Rivers: Flash Fiction
“I’m not going to let you drown,” he said, spitting out salted water. My limbs felt like sinking lead in the water but the stranger’s grip on my collar was more than enough to keep us afloat. Solid ground was just in the distance promising safety, explaining why I’d jumped in the water in the first place was another problem in and of itself.
My plans had certainly gone south. I wasn’t contemplating suicide. More so a crazy scheme to buy myself some time. Life circumstances had robbed me of other avenues. All doors had slammed before my face.
I was on the brink of losing absolutely everything. I had lost everything but my job and even that was up for grabs. The rumor wheels had been a’ turning and word had already gotten around to me.
Work was the only thing that was keeping me from losing my mind completely. I needed the controlled environment. So when I’d heard that my days were numbered I had no choice but to make a hard choice.
Get grace via pity. Or sue…whichever came first.
I was only supposed to fall off of the company boat, splash around in the water a bit with a few fits of hysterics before someone lured me in. Drowning was never an option. No, I wouldn’t consider myself an olympian but I had been forced to participate every summer of my adolescence on our neighborhood swim team.
Suffice it to say, though I always finished last in our swim meets, I always finished. I could keep afloat. But I hadn’t considered the storm, the wind, the unforgiving waves, nor the loud music and the booze that kept my fellow coworkers so buzzed that no one even noticed I’d fallen in.
I’d tried to get back to the boat but the distance grew faster than my arms and legs could paddle and eventually all I could see was the bottom. No one had even noticed I’d fallen in. No one had noticed my life was hanging on by tattered threads. No one had noticed me drifting upon rivers of hopelessness.
“I’m not going to let you drown,” the stranger shouted again, this time with a smile. I managed to smile back although the icy cold waters had all but frozen my face muscles stiff.
I allowed myself to be dragged against the pebbles of the shore where I and my rescuer sank against the wet stones of the beach. Laying there next to him I realized how not alone I was.
Here was a stranger, out of nowhere, who just happened to be looking at me in my time of need who just happened to be around when the rivers of life were washing me away.
No one else had noticed. But he had.
I owed him something more than a thank you. I’d even prepped myself to tell most of the truth, at least the part that mattered. I was drowning but without water. The moments in the deep was just life mocking my metaphors.
“I can explain,” I stuttered past the cold, shocked by the heat of tears that suddenly blurred my eyes.
With another smile, the stranger patted my shoulder. “No need. We’ve all been knocked down before. I’m just glad I noticed you.”
*So I finally did this Writing Prompt for Monday’s Muse June, 6th and now 13th. I certainly hope you liked what my imagination managed to create. Follow the LINK to see the original prompt and rules, and even give it a try yourself!
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!