Friday, November 27, 2009


This is an article I entered into a contest for Writer’s Digest. It is based on a true story. The goal is to take the sentence provided and use it to write a 500 word article.

Your boat rocks back and forth, and you peer over the edge, catching a glimpse of something you thought was gone forever.

The boat rocked back and forth, and I peered over the edge, catching a glimpse of something I thought was gone forever in Pleasant Bay. The 20 foot Great White Shark glided past my 10 foot Boston Whaler. I sank onto the floor, and squinted into the setting sun, searching for the TV crews that had been perched high on the sand dunes. The lifeguard station was empty. Everyone was gone. The news crews would not have their story as it headed for the shoreline.
The fisherman had not cried “wolf.”
Cape Cod flocked to the spot of the “Jaws” sighting and for two days kept vigilance until dusk. News crews in white vans scanned the opening to the ocean with binoculars while helicopters patrolled the bay. Where were they now? Had they grown impatient for a glimpse of the legend?
My beating heart caused ripples in the puddle of sea water, a result of a faulty bilge pump. Could that shark sense my heat through the resonating water? I’d heard about Great White attacks. They stick their heads out of the water and ogle fishermen before capsizing the boat with a flick of their tail or a bite through the hull. Maybe it wanted to be sure the meal was worth the work. Would I be worth the work?
Someone on the beach must have seen that fin. My ears strained to hear the alarm. Instead, I heard laughter, talk from a Boat’s loud speaker, and splashing. The tourists and locals must have taken the absence of the news crews and lifeguards as a sign that the scare was over.
A Seal Watcher boat trolled past me in search of the elusive whiskered face. I lifted my head, mustered all the intestinal fortitude I could, and croaked, “Shark!” just as the passengers in the overloaded boat yelled, “There’s one!” Cameras clicked as people leaned over the side for their picture of a lifetime.
“Yes, there’s a really big one a few feet off the stern,” The intercom boomed. “I guess everyone here heard about the Jaws scare we’ve had these past days,” he continued with a hint of glee in his voice. “Well, since the sand bar was broken by the nor’easter last month, the seaward homes are not the only things in danger of being swallowed up.” The children laughed at the guide’s wit. “That cute little fellow right there is Jaws favorite food and…”
If water were glass, you could have head a shattering crash as a seal flew into the air and was snapped in half by the shark that disappeared into the bloody water. The sound of the huge after -splash filled with seal entrails diminished the screams of terror.
It wasn’t the news crew that got the coveted shot. The picture of the severed seal in the jaws of the breaching Great White was sent to Boston News via cell phone, by 12 year old Johnny who might be thankful he lives in Idaho.

Author Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos Twitter@ PshchicHealing is an agented author (Scovil, Galen & Ghosh) of SURVIVING CANCERLAND: the Psychic Aspects of Healing. Kathy writes for a number of ezines and blog sites that can be viewed on her web page.