This tale is a real sighting of Diana of the Dunes, as told to the author. The skeleton of the account as-told has been preserved…with some muscle plopped in or trimmed for the sake of story. But Diana remains, as she always will.
For ten minutes he stared at the new statue on the dune at the edge of the parking lot, wondering how long it would remain before someone pulled up their pickup and unceremoniously tossed the statue in.
For years the Indiana Dunes had been his place to decompress after particularly trying days at work or in class. He’d arrive in his crumbling Taurus and stretch out on the still-warm hood to stare at the stretch of open water. The cooling engine’s ticks and clicks would slow and die out…and then there would just be the lazy, rolling lap of the Lake Michigan’s waves on the shores of the Indiana Dunes.Today had been a doozy. Late for class, late for work and then the first cold shards of a migraine forming in his temples. Relaxation wasn’t desired but needed, and here he found medicine that worked better than a bottle of Excedrin. An unhurried world of peace and solitude. He usually preferred to be alone at the Dunes…but didn’t mind sharing his refuge with the statue of a shapely lady.
Lost in thought as he traced the sloping curve of the statue’s lower back, he didn’t notice the statue turn its head to him. His mind only caught up with his eyes when the lady statue brought her arm up in a gentle wave.
“Shit!” he spat, jerking up from the car’s hood and then sliding down one side, rolling and toppling onto the lot’s asphalt.
He landed hard on one knee and hissed painfully, rolling to sit up and clutching his leg. He looked down, expecting to see blood, but only seeing his knee, tattooed with grit and a mushed cigarette butt.
He twisted and peered over the car’s hood, sure it had been a trick of the light—or the moonlight anyway—
The statue was gone.
He stood up quickly, planting both palms flat on the car hood and lifting his leg to ease the pressure on his wounded knee. He stared hard at the end of the parking lot, concentrating all thought into his eyes, searching deeply in the misty light of the moonlit sand.