“Sinking” was written for Carrot Ranch. Many thanks to Charli!


A jostle interrupted Kelly’s stroke, she was sinking, panicking, unthinking. Lou helped her surface. She swam to the side where she stayed shaking, acknowledging she should never have gone in the deep end even to avoid rowdy kids.

“Thank you,” she said later. “You saved—”

“Save it,” he said, his tone slapping.

Did he think she had been faking?

Later at dinner with his sister, as they giggled over an in-joke, she did not understand, she felt her lungs compress. She drank too much, obliterated emotion. She could still feel the panic paralyzing her, a suffocating infinite blankness.


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