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Posts tagged ‘Goin’ Down’

Fiction Friday: “Goin’ Down” – The End

This is the final installment of my short story. It actually includes two scenes because the last one is really short. You can read the other parts here, here, here, and here. And it’s not like my usual(which almost always have a happy ending).

I was drowning. I knew it in every cell of my body. But, I didn’t know how to save myself.  My lungs burned, my body thrashed, my muscles ached as I tried to kick to the surface. Something held me where I was. I couldn’t drag any air in. I was never going to make it. Never start the family Justin and I talked about.

I would die here.

A great burst of air and cold suddenly blew over me. I dragged in a breath then another. He stood there laughing at me. This would be my last sight of my husband. We wouldn’t start that family because he would have killed me.

No. I wasn’t going to let it happen. I couldn’t swim. I doubted I could save myself. I was already going down again, but I wasn’t going to go down alone. I put as much strength into my legs as I could to move me toward shore. It didn’t give me much distance, but Justin stood right on the edge. If I stretched a little… A slight current caught me as I reached out, and I snagged his pant leg, my fingers curling right into it.

The smug look fell away from his face as he stumbled forward. He tried to backpedal, but the bank was soft from the recent rains. His foot slipped, and he came falling in with me. He made a large splash before I went under again. Red filtered down through the water, and Justin’s eyes stared unblinkingly down at me. My mouth opened in shock, water filling it and my throat.

I struggled to reach the surface one last time, but everything felt too heavy. I was going down, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

***

“The two bodies that washed ashore late last night have now been identified as Justin and Heather Holme of Greenwood. At this time the investigation into the deaths is ongoing, but there appears to be no sign of foul play. If you have any information, the Greenwood police ask that you contact them.”

 

Fiction Friday: “Goin’ Down” – The Walk

It’s Friday, so it’s time for the next part of my short story, “Goin’ Down”. There’s only one more part after this, so it will be done by Christmas.

Maybe I’d been wrong to mistrust Justin. Nothing would happen to me on our little walk. He had a good grip on my arm and guided me around any obstacles. He must have because I never once tripped or fell, even though I couldn’t see where we were going. Either that, or I was just lucky.

I’d never been that lucky.

I was tired. While the walk had slightly cleared my head, it hadn’t done anything to fix the way my stomach pitched and rolled. “Justin, can we go home now? I don’t feel well.”

Justin blew out an obviously frustrated breath. “Fine. Since you refuse to enjoy this, we might as well end the experience now.”

I was thankful we’d be going back. Away from the water that sounded even closer. Home to where I could lay down until this pitching in my stomach stopped. Hopefully where this sweet, attentive husband of mine would remain. I liked him much more over the cold one who had been living with me lately.

My footing got worse on the return trip. Justin still held onto my arm, but it was like he pushed me into obstacles instead of saving me from them. I stumbled and was sure something splashed into the water. “Justin, wh-where are we going?” This could not be the same path we’d been on. We hadn’t been this close to the water, had we?

“Back the way we came. Just as you wanted. Don’t I always give you what you want?”

No, he didn’t. Or we would have gotten our marriage back on track long before he decided to test my trust.

We’d walked a little farther along when my foot slipped. I heard the splash before pulling my foot back up. My stomach stayed right down there on the ground. “Wh-why are we so close to the water?”

“Don’t you trust me to keep you safe?”

No. It was the first word to pop into my head, but I pushed it back down. That was not true. I’d married him. He wouldn’t hurt me. “Of course. Of course I do.”

“Good. That’s very good, Heather.”

I swore my stomach dragged along the ground as we continued to walk. Nothing felt right about this day. I hoped we’d get back home soon, so I could finally put the day behind me.

“You’ve learned now, haven’t you?” he asked as he turned me away from him and tugged at the back of the blindfold, loosening it from around my eyes.

“Learned what?” Why did my mind suddenly feel as sluggish as my body? Something wasn’t right.

His breath whispered over the back of my neck. “I’m the only one who controls when it’s over.”

The blindfold slipped down past my chin, and I saw the churning water right in front of me. My stomach sloshed as much as that water. “Justin, no.”

The words were barely out of my mouth before his hand struck the back of my shoulder.

Uh oh. Not looking too good, is it?

Fiction Friday: Goin’ Down – Trust

It’s Friday again, so I’m here to share the next scene from Goin’ Down, a short story that’s different from what I usually write. If you missed them you can check out the first two scenes here and here. I’ll wait for you to come back. Ready? Here’s the next one:

I’d lost track of how many different foods—grapes, berries, cheese, crackers and other things I hadn’t been able to place, some almost bitter—he’d placed between my lips, always followed with another sip of that fruity wine.

My head spun as Justin helped me to my feet. I didn’t think I’d had more than one glass of wine. It couldn’t have been more than that, not enough to make me feel this way. “Are we going back home now?” I asked.

“I thought you’d like to take a walk with me. Doesn’t that sound good?”

No, it didn’t. I wanted to go back home and lay down. I didn’t usually get this tired after eating, especially not when it was mostly snack foods. Something had to be wrong.

“I don’t feel so well, Justin. Maybe we should-“

“Walk it off,” he interrupted me. “You should walk with me, and you’ll feel better.”

I didn’t see how that would be a solution to my spinning head and pitching stomach. “Can you at least take off the blindfold? It’s making me even more disoriented.”

“I told you to trust me. If you don’t, this will never work.”

This? What exactly was this? The picnic he’d planned, or whatever this was. Or our marriage? I’d been trying to make that work. Nothing seemed to accomplish that. Now, all of a sudden it was all in his saving hands. I needed to trust him. That rubbed me the wrong way.

“I’m not comfortable with this, Justin.”

He squeezed my hand a little tighter. “Trust me, Heather. That’s all you have to do.”

I wasn’t sure it would be enough. But, he hadn’t done anything today that would explain the fear whispering through my mind. Maybe a walk would help clear my head. “You won’t let me fall in?”

“Would I do that, Heather?”

Well, would he? What’s going to happen next? You’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Fiction Friday: Goin’ Down – The Beginning

I wrote this story earlier this year, and submitted it to the World Unknown Review, but unfortunately, it wasn’t accepted. I’ve thought about putting a few of my short pieces together into a collection and publishing. I might throw them up on their own, too, if I can figure out cheap covers. But, for now, I’m going to start sharing this one here. I’ll share one scene each week, which will take us through the next 5 weeks. There’s actually 6 scenes, but the last is pretty short, so I’ll include it with the previous one. For now:

I was drowning.

I knew it in every cell of my body. But, I didn’t know how to save myself.  My lungs burned, my body thrashed, my muscles ached as I tried to kick to the surface. Something held me where I was. I couldn’t drag any air in. I was never going to make it, never going to see my husband again, never start the family we talked about.

I would die here.

A great burst of air and cold suddenly blew over me. I dragged in a breath then another. I wasn’t drowning. I wasn’t even in the water.

The bed shifted under me. “Why do you always insist on sleeping with the blankets over your head? You always have the same dream when you do.”

I heard the impatience in my husband’s voice and turned away before opening my eyes. Justin’s irritation wasn’t the first thing I wanted to see upon waking up from the dream.

The sun just rose over the trees. A much better sight to wake to.

“I don’t insist,” I finally said. “It happens when I’m sleeping.”

“Well, make it stop happening. I get tired of dragging you from it.”

I mumbled an apology, but he was already moving away. I didn’t even bother. I waited as his measured steps headed out of the room. I didn’t know what had happened to us. It was so hard to find the man I’d married in the one I still shared a bed with.

I wanted to get us back. I just had to figure out how.

I moved slowly through my morning routine, the dregs of the dream still clinging to me, making my limbs feel heavy. It was like I still struggled through that water. I don’t know why it was always water, why I was always drowning. I couldn’t remember ever living near the water or swimming anywhere but the community pool.

I’d never nearly drowned there. At least not that I remembered. And I’m pretty sure I would.

He was gone by the time I made it downstairs. I hoped coffee would help burn off the remainders of the bad dream. And maybe clear my head enough I could think of a way to get the husband I remembered back.

What do you think? I always appreciate any feedback. I’ll have the next scene in another week.

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