The water was smooth, only small ripples fluttered across the surface. Lying on her back, stretched out the full length of her flat, ocean kayak, Estelle let the warm breezes wash over her exposed skin. Eyes closed, she focused on the sounds surrounding her little craft.
A pair of silvery mullet, leaping for fat dragonflies and cicadas, splashed nearby. The low hum of a far off outboard motor echoed through the woods fringing the shore, and pot belly frogs croaked out warnings to the shore birds trying to poach their grasshopper snacks.
Any other day, she would have been very relaxed. The scene playing out around her was the picture of an idyllic morning. The anticipation was keeping her tense, and she was eager for the morning’s entertainment to begin.
When a shadow crossed her face, Estelle opened one eye. The high-pitched chirps of an osprey brought her out of her reverie. The sea hawk was hunting, ready to swoop down on the mullet, their noisy feeding like a homing beacon.
Rolling to one side, Estelle watched the powerful bird hover for a moment before diving feet first toward the water, digging in its claws to pull out a thrashing fish.
The powerful bird reminded her of her grandmother Peri’s stories about how osprey were omens of good luck. Chuckling to herself, she wondered if whether the mullet felt that bit of folklore was true.
Grandmother Peri also believed the sea hawks were guiding spirits, leading their charges to a place of sanctuary and balance.
Floating alone on the peaceful lake, Estelle already felt in a place of sanctuary and balance. What she needed was a little of the osprey’s predatory nature.
Carefully turning onto her other side, she scanned the lake shore. The merest of smiles danced across her lips when she saw Rick loading his fishing boat from the launching pier. If her plans came to fruition, Rick’s jon boat would soon take on water, hopefully not before he made it to the middle of the lake. His aversion to wearing a life vest and his of swimming skills would also work in her favor.
If she timed the leak right, she would have a front row seat to his watery demise.
The only thing that would make her plans perfect, she thought, was if osprey also fed on cheating boyfriends with as much vigor as they did fish. No matter, she mused, what they failed to catch, the alligators will find.