#Writespiration 73 Write About Drowning

write about drowningThis week the challenge is to write about drowning. Maybe your physically drowning in an ocean, or perhaps you are drowning under the weight of work and life. However, you use the prompt, include drowning somehow, even if it leads you off into another direction.

Here’s Mine:

They say the worst bit of drowning is the ‘knowing’. The panic that grips your ribcage, the penetrating fear that slices through every cell in your body as you realise you’re trapped underwater and this time there’s no escape.

Bill said I’d never find the cave, “This is one step too far, Marty. I know you’re good lad but, you ain’t that good. That’s almost 600m down. Even if you make it, which you won’t, You’ll never get back up without running out of air. Think of the pressure on your body, Son,” he shook his head, “you’d have to be a merman to swim like that.”

He explained that once I opened my mouth and sucked in ice cold water I’d be fine. It was a fast death by all accounts. My eyes would bulge under the weight of water and lack of oxygen, but because I’d already be out of air I’d die real quick.

Bill lied.

The water was ice cold against my skin but when I swallowed, it burnt like the blazing roar of a fire pit. It coursed down my throat and into my lungs, but my water-strangled scream only made the icy flames lick into my mouth faster.

My eyes blew up, just like he said they would, only I wasn’t dead. I felt every second of the squeezing that threatened to explode my sight. I kicked and slashed at the ropes I was caught in one last time. But it was too late.

Grey glittered across my vision and time trickled away into a slow, infinite expanse. If it hadn’t been for the heat in my lung it would have been calming. Maybe this wasn’t it. Maybe there was life after.

I don’t know how long I was there, seconds stretched as fish skittered past lazily, barely paying me attention, like there was nothing new about a person thrashing in ropes this deep in the ocean. As if a thousand men before me had been caught in these same ropes. All I could think was that it was almost like a trap, which was ridiculous.

My legs slowed and eventually stopped. The heat in my chest disappeared and blackness drifted over me. I glanced at the dark hollow of the cave opening once last time. I’d die knowing Bill was wrong, this was a hideous death, but I’d made it to the cave at least.

Something slithered past my side, as the grey dotting my vision turned black my leg was yanked, hard. My body freed, too late. A flash of an enormous green tail filled my splintered vision. Then I passed out, feeling the impossible sensation of a hand gripping mine. And then, there was nothing.


 

And now to last week’s Writespiration and the stories you had to write in 120 seconds.

First up Helen, with a dark story. Something tells me this is part of a longer story, and I for one, am desperate to read it:

Darkness fell.

It was always when the locksmith got more calls. After dark.

When people didn’t like to be outside so much. Not anymore. He remembered the summer nights of his youth, sitting outside, drinking and laughing with friends, then stumbling home in the light of streetlamps.

Then the council started turning the lights off at midnight, leaving the streets black. And things started to emerge.

Hidden things. They had always been here, building their strength, yet staying secret.

Until the dark came. And they knew the time was right.

***

Next up Kim, with an educative poem, click her name to have a look at an ancient Assyrian lock.

Locksmithery

is an ancient craft:

the first locks were found in Nineveh and Egypt;

Romans wore keys on their fingers,

showing off their wealth,

rich enough to keep their treasures

under lock and key.

Locksmithery

is a mysterious craft:

magical, when you think of thieves and burglars

skeleton keys and picking locks,

and the locksmith

a sorcerer’s apprentice.

***

Next, Dylan with some amazing dialogue and

“So let me get this straight. I put this pointy thing…”
“Key.”
“This key into that hole.”
“Yes.”
“And twist it?”
“Yes, until you hear a click.”
“and when I hear a click I can open the door?”
“Exactly.”
The big man looked from under his bushy white eyebrows, his ruddy face a mixture of concentration and disbelief.”
“Sounds too much bother. I think I’ll use the chimney as normal.”

***

Next up Judy, with her

My front door is mocking my fury
The windows are loving my pain
The curtains are twitching with laughter
I have locked myself out AGAIN!
I’ve called out a locksmith to help me
He’ll be coming soon with a key
I hope he makes it quite snappy
I’m busting to go for a wee!

***

Last but by no means least, Jane. who has written a sad but true story that so many have experienced.

That’s how they operate, bailiffs. They come with the police and a locksmith so you can’t keep them out. Your door swings open and a guy in a suit barges in with his clipboard and his writs, and the coppers stand either side so you can’t put your fist in his face. And the little bloke in the blue overalls packs up his tools and peers over their shoulders. His hard, beady eyes squint at you as if you’re something in a zoo. Then, as soon as he’s squared things about getting paid with the bailiff he’s off to his nice cozy place in the suburbs with a drive and a garage, and a bomb proof front door, and a wife and kids.

The bailiff goes round and notes down all the stuff he’s keeping back to put towards paying the arrears. The good stuff. The rest, most of it, his boys dump outside on the pavement. All I can do is watch. My fists clench and unclench, and I wonder if prison for assault would be worse than the street. But you get a record then, no hope of ever finding a job with a record. And there’s Jessie.

I stand outside, not watching, not feeling anything. The apartment’s a squalid place. I won’t shed any tears over it. But it kept the rain off and even without any heating it was warmer than outside. I had already put the important papers in a bag, with the photos of Mam and Dad, the kids when they were little. I tell myself the rest doesn’t matter. The things the bailiff wants, the TV, the stereo, they’re worth nothing. Not really.

He’s leaving with his little list. His boys are boarding up the apartment door. On the pavement, the breeze lifts the corner of a sheet, paper rustles, poverty stares at me from a dozen cardboard boxes. The neighbour from the floor above comes out, looks away when he sees all my bits and pieces lying there, spread out, like the innards of a butchered pig. He was about to light a fag but he catches sight of me and changes his mind. He’s off before I can touch him for the price of breakfast. Jessie whimpers and nudges my hand with her nose. I try to smile at her, but she knows, and licks my hand to cheer me up.

“Come on, old lass,” I say. “It’s finished here. This is the past now.”

Jessie pricks her ears and wags her tail uncertainly.

“Let’s go find us a future.”

I don’t know what Jessie says, but it sounds as though she’s up for it.

51 comments

  1. I love your story, Sacha! But you can’t leave it there! What happened next? Blackness? I don’t believe it—there was something. Your homework for this week— write a sequel for next Wednesday.

    1. Pahaha! Thanks Jane what a lovely thing to say! I’ll think about it, actually I was half connecting it to a bit of back story to my novel so maybe I will work it up a bit more 😍 thank you for saying such a lovely thing 💖

          1. lol. Ok. I need the weekend at least. The issue I have is, this is connected to quite a fundamental part of a plot point for the second book in my series. So it does need writing. I will write it. I’m all scared now, incase its rubbish, I might email it to you instead of posting it!

      1. Okay, here goes. I do wonder at my mind, sometimes 😉

        She gasped for air, her hands clutching and sliding on skin as she fell. Her eyes closed as she sank down, softness and warmth all around. She managed another breath, her senses reeling, consciousness receding as things went dark and all that was left was sensation. There was no more air, her body buffeted, prey to forces beyond her control. She could not cry out, her mouth sealed, stars bursting behind her closed eyelids.
        Then light returned and with it breath and she was cold all over. Trembling, she reached out her arms, wanting oblivion.
        It came with another kiss and she was gone, drowning once more.

        Hope that still fits the brief – when I thought about ‘drowning,’ for some reason this came to mind 🙂

  2. What a talented bunch… some amazing writing from last week! Your drowning story made me shudder. You already know how I feel about that. No need to say more here. I have an idea for a story. Also, Conor has a drowning experience in Lough Lugh when he finds the first treasure.

  3. It was the fourth pint when Derrick understood, for the first time, the reason why it was called drowning your sorrows. As he stared at the glass of lager he imagined he saw Colette reflected in the surface, tears on her cheeks as she covered her mouth with her hand to hide the horror of what she had just witnessed. It was his life flashing before him – that’s what happened when you went down for the third time, wasn’t it? It was that fateful moment when she realised the truth. He studied the face of the only women he had ever loved. How could the surface of frothy beer be so life-like? How…? Derrick’s head jerked back as Colette’s fist met his temple. On the floor he winced as her stiletto pierced his aorta. ‘You lying fucker,’ were the last words he heard as the blood entered his lungs, drowning him far more effectively than any amount of shit beer.

    1. WOAH……. Geoff – that ending! WHAT THE ACTUAL. I love it when you do that – I thought it was going one way and then boom… stiletto to the throat. AWESOME entry. <3

        1. Haha! Thanks – it’s funny I said this to Jane but I had absolutely no idea where it was going till the end. And thank you for being kind – always humbling when someone I respect so much says something lovely

  4. Dammit! I forgot to post my locksmith piece. So…drowning. I’ve got that covered. On all sides. 😉 Love your flash but want to know what’s what with the life-saving sea creature. 🐟

    1. Lady of the Lake

      At the end of the dock, Phoebe dipped her toe in the lake. Her grip on the post so tight, it left indentations in her palms. She watched the still water. No girls floated by in bikinis, sunning themselves. No guys ran down the dock and jumped high in the air shouting “cannonball!” No children sat in the sand, slathered with sunscreen, digging with plastic shovels.

      Not today.

      Everyone was out walking, searching, calling. Looking for Phoebe’s sister, Kaia. They wouldn’t find her. She was gone. Drowned. Of this, Phoebe was certain. She hadn’t let go until Kaia sank.

    1. I am blushing. Thank you Diana <3 I think I do need to write on with this one – its a bit of character history for one of my characters in a novel! Thank you so much for reading it.

  5. Alan was drowning. He was drowning fast and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
    The moment the water first hit his lips he could feel the drowning sensation all over his body. Panic set in and nothing he could do would stop him from drowning. Not even the call from his wife mattered!

    “ALAN!”

    He put his glass of water down as soon as he heard his wife slam the front door.

    “YES!” he screamed at the top of his voice.

    The writers block had finally given way and he was drowning in words again.

  6. You have sparked off a great idea for a story with this one, Sacha, but I just havent had time to write it this week. So instead, here is a little excerpt from my first book, in which Conor has a drowning experience…

    Conor felt himself flying backwards through the air, much as his wheelchair had done before him. He landed with a loud splash somewhere in the middle of the lake. The coldness of the water forced him to exhale. He felt the water close over his head, as he plummeted down, down through the icy water. He looked up, and saw the surface way above him.
    How can this tiny patch of water be so deep?
    When he looked down, all he saw was a black void. No sign of the bottom.
    Is this how my life is supposed to end?
    The pressure was building up in his lungs. He needed air. In a few seconds, he would have to take a breath, it was a reflex he knew he couldn’t override. But he was afraid.
    Will it hurt to breathe in water?
    Then he remembered a promise made to him in a dream, and he felt the warm tingling rush of magic inside.
    Lugh, are you here? I have come to join you.
    “I am always here for you, Conor,” replied Lugh, swimming along beside him and smiling. The silvery whiteness of his hair lit up the gloom of the water.
    “Have courage, it’s not much further.”
    I can’t hold on any longer. I have to breathe.
    “Not just yet. We are very nearly there.”
    Conor felt his feet scrape the bottom, his body landing gently on the lake floor.
    “Take it!” said Lugh urgently.
    What?
    “Reach out with your hands. It’s your only chance.”
    Conor scrabbled around in the silt. His hands closed around something hard, narrow and flat.
    Is this it?
    “Yes. Take it, and all will be well.”
    Conor grasped the object and tugged feebly to dislodge it from the sucking mud of the lake bed, but it was too late.
    He opened his mouth and took in a big gulp.
    Much like his first ever breath, the pain and the shock of it convulsed his body. As his consciousness drifted away he was vaguely aware of someone, or something, pulling him by the hair. Far away, someone was saying his name.
    Then there was nothing.

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