It’s not that they were mad about the car going into the water. Just a little pissed off because it was their only way home. The man’s wife, standing in one of the trenches where the Volvo was dragged through the sand. There was nothing on her face. No sadness, no fear, no nothing. Absolute astonishment.
Whatever had pulled the car into the lake was gone now.
It had been nearly invisible. It seemed as if nothing had caused the water to ripple and bubble. Nothing wrapped around the car parked on the beach. There were no arms crushing the aluminum and steel. Neither the man nor the woman saw anything shatter the windshield or the passenger doors.
It had appeared as air would appear, invisible but viable. Transparent but alive.
Now, over the beach, there were two deep tracks in the sand. This was where the tires had dragged lines. Half-circles of dug out ground that had since begun to fill with water. The lake had already settled but the couple still stood near the sea wall. The tracks near the tide had already been washed into smoothness. Erased by nature.
“You saw that too, didn’t you? I’m not just imagining this am I?” The man whispered.
“Our car is gone, how would I have not seen that?” The woman answered with a question.
All the overcast was still heavy in the sky. Like a picture printed in grayscale. It was almost as if there were no clouds, despite the entire sky covered in them. Little pellets of rain pattered down on the couple’s shoulders. Misting the woman’s hair-sprayed head, dripping chemicals down her neck.
The nothingness that lived in the lake was gone now and it had left the woman and the man alone. Their mouths slightly gaped, the man dropped the cigarette out of his mouth and it fizzled out as the rain fell. All of the smoke had dissipated somewhere farther down the beach.
There was no notice of the two people holding one another’s hand. It just happened.
Dark spots had welled up on the top half of their clothes. Water dripped off the man’s hair and the woman’s hands. All of their appendages abandoning droplets of rain back into the earth. A pink sneaker was floating out in the shallows, along with an umbrella and an empty cooler. Full cans of soda and beer were lying in the sand where the tide rolled up. All the sandwiches and chips and cocktail shakers were gone, into the water.
From somewhere distant, there was a storm siren blaring away in a field. Ricocheting off of every horizon and every dune. Rising and falling in continual alarm. The rain was barely even drizzle, but both the man and the woman knew that the storm would get much worse.
Police cars and ambulances and fire engines’ sirens were going off somewhere close by. The man barely even moved when his pocket began to vibrate. His dripping hand slipped out of sight and into his shorts and brought out a cell phone. The screen was bright and pulsing with electronic vibration. He put the phone up to the side of his face. His wife kept staring at the water.
“Hello?” The man spoke.
His wife could hear a murmuring out of the phone. She squeezed his hand tightly.
“I can’t really talk right now.”
The man, with his soaked beard and a pack of cigarettes resting in his breast pocket. He shook his head back and forth, droplets of rain falling off. All the hair of his eyebrows heavy with water. His eyes looked towards the ground and back up toward the lake. The woman fell to her knees, shell-shocked. Their hands were still linked as one, the man bent down with his one free arm still holding the phone to his ear. He wrapped his arm, like a snake, around his wife.
He threw the phone away over the seawall. They sat and watched the water.
“It was nothing,” the man whispered “it was nothing at all.”