Learning to Swim

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, inspired by Prompt: Memories from a 5 Year Old.

The shock of cold exploded all air from her lungs. She sank down, suspended in a clear watery world, red stripes visible below her feet, colorful distorted shapes above. A muffled short scream and harsh tones drifted down, her ears popping as they filled with water.

Kick, her mind screamed, body not obeying. Kick!

She clamped her lips tight, blocking the flow of liquid in, and swung her arms up and down. Kick!

Reluctant legs finally gave in and started churning, matching the circular pattern of arms. She started to rise, up and up, harder and harder she pushed her body up, the water pulling her back down with every attempt. A little more, just a little more.

The warm air hit the top of her head and her mouth opened automatically, spewing water out to replace it with precious air. Coughing and splashing, through her watery vision she saw her parents, once trusted, arguing.

“You just threw her in, you bastard! She could have drown!” Her mother shrieked, pounding her father’s chest with clenched fists.

Oblivious, calmly watching the two year old struggle to stay afloat in the water, confident with the success of the lesson, he replied, “Only way to learn. Just throw them in the middle and hope they figure it out.”

“Hope they figure it out! Asshole!”

If she knew what the word meant, she would have agreed.

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