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THE SWIMMING COSTUME: A Short Story

By Peter_Jarrette All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Adventure

Blurb

A swimming costume (swimsuit), travels through 50 plus years of time and the lives of many people. It experiences the highs and lows and the misfortunes of its haphazard owners. From intimacy to high seas piracy it continues on an international journey of fate.

Chapter 1 Caribbean Blue

It floated on the sea, sometimes alone sometimes with the jetsam and flotsam formed by lazy tides. It moved many nautical miles on the sea’s surface with mangled fishing nets ripped from the sea bed in storms, brightly coloured plastic containers, empty soft drink bottles, fiberglass fragments, used tin cans and splintered wood. It kept company off the Florida Keys with lost sunglasses dragged off the bridges of stylish ladies’ noses taken by surprise by rushing, foamy, salty waves at Exuma Cay. Curious seabirds settled next to it to inspect it and chat. One or two inquisitive pecks would dash out before they’d rise back into the sky squawking and clucking in disinterest. It was caught up in coconuts and seaweed, just off the Caymans and round about St. Barths it spent an entire hour swimming with a school of dolphins. They threw it up into the air, catching it with their shiny noses. It was helped along its watery way held in their happy, laughing mouths as the team headed in closer to the shore. There they nudged it into the waves and saw that it made its way up and onto the beach, to Inez’s beach. Inez liked beautiful things.

Inez watched the playful dolphins through her binoculars. They were one of the beautiful specimens of the sea that made her small island lifestyle worthwhile. They seemed to have routines like her life did on land. What was this blue item, this fabric looking thing that they delivered to the beach? Inez put down her binoculars and placed her broad rimmed red straw hat on her head. She climbed down the few sandy steps from her veranda and headed out of her beachfront villa at Eden Rock. She approached the item as it was pushed gently one last time up onto the warm, white sands. She stood looking down at the sodden garment. It was a glorious faded blue, a Caribbean blue, bleached out by sea salt and sun. It was a swimming costume she realised as she crouched down next to it. A shallow wave of surf travelled up to her ankles and lifted the garment further onto Inez’s beach. She stood following it, seizing it softly with her toes as the receding sea water washed through it dragging light sands and small shells of chip chip across its sun bleached fabric. ‘Jantzen’ read the worn label, on the suits hip was the diving girl logo. Inez picked up the garment, held it out with both hands studying its intact condition, smiled out to sea and strolled up the beach to her villa carrying the Caribbean blue swimming costume. She wondered how it came to be lost at sea.

Swimming costumes don’t speak but they communicate. They can be swimsuits, bathing suits and bathsuits. Inez might have her peculiarities and peccadillos but she wasn’t going to ask questions of the swimming costume. If it were to answer would she be shocked and amazed by its stories or simply by its ability to speak? It would speak of heartbreak and theft. It would wring her out dry with the tensions of young jealousy and erotic yearnings, of shock! It had been held captive by a boy named Sue whose mind swam carnally with the most impure of thoughts. Who began the most private of acts upon its timeless textile. Would she, Inez, be curious of the lands, hands and homes it had passed through? Would she comprehend the lives it had changed with its ripple effect and number the many bodies over the half a century who felt its rippled texture? What about the fame it bestowed? Could she handle the truth about the high sea piracy? It was only a swimming costume. It had done all of those things and more but it cannot communicate much beyond letting the world know it was hiding something. Being lost at sea was the least of its adventures.


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