Ten-minute Quick Write is an activity my local writers group gives us periodically. The last starter was “I was plunging down, down, down “. Now, I don’t swim (therefore no Scuba Diving. I’m poorer than any church mouse ever was, so I’ve never tried Sky Diving. I don’t go Mountain or Rock Climbing, so I can’t imagione plummeting in free-fall down a hillside or rock-face.A “true experience” piece was out of order for me. So a penchant for crime and action reading helped a little. Here’s what made its way from my brain, down my arm, through my hand and fingers then through the pen onto the paper.
I was plunging down, down, down – desparately pulling myself deeper, trying to see through the murky water which roiled around the wharf’s piles. Somewhere ahead of me, she was sinking quickly to the harbour’s bed, chained to a concrete bollard.
As my chest began to ache with the rib muscles’ need to gain some fresh air, I wondered if she, so much deeper than I, would be drowning now.
At last, I saw her pale face below me, turned upward to the surface. Her eyes were open, staring.
As I kicked harder and closed the gap between us, she saw me – she blinked. I grabbed at one of her arms reaching up to me. From my pocket I pulled the mini bolt cutters I’d snatched from the chop-shop I had run through to get to the wharf’s edge.
Two men had pushed her over the edge into the harbour as I burst out onto the wharf. I heard her cry, the splash, and racing past them I’d dived straight in.
I cut the chain and freed her from the weight holding her down. With an arm around her, I swam us in and up under the wharf between the huge supports. I placed my mouth over her soft, cold lips, and felt them part. I blew air into her mouth.
We kicked together, driving up to the surface, out of sight of the two hoods – who may already have left, or more likely would be waiting above to shoot at whoever came up out of what they had expected to be her watery grave.
As we approached the surface, I slowed. I wanted to break the surface without a splash. She seemed to understand. As our heads cleared the water, against all instinct we both held our breath before releasing it slowly without a gasp, and inhaling again smoothly and quietly. We clung to the pile, in the cold water and beyond any sunlight or view, listening for any sounds from above.
© Lynne R McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2013, July
Good heavens it’s 332 words! Hand writing is definitely faster for me than typing! (Doubles the work though, darn it.)