And so he ran… II

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Short story
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
A short story,

*Pro tip*: Read part I first 🙂

SPLASH…

It’s very likely that swimming would have come perfectly naturally to George – had he not currently had a sizable hole in his right tricep. So rather than swimming, he sank – in fact quite rapidly.

Of course he knew that it was inevitable at moments like these to become painfully aware that if he had only ticked off a little, “Yes” box some years ago, rather than the, “No” which he’d so valiantly chosen (because of some silly ideal that seemed direly important at the time, but that for the life of him he couldn’t presently remember), at the moment his brain might be recommending his best possible actionable strategy – rather than drawing a large blank like it was.

It would say;

Try to do what comes naturally…

Synchronize your limbs…

Think like a frog…

Tread Water…

George’s mind had never said a word to him before, and he’d always been just fine with that. Well, all up until now that is… Now he’d wish it would speak up with some timely words of wisdom for both their sakes…

Perfectly inept at the task of swimming, George flailed about helplessly as he descended into the murky depths of the polluted bay beneath him (looking all the while like he was feverishly attempting to dance without any innate sense of rhythm whatsoever), fighting dearly to hold on to his breath, and praying that he’d sort all this swimming business out neatly before he’d drowned.

Motivation is a funny thing. It always comes when you’d least expect it, and it never fails to evoke transformation just as soon as you welcome it into your life. For instance, if you were to grab George from the water at this point, offer him a towel and a warm beverage, and tell him that all would be forgiven so long as he answered this one question, “Could you have been any more motivated to swim at this point”, he would have answered with an instantaneous and resounding “No!”. But, as it turns out, he’d be lying. Unintentionally mind you, but he would. Before this moment he’d woefully underestimated the power of motivation, which often can come from the most unlikely of places – certainly that won’t happen again anytime soon.

In this instance, motivation came in the form of a litter of laser beams – one of which missed his head by mere inches,

(They’re taking pot shots at me… and their aim is improving…)

The red tinted beams shot downward into the water beneath him at the speed of light, and disappeared in a flash,

(Why haven’t any of them come in after me yet?)

Unbeknownst to George, as the highly charged photons shed energy in the water below – they boiled it.

(I should probably listen for a splash…)

The water he drifted into was now cooking his skin…

~Motivation: teaching us to swim away from boiling patches of water since the birth of man.~

As George continued to thrash his arms about in an arrhythmic nonsensical matter (which was quickly proving not only to be utterly pointless – as he’d accomplished nothing thus far save for turning slightly from left to right – but also a wholly wasteful expenditure of his rapidly dwindling energy reserves), he began to feel a curious coldness envelop his body.

Logically he deducted that the deeper water he’d drifted into must be the culprit, and, for the moment at least, he appreciated it; he let it soothe him. He closed his eyes and relaxed his arms – putting aside for the immediate future his aspirations to be a swimmer – and let the cool water thoroughly ease his aching muscles and calm his throbbing brain. Before now, his whole body had been aflame with the negative aftereffects his surging adrenalin had left him with, and he thought that if only he could regain his wit for a moment (in this cooler more temperate water), that he might be able to take on the daunting task of swimming anew in but a moment.

The moment transpired like this;

Cold turned quickly to cool…

Cool, to hot…

Hot neatly became uncomfortable…

And uncomfortable transitioned hastily to boiling…

Danger”, screamed his brain, “DANGER

Sure… now it was talking…

His eyes cracked open in a flash, and his surprised lungs expelled half his oxygen reserves in a shocked, soggy scream, as he quickly realized that his all too logical deduction (which intuitively and wrongly related his depth, to coldness of the water), was entirely off the mark. Forget about broad side of a barn, this was somewhere off in the next galaxy.

Miraculously however, it was in this very moment – just as soon as his brain disengaged from the task at hand and his survival instincts had room to kick in – that George learned to swim!

Awesome!

It’s only too bad that he’d lost most of his oxygen in the process.

Not so awesome…

He quickly vacated the area (where he’d just been willingly cooking like a lobster), with a surprisingly efficient and completely impromptu left-handed underwater version of the breast stroke. His heart raced, and though there was obviously no oxygen around him to draw in (a fish passed him by and became insanely jealous of its gills), he nevertheless pictured himself leaning heavily on some sturdy object and heaving in air for dear life. His lungs were burning, and heart was thrumming with tremendous gusto, but it would seem that – for now at least – he was safe.

He had to think it…

Splash…

Oh great…

He wasn’t exactly sure what had taken the Droids so long up there on the surface to finally decide to make up their minds about entering the water, but whatever had transpired was now immaterial – it had resulted in only one thing as far as he was concerned – he now had company.

Despite the fact that the polluted water around him was murky and burned at his eyes, George nevertheless fought through the pain and turned to glare up at his pursuers. He needed to know how many had entered the water. If all three, than he might have a brief window of time for which to swim past them as they sank, to effectively make his escape on dry land (where he’d obviously belonged if his swimming lesson had taught him anything). He strained his eyes to see up through the great volume of murky water above him, and had to push himself (and his poor peepers), near to his threshold of pain before he’d spotted anything significant – but what he’d eventually seen through the harshly shaded water, made his heart sink below his feet.

The lights of the GM building (that he had just raided), back-lit the dock on the surface, and George could clearly see two figures silhouetted there on the pier; standing side by side and having their blackened physique illuminated intermittently by bursts of sparking light from where their wrists might be (if they were human). The third however, and this was the part that had made him lose his cowardly heart out of the bottom of his firmly soled black shoes, seemed to be in the shape of a large fish, and was swimming quickly and expertly down into the waters in search of him.

His pursuer had changed shape BEFORE entering the water…

The other two Droids must have thrown the third in…

No record had ever cited of this type of behavior…

George hadn’t anticipated this at all…

Surely this was very bad news…

Gasp! (there goes the air)

Rut-Roh…

He instinctively began to swim down and away from the unknown (but likely to be hostile), form above, before quickly remembering that unlike some creatures (like that show-off fish from before with the gills, the bastard), he actually required oxygen to continue operating his body. At this realization he made a quick *180 in the water and headed instead up toward the surface of the bay, knowing full-well that he was likely to be shot, more likely to be killed, and even more likely yet to have his shirt stolen, but despite the likelihood of all these things, he simply didn’t care: George wanted to live.

His ascension toward the surface was hasty, and brightened sporadically by short-lived luminous bursts of light resulting from the near misses of the laser shots that rained down on him from the dock above. One grazed his shoulder and he rolled to the right. Another tagged his toe and he moved to the left. A third hit his hand dead through the center – and that stopped his momentum cold.

Without all of its initial heat, the normally humane laser shot (which would both pierce you and cauterize the wound all at once), had left George bleeding openly in the water. Frozen, hopeless, and full of regret, George watched as the shadow of the large fish-like thing that the third droid had taken the shape of, halted its serpentine sweep of the area it was in, and rapidly descended into the water – aiming it’s nose in his direction.

His lungs screamed at him to swim, but he just didn’t have the will to do it,

(So this was it…)

George knew at this point, with absolute certainty, that he was about to die,

(Was all my hard work and effort for nothing…)

He thought of his lovely wife, and his two darling children, and wished that he could hug his lost son once more,

(Is this the end…)

He hated the world for what it had become, but was proud at all the progress the Half-Breeds had achieved,

(It’s not so bad…)

The evidence existed, and he had found it,

(At least I fought for what I believed in…)

Someone else would soon champion the cause,

(Surely the world will soon know the truth…)

George took off his shirt, and let it sink into the depths below,

(They are controlling our minds…)

The Droid-fish approached George in the water, and opened its terrifying jaws…

 

Hey there my creative troupe!

Hopefully you’re all thoroughly enjoying the story of George thus far, and you’re all so very inspired by his harrowing tale that you’ve not only subscribed (seriously, subscribe, what are you waiting for?) so that you might hear the conclusion (I’m excited, are you?), but that you’ve also been inspired to work on your own creative endeavors as a result.

I have to say, this has been fun! I’m fleshing out a part of my book that I hadn’t paid much attention to before, and I’m learning a lot about my characters and their past… This experience has been invaluable to me, and I only can hope that you’ve all enjoyed taking the trip along with me as well.

Anyway, as I’ve been working on this for the better part of my day, I have in turn been ignoring the edits on my novel, and now I must get back to them. So, good creative lot, it is at this point that I regrettably must bid you all adieu, and resume my necessary (but laborious), task.

As always; strive to live without judgment, but never stop being observant, and make sure to create every day!

 

And remember!

Not every day will be your best, but if you just keep at it (creating that is), some days will be!

~J

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Comments
  1. MOM says:

    I thought that excerpt was very accelerating. I could feel his heart beating faster.

  2. Classic says:

    Ahh! This story is maddening (in an excellent way)!! I must know what happens next!

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