Veiled Vision

Bethany was having an outstanding day, she was enjoying her family’s mini-vacation at the beach. Today was the last day of their trip, and so she was walking along the shoreline for the last time. Bethany took comfort as the waves lapped up against her legs and the salt-laden wind nipped at her unbound hair when her bare foot stepped upon something hard. With her mind racing, she bent down and quickly dug out what her foot had fallen on.

When the object broke through the wet sand, she was excited to find a pair of sunglasses. She gently lifted the solid frames from the sand, letting the incoming waves clean the clinging sand from it. She looked around, but there were only a few people, and they were far away, so she lifted her prize, peering through them to see if they were prescription ones. When her vision didn’t distort, she smiled enjoying the greyed expansive waters.

She quickly rubbed the lenses dry with the edge of her shirt before she put them on. She turned to walk back towards her parents and noticed a strange man off to her right. She hadn’t seen him earlier, and she wondered what he was doing there. He must have noticed her studying him because he began walking towards her. She didn’t want to deal with the stranger, so she jogged back towards her parents.

As she went, she kept looking over her shoulder, and the man was still following her. Each time she looked away from the stranger she forced herself to move just a little faster. When she finally reached her father, she collapsed, and the glasses fell from her nose. Yet the arms managed to grasp her temples like a man hanging onto the edge of a cliff. Her father quickly came to her side helping her to her feet asking, “Darling are you okay?”

“Someone is chasing after me!” Bethany said frantically.

Her father looked where she pointed shaking his head slightly, “Bethany, no one is over there.”

Bethany was hugging her father with every bit of her strength, but now she loosened her grip as she slowly twisted her head to find the stranger. Yet when she looked out the man had vanished. She let go of her father saying, “I promise a man was chasing me.”

Lifting her head up her father kissed Bethany’s forehead speaking with tenderness, “If there was he’s long gone darling. He must have seen where you were going, and he left you alone. Why don’t you wait here and enjoy the sunset with me.”

Bethany shook her head explaining, “I think I just need something to eat and drink.”

With a nod, her father pulled something out of his pocket, “Here is a little money, would you like me to go with you?”

Flashing an unsteady smile, Bethany assured her father that she was fine, as she took the money and walked towards the boardwalk, fully intending to eat something. As Bethany went to her favorite food stand, the sun’s light was beating upon her exposed eyes, so she shaded her eyes with her hand, and it brushed the still clinging arm of the sunglasses. She had forgotten about her prize, with a sigh she quickly slipped them back on and came eye to eye with the stranger.

Bethany yelped, leaping backward. She was fortunate that she didn’t fall or collide with anything. And the man immediately appeared next to her placing his hand upon her’s, with that she could hear him, “…need your help.”

Bethany pulled her hand trying to get away, but she found that it wouldn’t move. She began taking shallow rapid gulps of air and grew more frantic each time her arm refused to budge. The man put his nose next to her’s and deliberately spoke. “Please, help me. I have been searching for someone who could see me. I need your help.”

The girl studied those glazed over brown eyes and nervously asked, “Who are you?”

“I’m Kevin Johnson. Please, I need help.”

“Why have you been following me?” Bethany asked pleadingly.

“Because you can see me, I need your help.”

“Why do you need my help?” Bethany asked as her frantic mind began to slow. When she was calm enough, Bethany realized something, “Why can I only see you with the sunglasses.”

“I’m dying, please help me.”


“Yes please come with me,” Kevin said. However, before she could respond the spry dying man led her to a place close to where she found the sunglasses. And nearby was the twin of the man pulling her along white as a sheet.

“Who are you?” Bethany asked as she tried yanking her arm free again.

“If you don’t help me I will die,” Kevin said as he emphatically pointed at the still form lying on the sand. Kevin’s face became desperate as he wailed, “Please help me.”

Bethany thought for a moment before she rushed to action. She lifted the body as best she could and dragged him towards the sparsely populated part of the beach. After what felt like hours she heard the shrill sound of a whistle. Moments later her heavy burden was lifted from her, as the swarming lifeguards began exercising their craft to revive Kevin.

As the lifeguards worked Bethany edged away keeping her eyes on the duplicate Kevin. As they worked, the copy began drifting towards the still form. It slowly merged with the body on the ground, and mouthed two words, “Thank you.” When at last they were joined, and the once still man began coughing as color flooded back into his body.

Bethany tried to flee, but one of the lifeguards grabbed her guiding her to Kevin saying, “Sir she is responsible for saving your life.”

Looking up Kevin as he gripped his chest the man spoke hoarsely, “Thank you, miss. Thank you.”

Bethany blushed as she warmly replied, “Your welcome.”