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It only looked easy...
Just yet another writer who dreams of making it big someday.
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Jolene dipped her paddle into the water, gently guiding her kayak forward. The sun was warm overhead and the river smooth and clear as glass. She could see all the way to the bottom. It was almost as if she could reach out and pick a rock off of the riverbed. She didn't, though, because Blake had told her the water was a good twenty feet deep. She was a strong swimmer, but diving twenty feet just to get a rock didn't appeal to her much.
Up ahead, she could hear the thundering sound of water. This must be Vega's Revenge. Blake told her it would be around here. Jolene glanced back to see if Blake was still in her line of vision. He wasn't. Off hitting on Nicolette, she thought bitterly. She couldn't stand Nicolette. She was a shallow ditz who went to any extreme to get a guy's attention. Why Blake had invited her along was way beyond Jolene's comprehension.
The current was getting faster. Blake and Nicolette were still out of sight. There was nowhere to pull over and wait; they could catch up to her after she went through the rapid. Vega's Revenge was getting closer and closer. She could see the churning water about fifty meters ahead. From here, it didn't look too intimidating, just loud. Like thunder.
Jolene tried to remember Blake's advice. Stay left, he had told her, stay left. She guided her kayak toward the left chute, making sure she didn't go too far over and risk crashing into the nasty-looking rocks on the bank. Wondering if Blake had come around the corner yet, she stole a glance back. She spotted his yellow kayak -Nicolette's right next to it. She rolled her eyes. Nicolette didn't know the first thing about whitewater rafting. She would probably fall out and drown.
The current began to grab the kayak. Jolene recalled what Blake had told her about using the river flow to your advantage. Vega's Revenge was now thundering around her, pulling the craft over the crests and troughs of its waves. Jolene occasionally dipped her paddle into the water to keep the kayak straight. This wasn't too difficult. Blake had been overreacting, probably to show off his machoness to Nicolette. She hated when he did things like that.
Suddenly, a rock appeared out of nowhere. Jolene let out a cry of surprise as her small boat hit it. The velocity before impact was so great that the kayak went flying into the air, tossing Jolene into the river. She was underwater for only a few seconds -her life jacket brought her up quickly. Jolene tried not to panic, but that was hard, being caught in the swift current of a Class IV rapid. For no particular reason, she screamed Blake's name, as if he would come and rescue her. A wave washed over her head in mid-scream, and water rushed into her throat.
Jolene barely had time to breathe before another wave crashed over her. When she surfaced, a million things were racing through her mind, but survival instinct singled out SWIM FOR SHORE!!! Instantly she was swept underwater again. The life jacket was strong, but Vega's Revenge was stronger.
She tried to fight against where she was being taken, but the raging river would not yield to her desperate strokes. It had her in its clutches and showed no intention of granting mercy. Jolene had no idea why Vega's Revenge wanted revenge on her. That could be contemplated later. Right now she had bigger things to worry about, like staying alive.
Pain shot through Jolene's body as she was slammed against a rock. She tried to hoist herself on to it, but was swept away before she could find a place to grip. She let out a scream of agony as the river thrust her against another rock. Involuntarily, her head snapped back. The last sensation she felt before slipping into unconsciousness was the feeling of a jagged point of rock piercing the back of her skull.
Jolene's torpid body washed onto a boulder sticking out of the river. The water thundering around her was as loud as a jet engine, but she heard nothing. Soon enough, the white foam was stained red with blood.
Vega's Revenge had claimed vengeance again.
|READER'S REVIEWS (4)
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"As a piece of descriptive writing this isn't bad, but it's the kind of thing that leaves me puzzled as to what it is trying to achieve. You dip into Jolene's mind just before the accident, but once she's in the water all that she is concerned with is survival, which is probably quite realistic, but that leaves the reader with a feeling of "so what?". We don't know Joleen well enough to really care much about her. It would be more interesting if you tried to get inside her mind just as she realizes that death is inevitable: what does it feel like, what does she think about, what does she regret about her life etc.? The details of someone's death are only interesting in a context, and I think you don't supply enough of that context here." -- David Gardiner, London, England.
" I loved your little story. I disagree with david, I knew enough about Jolene to be concerned, and had wished she had survived. I even cared enough to think that a little jealousy went a long way here! And to tell the truth, when your in the throws of death, and it's impending and your spending alot of energy trying to survive, thoughtful contemplation is not at the forefront of your mind. great piece!" -- Robinv, Belleville, IL , USA.
"LIV! It was great. It wasn't dumb like you said. :) ((hugs)) Just wish you didn't kill her off, what a way to end a story. ((grin)) Anyway, call me! Chris" -- Chrisitna, Brookings, Oregon, 97415.
"I liked it!" -- R. Bennett Okerstrom.
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© 2001 Olivia Geraghty
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