Drowning (Unedited)

If I had power over anything other than my survival instinct, I may have peed myself. The back of my mind told me ‘this is what it must be like to be in a washing machine.’ A thought instantly swept away as I clawed myself to the surface of the waves. Another. How could there be another? I thrust my fist into the air, flailing it as best I could in a cry for help. But I was sucked under again. The wave crashed over me, tumbling me one way and then dragging me out to sea. Discerning between sea floor and ocean surface felt impossible. My head was full of sea water. A tiny breath and back under. Thrown head-over-heels again and again. This time I got a full gulp of air, seeing my friend also struggling nearby. My fist was in the air again, quickly thrown asunder by the tumbling madness of another wave.

“Zoe!” I cried as I feebly attempted to stand. “Help!”

She saw me before another wave hit. Calmer this time but still enough to dunk me and squeeze the air from my lungs. Up again, Zoe beckoned me towards her.

“To shore, swim to shore!” she cried. Another wave and I stumbled face first into the surf. I threw up my hands in a desperate attempt of free-style swimming. For once the motion of the water worked in my favour, pushing me towards the shore. It was the suck that terrified me. I had barely moved a meter before the current pulled me back. It was so strong. Every break I got, I heaved my body closer to the shore, inch by withering inch. The current was so strong that it felt like hours to get a mere ten meters. By the time I felt solid sand beneath my feet, I was trembling violently. The water sucked at my shins and I fell to my hands and knees, crawling up the beach and out of the ocean’s clutches. I vomited salt water onto the damp sand and shuddered. I spotted Zoe a few meters away, in far better shape than me. She heaved me off the ground and we stumbled back to our towels.

“What the hell happened to you two?” asked Jesse, sunnies on and skin tanning.

I could only vomit up more water, and gulp down sweet, nutritious air.


Writing prompt: Write about an experience in which you were terrified.

(What better way to do this than a near-death experience! Once again, I only got up to the first line of dialogue in the lecture, so I had to rescue myself from the water. Waves still terrify me – and rips are a black hole!)

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