The Water

The Water

A Story by Temisar

"Now drops that floated on the pool Like pearls, and now a silver blade." - Robert Frost


I sat on the edge of the pool for hours, unsure whether I could actually do what I had planned. Disturbing the surface, Mike sat across from me, his feet dangling in the water. My reflection stared at me, slight ripples breaking the illusion of a mirror. It was the ripples that made it seem more hollow and unreal as though I were looking at a lifeless marionette rather than a likeness of myself. The eyes were flat and inhuman, when everything else was the same. It possessed firefly eyes at night, causing it’s etherealness to seem intensely real. 

            Early in life, I had sat on the edge of a pool, much like I am now, staring down into the water. Back then, my mother had decided on swimming lessons, determined to keep her only child as safe as possible. As the other child kicked and paddled at the opposite end of the pool, I had watched my reflection shift and change, morphing into something frightening before growing steady. I refused to go into the pool, believing the monster I saw was hiding under the surface. Surely it was waiting to drown me or maybe even schemed to take my place, locking me under the water where it had been trapped forever. Week after week, I refused to take my lesson, forcing my mother to drag me and the instructor to sweetly coax me into the pool. I complied for a time, yet once the lessons reached the deep end, I stopped; that was where it lived.
            In high school, my second boyfriend had thought making out in a pool was the “hip thing” to do. We parted ways because I wouldn’t. Then the same thing happened in college with a guy I thought I could experience something real with; he ended up telling my fear to everyone in his fraternity, dubbing me pool-girl. Every semester after, they had shamelessly invited me to join the swim team. By surviving a college full of grown-up high-schoolers, I journeyed out into real world and found reprieve in my job for a time. It all ended at a promotion party when a colleague tried to harmlessly throw me in--which ended with the paramedics being called.
            “I thought it would help,” he had explained. “Face your fears, they say.”
            He had underestimated my fear and had a broken arm to prove it.
            Still, he had a point, as did my boss when he fired me. It seemed not only was I a menace to others with my fear, but I was a menace to myself.        
            Which leads me here, sitting at the edge of a pool, staring down at my reflection. Mike sat, acting as my silent support. Needless to say, I had been wary of telling him; it didn’t matter that he was my best friend--I was always wary of confidants. W
ith a small Cheshire grin creeping across his lips, the brightness of a supernova sparkling in his eyes, he took it better than most. “Do you trust me?” he had asked. 

            To which I answered with a shaky, “yes.”
            His plan for me was to watch the water, not to touch it or attempt to dive into Atlantis, but simply watch until I grew comfortable. With the surface still and crystal clear, it was easy to imagine myself stepping into the water, my fears washing away and becoming the beacon of hope for others like me.
            Then, with that damned chesire grin, he began disturbing the calm. The water still shifted and changed my reflection, still pulled the mouth awkwardly and shaped the head ghastly. It warped and morphed to seem as though it had moments of agony and vehemence before returning to lifelessness. I sat, staring and staring for hours, waiting for it--something--to jump out of the water at me. Expecting the moments of ardor it took on to give it power enough to take me under the surface, trapping me in its world. I imagined air being taken from me; imagined beating at the underbelly of the surface, unable to break through, as though it were solid ice. Would he hear my gurgled cries or would they be silenced beneath the creature’s spell? Would I be forced to die or adapt into a being of the water, where my face would be warped by the ripples of others?
            Hours later still, it became a static marionette rather than a monster; a marionette which followed me and I controlled. I tilted my head one way and it followed. I raised an arm, it raised the same arm. I looked up, it looked up.
            Maybe then it was harmless, something that wished to be free of the water and full of human life. Perhaps it would leave me alone, watch silently, or even rejoice in my joining it. Perhaps it wasn’t a being and just a reflection, whose firefly eyes were caused by the pool’s light. Maybe it was worth the risk to find out.
            I looked up at Mike who had been watching me as intently as I had the water. Tilting his head, he paused his feet and took me in. The nightly music of crickets and their insect companions went undisturbed as we gazed at each other. Then he slipped down into the water, smooth as silk, and the sound, as he made his way across the water, was almost a sweet whisper.
            He held his hands out, the chesire grin brighter than ever. “Are you ready?”

© 2012 Temisar

Author's Note

This was a piece I wrote for a Narrative writing class.

My Review

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Wow, this piece is amazing! Your writing style complements the story very well. You make good use of figures of speech, which enhances the feeling of the narrative.

Keep writing!

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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1 Review
Added on April 26, 2012
Last Updated on April 26, 2012
Tags: narrative, short, story, water, first, fear, fiction



Los Angeles, CA

I never know how to start these...the opening sentence is always almost as bad as my story titles, so bear with me. My name in the online writing world is Temisar (if you can figure it out, kudos)... more..

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A Story by Temisar