Words can fly.
This is from my new novel EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE. A novel about the possibility of love and reincarnation in a cynical, violent age.
To celebrate their first anniversary together, Frank and Samir planned to have a picnic on the beach. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans. It rained torrentially. The streets downtown were flooded. Most businesses closed up shop early, letting their workers go home. But the cars, taxis and CTA buses were half underwater themselves as they crept along the streets toward their destinations.
Some 340 feet down below street level was something called Deep Tunnel. It was the part of the city's infrastructure where storm water was supposed to go, but Deep Tunnel had filled to capacity and the sewers weren't taking on any more water.
Oak Street Beach was submerged and for a while looked more like a sandbar than a beach. And then the strangest, most magical, thing happened. The creatures of Lake Michigan began to swim across the submerged beach. People even reported seeing salmon swimming on Lake Shore Drive. The clouds above were dark with sporadic flashes of lightning as rain continued to drench the city.
Frank noticed one stray fish, maybe a bluegill, had gotten stranded on a park bench. He was flipping back and forth trying to right himself and return to the water. Samir and Frank waded knee-deep into the water, trying not to frighten the exhausted creature. Frank carefully picked up the fish in his hands and carried it over to the submerged beach.
"Here you go, little fishy. Back into the ocean with you." He lowered his hands into the water and let it go. Samir and he exchanged a smile.
At first the fish seemed confused and did nothing. Then it waved its tail a little, then some more. Was it waving goodbye? Before they knew it, the fish was darting through the water zigzagging its way across the beach, before vanishing into the deeper dark blue waters it came from.