Welcome to today’s blog. Once again I am sharing a short story or a flash fiction based on a photo prompt. Author, Suzanne Burke offers these challenges and everyone is welcome to participate. https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/
Every 4th of July, our family spent a week at Caribou Lake in Minnesota. I remember running down the old wooden pier and jumping into the water. Swimming in the safe water, our cabin nestled among the pine and aspen trees, and the long days.
By the time, I was fourteen I was an accomplished swimmer so my parents did not worry about me. My sister, Joan, who was one-year younger hated the water and never learned how to swim.
“Come on in, Joan. The water is great.” Watching her shake her head, with her arms folded across her chest, I’d yell, “You are a scaredy-cat.”
She would just stick her tongue out and holler back, “I’m going to tell Mom that you called me a name.”
“I don’t care. When you tell Mom that makes you a tattle-tale.” I laughed at her childishness and called her sissy, namby-pamby, and chicken making clucking sounds. I watched her run up to the cabin slamming the door behind her.
I swam further out into the lake enjoying the warm water that July day. With each stroke, I thought of how different Joan and I are. She is a red-head and I am a brunette. She is short and I am tall. She is a little plump and I am skinny. She is scared of spiders and other such critters. She struggles with math which I find to be easy.
Lost in my thoughts I did not realize how far I had swum nor the large, gray clouds now blocking the once bright sunshine. I turned back towards shore and the old wooden dock and began to swim. All too soon, my arms and legs felt heavy and weak. I shivered from the now chilly water. My heart was pounding and my chest hurt with each breath.
“Oh, God. I’m not going to make it back. I’m going to drown.” Those were my thoughts as I frantically searched the distant shoreline and surrounding water for help, but I saw no one. My cries for help went unanswered. I rolled onto my back, closed my eyes, relaxed my tired body, and hoped I would float to safety.
“Rebecca, you are strong. Do not give up.” I heard these words but did not know where they came from. I looked up into the clouds where a shaft of light had broken through the clouds.
“We are here to help you.”
I saw two angels swoop down through that shaft of light and surround my tired body with golden light. Soon I felt stronger, my legs and arms were no longer weak, and I could breathe normally. I swam toward the old dock and in what seemed only a few minutes my hands reached up to the rickety old ladder. I climbed up and stood and looked around to say thank you to the angels, but they were not there.
The gray clouds were now dark and thick and thunder rumbled in the distance. I ran up the hill to our cabin shivering from cold, exhaustion, and elation.
As soon as I entered the cabin, Mother asked me if I had called Joan some names. I looked at my sister and saw her differently. I realized how my words hurt her. “I am sorry, Joan. You are not any of the things I called you.”
The next day while we were eating our breakfast, Joan said, “I wish I liked the water, but it scares me. I’m afraid I will drown.”
“I understand. The thought of drowning is scary, but I will always be by your side to help you.”
She agreed to let me teach her how to swim. We soon became swimming buddies, enjoying the water together.
We also became closer and our differences were less important.
The angels saved me for a reason and I learned a powerful lesson: live my life with kindness.
Please share your thoughts about this flash fiction. Do you have fears to overcome? Do you think before you speak? Are you aware when your words or actions might hurt another? Do you believe in angels?
Thank you, Suzanne Burke, for another opportunity to challenge my creativity and writing.