When Polly Met Fleming: Part 7

Image of Polly and Fleming
Polly and Fleming

In Part Six, Polly was armed with a makeshift spear and commando knife.  She must swim to intercept the approaching submarine and destroy it.


Fleming and Polly went outside and stood together on the catwalk encircling the concrete tower of the sea-fort. They looked down the ladder attached to the support tower stretching sixty feet to the surface—like staring at a section of one-eighth scale train track—it seemed infinite.

Fleming broke the silence, “Polly, it’s all up too you now,” he said.

“Right, let’s get on with it.” Polly kicked off her shoes and grabbed the spear. She started to climb over the railing when Fleming handed her a pair of swimming goggles and said,”I thought you might need these.”

Polly pulled the goggles on, climbed over the railing, grabbed onto the ladder and made her descent.

As Polly made her down the ladder the sound of the breakers smashing into the concrete towers increased into a thundering rumble. Wind blown spray pelted her. The steel rungs of the latter became slippery. She struggled to keep a firm grip on the cold, dripping crossbars.

From where Polly and Fleming were standing on the catwalk, the waves looked smaller. At this position on the ladder what looked like gentle three-foot swells seen from above became rugged ten-foot breakers. Polly waited. She counted the seconds between the troughs and crests of the waves. She released her grip on the ladder just as a big wave rolled beneath her.

She adjusted the goggles to sit over her eyes, let go of the ladder, and fell into the water. Polly sunk downward, the force of the wave pushing her back toward the tower. She threw her head forward and kicked with her legs at the same time, rolling into a dive. Polly plunged straight down then leveled off. She broke into a smooth dolphin kick, undulating just over the sandy bottom.

Polly pressed the speed dial icon of her sister on the home screen of her cell phone. Bridgette’s voice echoed through Polly’s inner ear.

Polly thumbed in a text message: direction?

“Hold on,” Bridgette answered. “I’ve got you and the sub on my screen. You’re going to have turn 32 degrees to the right.”

Polly turned her head and swam hard. “That’s good, hold that course,” Bridgette said.

Polly continued. The baggy clothes she wore slowed her progress. She stripped off the trousers and flannel shirt. Her long blond hair streamed behind as her body rippled through the water. The cold water felt good on her bare skin. “The sub is directly ahead of you now, about another 500 feet.”

Polly swam for the surface. She continued in the same direction, waiting for the submarine to pass below. Five minutes later Bridgette said, “You’ll be converging any second now.”

Just as Bridgette finished speaking Polly saw a shadowy figure approaching. She dove, choking up on the spear at the same time. She released the spear, impaling the diver at the controls through the neck. He slumped over and did’t move. The tip had penetrated the diver’s tank mounted regulator. A cloud of bubbles mixed with blood rose toward the surface. The diver sitting behind the driver looked at Polly. She pulled on the spear to remove it from the dead diver’s neck. It wouldn’t come loose. The second diver grabbed the first diver by the hood and threw him over the side. He leaned over and took hold of the steering wheel.

Polly backed away, removing the knife from the sheath. She straightened out then lunged forward, holding her left arm in front of her face and bringing the blade up with her right hand. They clashed. Polly pushed the diver’s chin up with the base of her palm. The diver brought his knife down onto Polly’s elbow. Polly thrust upward, pushing the blade through the the spot where throat met chin. She twisted the handle as she applied more pressure.

The diver went limp. Polly was shaking when she heard Bridgette say, “Polly, are alright?”

Polly: alright – shaken up

“Polly your arm!,” Bridgette yelled.

Polly looked at her left arm. A huge gash ran from the top of her elbow to the inner side of her forearm. Blood flowed from the gaping wound as it flapped in the current. The strange branch embedded in her lower arm tingled and glowed under the skin. Heat radiated from the branch, interlacing with nerve, blood, muscle, and flesh. Pain intensified then gradually faded. Polly felt a slight tingling sensation in her wrist. The tingling spread slowly upward, increasing at the same time. When the feeling reached the torn tissue it stopped moving. The pins and needles intensified, swelling into a circular pattern—like a power-saw rotating under the skin. As the feeling moved up severed nerves grew back together, split blood vessels healed themselves, torn muscle fibers intertwined, and ragged flesh fused.

“That was weird,” Bridgette said.

Polly: forgotten about that thing – never leave home without it

“Well, I suppose you’d better complete the mission,” Bridgette said.

Polly: talk to me

“Well, there’s a wolf pack of U-boats about ten miles east of your current position.”

Polly: ?

“If you bring the sub around you can steer straight toward them.”

Polly: ??

“When you get within range you can fire the torpedo.”

Polly: define range

“Approximately 1,000 yards for an effective shot.”

Polly: after fire – then what?

“Swim as fast as you can in the opposite direction.”

Polly: holy shit!

“I don’t think you have any other choice.”

Polly: explain

“According to the historical records a squadron of German U-boats was lost in the North Sea on  August 28, 1942.”

Polly: so

“The last know coordinates of the squadron put them at exactly ten miles east of your position. I think that wolf pack was meant to be destroyed.”

Polly: so

“Polly, I think if you don’t destroy that squadron you may alter the course of history.”

Polly: so again

“Polly you may create a ripple effect that might prevent you from being born.”

Polly thumbed out a long message: let me get this straight – if i bring the sub back I could fuck up the way things are supposed to be – if i somehow make it back home I might not even be there

“That’s an oversimplification, but, yes,” Bridgette answered.

Polly: ok