lips remained stagnant. She moved a bit closer to him before placing her hand upon his upper thigh. It excited him, but he didn't feel the need to abuse a confidante like he suddenly had the urge to.

She wrote him a short message. "Stray from the water."

"What does that mean?"

"You go to the water as your savior, but it only wants to feed off your happiness. You will have peace if only you stray from the water."

He took several deep breaths before replying. "Okay. I'll stray from the water. I trust you to no end. But, I should be going. People might be worried. Where might my clothes be?"

"On you."

With a glance downward, it was confirmed. Taylor gazed upon her. "Who are you?"

"I am Jogn."

"No. Who are you?"

She smiled. "I'm just a stray from the water."