Swim Where 15
Swim Where – Part 15
“Wake up.” Scott shook her shoulder. “We’ve a long way to go.”
“Where?” Belinda’s bleary eyes noted the darkness beyond the bedroom’s drapes. “What should I wear? What do we bring along?”
“I’ll tell you along the way. Your clothes don’t matter. And I’ve already packed it all.”
They were driving before Belinda was even fully awake. He stopped once to get a quick bite of breakfast and coffee to go. It was mid afternoon when they arrived at his destination.
‘I told you that I could prove some of what I said,’ Scott had reminded her early in their journey, ‘and I intend to do just that.’
He turned off the main road and followed a trail that ended at a lake. He identified it as the one where he had spent his childhood. Belinda looked around while he was getting the gear ready: the features closely matched his descriptions.
“You won’t need your full set of scuba gear and neither will I.”
In the total privacy of the secluded area, they stripped and put on light wetsuits against what promised to be chilly water. Both put on their masks, snorkels and fins. Scott’s equipment also included a belt with a trailing rope, and he had an air bottle the size of a large aerosol can that was fitted with a mouthpiece. Seemingly that was for use in an unforeseen emergency.
“There’s the house where we lived.” Scott pointed from a position out in the water. “We didn’t have that swing and slide set in the back yard but other than that, it has not changed that much. During the month leading up to Luther’s murder, I kept the rifle in that culvert over by the fence. It was wrapped in two plastic garbage bags to protect it from the moisture. After collecting the gun, I skirted along the woods to avoid being seen by the neighbors. When I was finished the deed, I returned to the house by the same route.”
Belinda held onto the rope from his waist while he towed her across the lake. The crossing didn’t take all that long and on the other side, Scott swam up a small stream until it arrived at a road. They removed their diving gear and left it stashed under the bridge. There was a gently sloped hill and fairly dense brush to traverse before he brought them to a halt.
“This is the blind where I hid.” Scott reenacted his sniper’s position. “Luther parked in the drive. He exited the vehicle, walked to the gate, opened it and went through. When he turned to latch the gate behind, I shot him in the face. He was dead before his body hit the lawn.” He pantomimed using a rifle bolt to chamber another round.
“Did you feel any panic afterwards?”
“None whatsoever.” Scott picked up an imaginary spent cartridge and then stood. “I retraced my steps back to the bridge.” They did the same and were soon back where they had left their scuba gear.
“You mentioned there were two plastic bags: what happened to those?”
“It’s handy that you mentioned that right here.” He reached into a wooden truss and extracted two well-aged chunks of green plastic from a crevice. “I’ll finally dispose of these in a garbage bin somewhere.” For now, Scott tucked them into his belt.
They swam back to the lake but Scott angled in off a different direction than back to his old house. The abandoned factory still had rusty relics scattered around.
“That one pier has partially collapsed since the last time I was here.” He took them over to the more intact one. “You can use this.” He handed her the small air tank he had brought. “I won’t need breathing equipment for this shallow depth.” Scott took a breath and dived deep. He dragged the girl down with him.
The waterscape at about the 8-meter point was the most surrealistic Belinda had ever seen. Jimmy Hoffa’s skeleton was there. His white bones were dappled with dancing shadows filtering down from the bright sky above. The seventies era man’s jacket had obviously gotten hooked on a nail protruding from the one pier post and that held the boney remains in an upright position.
Belinda looked down at Jimmy’s legs as he stood in his 5-gallon cement overshoes. Beside Hoffa’s left knee, a rifle with an expensive looking scope was leaned against the post. The missing teamster boss’s skeletal hand hovered near the muzzle. The girl also noted that the riffle strap had loops for about a dozen extra bullets, but only one was occupied and it was with occupied by only empty brass shell.
Scott had patiently waited for her to survey the scene but now he was nearing the end of his underwater endurance. Before returning to the surface, he tucked the wallet back into the pocket where he had initially found it. Then he and the girl headed for the surface.
“I’m sorry.” She offered while they were packing up the scuba gear.
“Don’t be. I suspect this all worked out the way it had to.”
They drove part way back and then realized that it was too far, so took a roadside motel room.
“I still can’t comprehend how you can be one thing on the surface,” almost on her instinct, the reporter got out her notebook, “and someone the near opposite at the core of your being.”
“It’s because my outwards appearances are just play acting.” They had gone to a roadhouse bar and chosen a quiet corner for a meal and a few drinks. “It took my going back there with you to make me fully realize and accept that fact.”
“You’ve changed though.”
“I’m exactly the same as I was on the day that I cold-bloodedly committed an act of premeditated murder. My dreams are filled with my doing heinous crimes. I’m rage incarnate, contained within the fragile eggshell of my self-control and I’ll never be healed of the abuse that turned me into this.”
“You don’t even speed.”
“Because I know that even a minor confrontation with a policeman,” he finished the statement for her, “might swiftly escalate to point where only one of us would live.”
“You had the tenacity to train yourself for the Olympic games and to finish first.”
“It wasn’t tenacity. It was my outlet for hatred and my way to throw this tormented life back into the faces of those who abandoned me.”
“You’ve been nothing but tender with me.”
“Yet I’ve knowingly planted my progeny into your belly without offering a ring, a pledge or gaining your permission.”
“Unless you found a way of providing both eggs and sperm, half the blame is mine.”
“Your not believing my truthful admissions was a function of your not accepting the ruined character that lurks under my skin facade.”
“You’re also that person that I’ve come to know—and trust.”
“Your confidence in me has been misplaced.” He took her hand and held it tenderly. “I would give everything of myself to be able to live a happy life and to raise children with you. But that’s an unreachable dream because I can’t trust myself either. The false society we live in or the social safety institutions that have anything but our best interest at heart would eventually trigger a response in me that I’d be unable to control. Abused people ultimately become the abusers—because they’re impotent to strike at where they know that the real problems are.”
“Luther didn’t just spoil your childhood.” Belinda noted. “He has ruined your whole life. I would’ve killed him myself, had I known.”
“The abusers of the world aren’t the real problem though. You are because you did know and still you did nothing to help me.” Scott smiled at her suddenly indignant expression. “I don’t mean you personally, but all of you collectively. You know that the police are the most violent people in society but you want their services, so you turn a blind eye to their excesses.”
“So what would be the statement you would make,” she flipped to another page of her notebook and ironically, it was the last, “with the one chance that your amazing success in the Olympic pool has purchased for you?”
“I would state that the only real way to tackle an issue is by actually looking at it.” He watched her copy that out verbatim. “If the solution requires a unit to police the police, then so be it. An oversight committee should also be tasked with governing a government. As humans we should refrain from forgiving a hurtful aspect of policy only because we wish to maintain the general thrust of that policy. In other words, a law isn’t a law unless it’s like gravity where everyone is willing to accept by it.”
“If it is then we should flush our civilization into the toilet of history now before it harms even more of us. But I doubt that it really is impossible. It just hasn’t been looked at as closely as my study of fish physiology was when I invented my kick.”
“I’ll write that message.” Belinda spoke in earnest and then laughed. “But only if you have sex with me tonight. And as long as you don’t kill me before it’s done.”
Swim Where will continue….
Russell Twyce is the Author of Shiva’s Messenger