Roger Orr

Over My Head

  The Sun was bright, this much I could tell. However, was it from memory, or could I actually feel its rays through the distorted veil, I was not sure. Only two more feet, I promised myself, as my shoulders burned while my arms continued to flail in slow motion. Only one more foot, I updated, as my eyes finally began to feel the intense chemical burn. Hang on! I tell myself, as I feel the unnatural expansion of my now bloated stomach. Only Six inches more, a little voice inside me screams, as my left hand then right breaks through the translucent curtain. 

    My now exposed extremities feel nothing from the once bright sun, only the cool breeze that swirls around them. With a primal need to survive, I lean my head back as I lunge upward. Breathe! I command myself. All at once, I attempt to expand my now exhausted lungs as I breathe in deeply, but it is no use. My body cavity is full. Without warning, my arms begin to thrash desperately in the now numbing air. Suddenly my knuckles smash against something that only moments ago felt so thrilling, but now feels so unrecognizable. It moves up and down away from me. I have one shot, I tell myself, or I will finally drift off into the abyss. With my hands to the sky, I kick frantically, propelling my body upward and grasp the bouncing object.

   Hanging from the bouncing object, I finally feel the hot sun on my face. Suddenly, I begin to vomit violently. After emptying the liquid from inside me, I hear a distant yelling, penetrating through my still, water plugged ears-"What the hell are you doing, Buddy?"

Through bloodshot eyes, I look up to see a figure silhouetted against the sun.After a few moments of orienting myself, I let go of the diving board and dogpaddle to the side of the swimming pool.

When I was four-years old, my father took me swimming at a local lake (in the story I changed to swimming pool). We were in about five-feet of water when he suffered stomach cramps. He drowned that day, and I was dead for about four-minutes, before a lifeguard brought me back.
How does the adage go; Always write what you know.
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All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Roger Orr.
Published on on 04/29/2009.


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