Amelia Earhart at the Red Sea
Originally published by Saint Julian Press
At the Red Sea, she is surprised to discover the sea not red at all but blue. Not remotely crimson as she imagined. Not like the burning sun she always wanted to capture.
“Why call it red if it’s blue?”
“Let me tell you about the Red Sea,” Fred says. They sip tea on green chairs in Massawa, the last stopping point in Africa, the temperature in that night one hundred and six degrees. “Israelites called it ‘the sea.’ To others it was the ‘Arabian Gulf.’ Since the sea isn’t actually red, some say it's a bad translation of ‘Reed Sea,’ as described in the Bible.”
“At certain times of year, red-looking mountains near the shore--the seasonal blooms give an illusion of red. The final theory is red simply refers to the south.”
She gazes toward that bluish Red Sea, watches the hues of it shift in the last of the late daylight, says, “I was expecting this all to play out so differently. I feel like a different woman here. There is this sudden shift. A need to not go back.”
The sun dips behind Fred. He turns to Amelia. “Isn’t that what you wanted?”
The bright morning following the blue of the Red Sea, she has to feel it for herself. Dip her toes into that water of mystery, know for once the truth.
In native grey skirt, she runs alone toward that water’s edge. Laughs at her odd reflection in the rippling rim of the world’s northernmost tropical sea, the sea Herodotus referred to as the Southern Sea.
She dances in that early blush. Wonders why she waited so long to live. Imagines herself in a streaming hot bath alongside the circles of red fish.
The moment she dances into that coral reef, her quiet is broken.
“Amelia! We’ve got to be off.” Fred shouts from a distance. “Monsoon threats.” He flags Amelia with both arms.
The sky rolls toward them with a dim new weight.
She looks down to her dress, now a weighted garb that only harnesses her.
She has been found in her most private moment, discovering who she is...
Copyright © Anne Tammel 2012
First published by Saint Julian Press, "Amelia Earhart at the Red Sea" is a work of fiction. In this short segment, taken from an upcoming fiction series about Isa, a Los Angeles-based writer haunted by recurring dreams about missing women. Isa has experienced recurring dreams about Amelia, including Amelia's final voyage and her whereabouts. After signing up for a series of life-or-death adventures in faraway locales, Isa must face her own worst fears, and risk everything in order to expose the women's unsolved mysteries and stop the dreams. In this short segment, author Anne Tammel paints a picture of Amelia Earhart's final journey, which has come to Isa in a series of dreams. Through a portrayal of Isa and her dreams, Tammel retraces the crucial stops of Amelia's fateful voyage, and explain reasons behind her disappearance.