Free Flow 7: Exert from a novel i’ll never write (3)

4:00am

It’s the cold air that jolts me back to my senses. Pushing me back, strong and furious. My senses come back one by one, first I feel the mist of water splashing the rocks below. Smell the salt licking my toes, forward and back over and over. And finally the roof of traffic on the interstate a mile back, so far and yet still so deafening. Then the whole picture comes into focus. The trees, the cliffs, the ice water, the bridge.

I’m on my back, washed up about 2 miles from the abandoned bridge, close enough to the traffic of the overpass but still in the brush. I’m covered with wet leaves, they cover me more than the dress i’m wearing. .. mostly wearing. The water did a number on it, it’s been snagged on branches and has holes in inconvenient locations.

I sit up, the leaves stick to me like glue, and try to cover myself with what’s left of the dress. I should have brought a jacket, but i guess, i didn’t expect to be waking up 2 miles farther than planned, or at all really.

It’s about ten degrees lower than it was when i jumped, or perhaps its the wet, point being: I won’t be able to make it home without catching something. If i can get home at all. i could call someone- but my phone (if it’s still there) is back on the bridge.

I shudder as a gust of wind blows by, and force myself up. My watch cracked when I hit the water, but it still works. I have enough time to try and make it to the bridge, if i stay along the bank i should be out of sight when i get to the overpass, but it’ll be harder to get on the bridge.

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