No Longer Bound

No Longer Bound

A Story by Valerie Hope Woodard

read aloud prose meant to excercise rhythm. September 2011.


My seventeenth birthday has passed at last, and I have found myself in a perfect peace, on a beautiful beach, a blameless bliss I've never been to. I've been to beaches of course, but the trips were either exceedingly early in life, or enlaced with emotion that left me mentally paralyzed for fortnights following.

No, not this one. Not this time.

I am with honest people, truly my closest companions. I will not regret racing down the interstate to this seashore, this sanctuary.

    I stand alone on the warm sand; I can taste the salt in the air. Taking a deep breath, I throw myself, fully clothed, into the ocean.


I've always been afraid of the ocean. The vast waters rocking back and forth had intimidated me my entire existence. Uncertainty-that's what frightened me. My bones were frigid and frozen at each averse attempt to enter the waves.

No one knows what's in there. No one knows how deep it is. The tide may overtake me. I'm a little girl.

Not anymore.

    My body is swallowed up in the cold water; my skin is scrubbed with the coarse sand. I feel my blood pulsing through my veins. The adrenaline is unbelievable. I open my eyes.

    I see the sun above the water; it looks to be a world away. I can feel the beams penetrating the ocean, kissing my cheeks.

I'm almost there.

Its heat is haunting, but the light remains out of my reach. I swim up.. Up towards that light. I want to have a hold on that light, to grip it and never let it go.

    I break the barrier between ocean and air-gasp-to find my older sister, Amber, with my best friend Macy sitting in the sand, as if they'd been avidly aware of the enormous step I'd just taken towards liberation. My five year old niece, Abbey skips out from the trees and across the beach to meet me at the bank. She flings herself into my arms, and I embrace the entity of my confidence.

"I love you so much, Valerie!" she cries out in pure joy.

    I lift my head to face the clouds and sigh, then smile, because I know that's what He's tried to tell me all along.

Freedom is mine; I am no longer bound.


© 2012 Valerie Hope Woodard

Author's Note

Valerie Hope Woodard

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very beautifully written :-)

Posted 8 Years Ago

I'd like to know a little more about some of the thoughts you left open for thought, but I think that's what I like best about this piece. I can feel that you really felt something when you wrote it and that makes it fantastic.
Thanks kindly!

Posted 8 Years Ago

Beautiful writing. I felt that I was actually
there on that beach, soaking up the sun`s
rays, watching you crawl out of the water
and running on the beach. Exciting !
This is the kind of writing that makes life
interesting. Excellent.
Note: Check the last three stories on my
page--- they are about the ocean.
---- John

Posted 8 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on April 22, 2012
Last Updated on April 22, 2012
Tags: beach, ocean, freedom, no longer bound, growing up


Valerie Hope Woodard
Valerie Hope Woodard

Cumming, GA

I am an aspiring writer, worship leader, and actress with a heart set on revival. more..