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SHORT STORY: Susan Swims

October 15, 2010

This free-write was inspired by an exercise I did with the WomenzWordz writing circle when asked to reflect on a “beautiful experience”.

Floating in the water, Susan lay still, calm. Glancing at her son, splashing and making bubbles with his mouth she listened closely to his movements. They became rhythmic, consistent and as time passed she no longer had to watch so closely. Slowly Susan submerged the back of her head in the water. Deep water. Her body floating as if this were the only thing to do in salt water. Her breath slowed to a pace matching her son’s play. Water swishing between her ears distorted his laughter, the chatter of old ladies. All noise grew soft, moved around in her head as her body bobbed in the pool like a log, shining, dipped in light.

Peace spread across her face, her muscles relaxed and her anxieties from the day washed off of her. The warm water swam lightly over her skin. Salt tickled her lips and al the more she continued to listen to her breath, her underwater heart, her son’s murmured laugh, the drumming from swimmer’s splashes.  There hummed a stillness and Susan saw the ceiling fan above her spin into stillness too. The red flags flew away from the breeze and hung still from the rope. Deep water froze everything into place. Susan never wanted to get out of the pool.

Bubbles whispered underneath Susan, where the water grew its bluest. They ran up to the surface and tickled Susan’s back. She smiled and looked over to her son, now playing with water jets. The old ladies are wrapped in towels now and Susan lay still. Exposed, content. At peace in the pool. Again the bubbles surface, this time quickly and for a moment Susan is off balance. Her meditation disrupted she turns and realizes that her son is not there. His splash, his smile all gone. A pool jet blows out water to no one. Susan sits up, treads water, ad scans the pool for her boy. Water noodle, life guard, old ladies, towels. She can not see him. The bubbles surface beside her and as Susan takes a moment to look below her, she spots her son sinking in the water. He is caught by the pool floor, hard and deep. An alarm eliminates all peace Susan once had. Her heart racing and her vision blurred, all Susan wants to do now is sink.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2010 4:47 am

    Wo;:: great description; as the reader I felt the peace, the water on my skin, the floating, the floating, the panic…


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