O’Brien’s sight turned to intense bright white light. The sun had blinded him to any visual input. He had to get back to his room; to his bed, but which way was his room? He was in a white-out.
The Egret Hotel was rated with four stars. It had an indoor pool and an outdoor pool. The front entrance to the hotel had a fountain which surrounded a large white-painted egret with its long pointed beak looking to the sky. A halo with streams of water like a dozen garden hoses were aimed at the central white egret which was as large as a basketball player. At the side of the hotel another large metal sculpted egret directed its long sword-like beak to the hotel rooms. It also had fountain water sending noisy streams from its base to a six-foot tall white egret. The people in the pool were mostly children and adults engaged in undecipherable prattle and casual conversation mixed with laughter. Splashes and sounds of diving board users added further leisure tones.
The noise level suddenly changed. The laughter turned to shouts. The conversation turned to warnings and expletives as an adult form clad in light blue plummeted from a balcony toward the stately egret.
Gideon O’Brien groped, like the blind man he had become. He groped for the rail and tripped over a low plastic table. He fumbled to grab onto a wall or railing but his momentum caught the rail at his waist and he flipped into the airspace off his eleventh floor balcony. He tensed his body to anticipate the hard balcony floor but the contact never came. Instead he heard the wind whistling at his ears. The voices from the pool crowd became louder and the intense white panorama of his visual fields suddenly became blackness.
“Oh, no. Oh my God. Look out.” People were yelling but fixed in their position.
The swimmers and sunbathers were stationary in open-mouthed awe. A loud liquid-like squish abruptly ended in a dull “thunk” as Gideon O’Brien’s chest fell on top of the egret’s skyward saber beak and head. The white egret changed color as its new adornment’s blood spread like paint. The clear recycling water in the fountain transitioned spurting clear water to pastel red and within seconds to bright clear crimson as the water burst the red blood cells releasing the pigmented hemoglobin.
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