A Story by Mariah Renae

My lungs burn. Fire building in my chest eating up all the oxygen I have left. I can’t take it. I suck in. But air doesn’t hit my begging lungs. Water pours in instead and I try to cough. It’s futile. The cool water pushes out the fire and the last of my air escapes from between my lips. I watch it bubble to the surface. Sun light streams through a murky blue filter, like those vintage, blue tinted ones’ girls have on their Instagram photos. I reach for the sunrays. They reach for me too. Just as I’m about to grab hold, I slip out of their grasp and into the arms of dark.

I wonder if my mom will miss me. I know my dad won’t. He’s also drowning after all. The only difference is that I’m drowning in life filled waters and he’s drowning in a bottomless cup while life rushes around him. For a second I feel like I can breathe again as I choose to forgive my dad. And my mom.

The water in my lungs turns icy and I start freeze from the inside out. I sink into the emptiness that is death. To that “better place” everyone always talks about.

I stand over my mother’s racking body. She’s holding my limp-as-seaweed physical form. She’s sobbing and choking so loudly, so uncontrollably, that I think dad might be able to hear her anguish from the cup he is drowning in a few streets away.

Tommy is running. His legs pumping furiously as the tears toward the ambulance. Sparkling gems fly from his cheeks ripped from him by the air he’s fighting to get to me.

A pack of officials stands around us, unsure of what to do even though they are professionals.

"Magi!" he strains out, a wail, lament, an ugly cry of desperation. And I wonder what he’s thinking as he skids to his knees blood streaking in his wake next to my cold, unlife body. He pulls that vessel that I lived in for so many years, gently, like newborn babe, into his hot scorching embrace. Mom’s arms tremble, still holding empty air. Her sobs have turned silent, piercing the air like invisible knives of growing grief.

A long moment passes, almost peacefully, as Tommy pushes hair, soggy and dripping, out of the blue face that was mine not too long ago. 

"No," he whispers. "You can’t go. I haven’t even told you I love you yet. I’m such an idiot. Please no." Tears create tracks down his cheeks through sweat and dust, onto other cheeks melting with river water. I touch my own vaporous cheeks, as if I can feel his tears dipping there. All I find are my own invisible, formless tears streaming.

I’m next to his ear, words he can’t hear silently bubbling from my smile, sweet as sugar on my tongue, I love you too.

© 2018 Mariah Renae

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Your writing style is really great. You did really well with first-person in this!

Posted 7 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mariah Renae

7 Months Ago

Thanks! I try really hard to stay consistent in pov and tense :) good to know that it shows. For mor.. read more

7 Months Ago

Thanks so much!
You should write poetry.

It's not easier. But you can write about regret in less time more directly that way.

(or you can turn this story into a horror fest, it's totally ripe for that)

Eh... I'm just s****y at reviewing stories. I don't actually know what I'm talking about. Apologies to you.

Ever see an old X Files episode named "War of the Coprophages"? You might like it.

Posted 9 Months Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on January 14, 2018
Last Updated on March 16, 2018
Tags: death, drowning, family, love, loss


Mariah Renae
Mariah Renae

Albuquerque, NM

I am a college student majoring in Fine Arts. I discovered my passion for writing in my freshman year and now I can't imagine a life in which I don't carry a notebook in my purse at all times. I am so.. more..