So this is a thing I’m trying, it’s called Storytime Sunday. This won’t be a thing I do every Sunday, just once in a while when I have something I want to share. Since my first creative writing class in high school I’ve written quite a few short stories. Some where for class, others were to test out novel ideas. Sometimes they are just a random scene, other times they’re something a bit more. That’s how I decide if an idea is worthy of the effort of working on for a full fledged book. So Storytime Sunday is for some of these stories that have not made it into the things I’m working on. Enjoy.
Cold. Aching, frigid, heart-stopping cold. The pain of it filled up my entire body like a cup. I can’t seem to throw it off, I’m drowning in it. Most of my body is submerged in it. Maybe that is because I really AM drowning.
The water is everywhere as far as the eye can see. I am alone here, desperately trying to keep my head above water. This is my reward for my foolishness. I should never have provoked one of the most powerful men in the city. If I had just kept to myself then I would not have found myself dragged out of bed at two or three in the morning to be unceremoniously dumped out in the ocean somewhere.
The memory is burned into my mind. I remember the thick, cloying smell of blood in the air, darkness pressing heavy against my eyes. I felt the door move under my hands as I fell into the dimly lit room and saw what I was certainly never meant to see. I stumbled back and ran, but I had already been discovered and there was no going back from this. My fate, this fate, was sealed.
The salt water is harsh on my tongue as a wave washes over my face and nearly drags me under. My arms burn with the strain of keeping my head afloat, they become heavy and leaden the more time that passes. There is nothing I can do to lighten the weight of them. When they betray me it will mean my death.
I wonder if “the Big Man” knows that I have no family. It will certainly make hiding the death of a Slum Rat easy enough. The few friends that I do have may go looking for me but there is no doubt in my mind that they will never find my body. I laugh at myself for my stupidity. I will die without having told Casey that I love him. That’s what I get for waiting, for thinking that I have all the time in the world. The thought sits in the pit of my stomach like a cannon ball. Something else to weigh me down.
Another large wave drags me under for a moment and I begin to panic. At the beginning of this ordeal, my kidnappers had wondered out loud which would get me first, the water or the cold. As they threw me in I had bet on the cold. Now I was starting to believe I was wrong, it would be the water. I can’t draw breath. I can hardly move my limbs, they are so numb with the cold. Without some kind of miracle I will die here.
I thrash and kick my legs and finally my head breaks the surface. I gasp and sputter in ragged breaths and cough out some water, only to swallow another mouthful of saltiness when another wave hits. Funny how dehydrated a person can become while surrounded by water, but this salty mixture will do me no good.
I look around in the early dawn light as it reflects off of the water. It would be pretty it the water wasn’t the instrument of my death. Maybe I was crazy but I thought I heard the rumble of engines. There was a new light reflecting off of the waves and this one was man-made. A boat.
I want to scream for help, to wave my arms to get their attention, but words froze in my chest. I was much too weak now to do anything more but keep my head above water. The boat continued to move closer to me and I have a moment of hope that they had come for me, to drag me onto their deck and save me. I hear their voices, though I could not tell you what they were saying.
But the cold of the water freezes my bones, making it almost impossible now to keep moving. I can feel myself weakening and I’m hit with the cold, hard fact that even so close to rescue, I probably won’t survive this. Damn the mob and their damn boss. Damn me for sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong. My arms cramp and I can’t move any longer. I could swear I hear someone call my name but no one knows I’m here.
I go under again and this time I don’t come back up.