The Deep End

My teammate dived off the block into the water. I jumped up and down a few times in a meager attempt to shake the nerves before climbing up the block myself. It didn’t work.

I watched and waited for what felt like hours. In reality, she only swam 4 laps, but it was agonizing! The opposing team caught the lead. It would be all on me to get ahead and win the relay for us. God I hated being anchor.

I was a swimmer for 12 years on three different teams, I could do this! My dad always told me I could be great, the only problem was I never had the drive. The only time I ever feel competitive and really push myself was when I was anchor on a relay, we were just barely behind, and everything was riding on my shoulders.

Like right at that moment.

It was always the same feelings, the same nervous anticipation that drove me to swim my best times each and every race.

My legs were shaking I was so nervous. Jeez, I had to pee. It was terrible timing.

My teammate reached the wall and as soon as she touched, I was off. My body just moved and I didn’t break the surface until I was almost the end of the lane. I took a large breathe, tucked, and turned at the wall, bounding off with all my strength. I could see my competitor now, she was close, but I could pass her. My legs moved, pushed me, until we were neck and neck. By the last lap I was an arms-length ahead.

I could hear the crowd each time I turned my head to breathe. It was percussive and it set a rhythm in me. Only a little more to go. I pushed harder.

I was approaching the wall quickly and anticipated the impact. I was going to win – but I didn’t make it to the wall.

The water began growing darker in front of my eyes. I looked straight down to the bottom of the pool,  but the line I had been following was missing. The dark line grew like a weed across the bottom of the pool until there was no bottom.

I couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing. Was I hallucinating?

It was a consuming darkness. Tendrils grew from its depths and crept up the walls. The wall! The wall seemed more distant…was it getting further away?  I couldn’t swim fast enough to escape the black hole forming beneath me.

I looked to my sides to see the other swimmers, but they were no where to be found.

Something grabbed my foot and completely broke my momentum. I was floating in place, paralyzed.

The tight grip around my ankle started pulling and with a sudden tug it dragged me down.

As I flew downward I could see the black tentacles reaching to for others to consume in the darkness beneath me.

Daily Prompt: Percussive

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