by David Nickle
Read by Steve Cropper.
Check out his podcast “Reputation Online” at the link.
“‘Get in,’ she said, ‘I’ll be right behind you.’
It didn’t occur to me that this might be a trick until I was well out at sea. Wouldn’t it be the simplest thing, I thought, as I dove under a breaking wave, to wait until I was out far enough, gather my trousers, find the wallet and the mobile phone, toss the clothes into the surf and run to a waiting car? I’m developing my suspicious mind, really, my dearest — but it still has a time delay on it, even after everything…
I came up, broke my stroke, and turned to look back at the beach.
She waved at me. I was pleased — and relieved — to see that she was naked too. My valuables were safe as they could be. And Lucy had quite a nice figure, as it turned out: fine full breasts — wide, muscular hips — a small bulge at the tummy, true… but taken with the whole, far from offensive.
I waved back, took a deep breath and dove again, this time deep enough to touch bottom. My fingers brushed sea-rounded rock and stirred up sand, and I turned and kicked and broke out to the moonless night, and only then it occurred to me — how clearly I’d seen her on the beach, two dozen yards off, maybe further.
There lay the problem. There wasn’t enough light. I shouldn’t have seen anything.”
About the Author
David Nickle is the author of the novels The ‘Geisters, Rasputin’s Bastards and Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, and co-author of The Claus Effect, with Karl Schroeder. His stories are collected in Knife Fight and Other Struggles, and Monstrous Affections. He lives in Toronto, Canada, where he works as a journalist covering municipal politics.