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A Burial at Sea
By Colleen Messina

1     Susan landed on a deserted island after her ship disappeared under the interminable waves. How could she ever escape? She looked across the green water crashing on the jagged rocks...and then the sound of her friend's voice jolted her back to reality.
2     "Are you going to do it?" asked Maria, Susan's best friend.
3     Susan nodded with glee. Today she would swim across the lake! She had spent the entire day sunbathing at Island Beach, a small peninsula that jutted out into the lake. Her golden skin gleamed like honey in the bright sun, and Susan's successful suntan somehow gave her a bold sense of adventure.
4     Susan lived in a homey New Jersey town that was like the reincarnation of Pleasantville. Across the lake, Susan saw the country club, which was close to Susan's house. Susan's family was not rich, but she dreamed of having tea at the club with her pinkie in the air. However, that was not likely to happen. She comforted herself by concocting a wild scheme to swim across the lake and emerge on the exclusive beach. She wanted to have a pretense of wealth for just a moment.
5     The expensive club seemed to mesmerize Susan because her family's lifestyle was austere. Susan fantasized about eating the dining room's exotic cuisine and playing the club's antique pianos. The elegant décor was in sharp contrast to Susan's simple home, yet she seemed to revere luxury. Her attitude worried Maria.
6     Maria, a feisty Nicaraguan exchange student, knew all about Susan's crazy plot. She agreed to carry Susan's things over to the club's beach and smuggle them through the gate, but Susan still had one problem. She was as blind as a bat without her glasses.
7     "Why don't you just carry your glasses while you swim?" suggested Maria as she tossed her black hair sideways. Susan felt jealous of Maria's dark skin! Maria's shoulders gleamed liked molasses in the bright sun.
8     "That is a good idea, but what if I drop them?" said Susan. She felt bold, but these glasses were new. If she lost them, she would have to wear her old, nerdy ones. It was a serious decision. Protecting her new glasses was an automatic reflex!

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