Prompt for September 26, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

The current was strong, sending me downstream faster than I expected.  I wasn’t sure where I was, the fight and the drugs threw my normal sense of direction completely off.  But I knew for a fact that if I got to the mouth of the river without getting to shore the current was going to push me out to sea and I was going to drown.  Unless I got eaten first.  I wasn’t sure which was going to be worse, but I doubled my efforts to make sure that neither scenario happened.

But after thirty minutes of swimming, I was exhausted.  For every foot closer to shore I was ten more feet downstream.  I could have tread water to save energy but all the time I would be drifting to my doom and that seemed like a waste of time.  If I wasn’t willing to fight why make the effort at all?

My biggest advantage?  The water was warm.  Having come from the geysers under Mount Hyrdal the water had cooled off to a reasonable temperature by the time I jumped in the river to escape my captors.  My sodden clothes had been discarded leaving me with not much more than pants and shoes.  The extra weight wasn’t needed.  I kept my shoes because I needed to continue walking or running when I reached the shore and I figured that the shoes would be handy.  The pants?  I’m not running naked through Valkyran land.  Ever.

These thoughts and more went through my head as I swam towards shore, blinding me to the fact that I was quickly running out of shore.  The water was still too deep to stand up and the shoreline, so close, was not close enough.  I put the last of my energy into striking forward, reaching for the shore, reaching to save my life.

And the shore slipped past.

I tread water, letting the current carry me far out to see.  Exhaustion poured from every limb and the effort to keep them moving grew faster than my ability to compensate.  My head would get covered by a swell and I would sputter, forcing the brackish water from my mouth.  But each time it happened it took longer and longer to recover.  Finally, with one last look at the shore which was but a sliver on the horizon, I took a deep breath as my head went beneath the waves.  I started sinking bit by bit, my eyes closed, not wanting to look at the future in front of me, not wanting to see my death before death saw me.  As the pressure grew and as my ability to hold my breath reached its limits, I was prepared to let the Goddess of the Seas take my body when I felt an arm wrap around my chest and head upwards, towards the light, towards air.

I was hauled into a raft, not much more than some logs tied together with rope.  As I lay on my back I opened my eyes and I could swear, just for a moment, I saw the Goddess look at me before I blacked out.

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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