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I remember standing stock-still; all was silent around me.  I 
could even hear my sister's breathing.  Yet somehow I didn't 
want to move, I wanted to pause time at this moment and 
freeze it there forever.  I don't know how long I stood there.  
When I finally got up the courage to scramble down to 
where my sister was, looking like she was sitting gazing out 
over river.  I knew she hadn't moved from where she'd 
It was dark around me, but somehow there was a light that 
seemed to reflect off something at the base of the bridge's 
support.  I suppose it was the moonlight.  I could still hear 
the strong river current even in the still darkness, but 
somehow it looked like Mary's small hand was clinging to 
the pole with all her might.
She was dead.  Floating face upward, Her face only as pale 
in death as it had been in life.  Her big blue eyes were open 
and made bigger by the thin film of slime and water that 
covered her naked body.  
She was naked.  Gone were the baggy clothes that had 
become her trademark.  A perfect print in purple and black 
bruises surrounded her neck, even to me; she had quite 
obviously been strangled.  It was also quite obvious from 
her small round belly that she had been pregnant.
It was as if we both noticed this tiny detail in the same 
instant and Janice and I both turned towards each other, I 
could see in her face my horror and shock both mirrored.  
Large silent tears spilled from her eyes and ran unchecked 
down her cheeks.  It was only when I saw hers that I noticed 
mine and felt hot anger and grief boiled inside me.
He killed her.  I remember climbing out as the world seemed 
to swim around me.  Janice stood up, trying to resist the 
temptation to look back.
  She must have been caught by some underwater growth, 
The river will take her soon, you have to run and get father, 
get the police.   She grabbed me by the shoulders, shaking 
me and for a moment bringing me to my senses.  " Do you 

Copyright Jackie Bulner 1999    

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A Vision of Mary

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Jackie Bulner
Melbourne, Victoria

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