creative writing

Sunny with a chance of…

It was a beautiful summer day. Eighty-eight degrees with a light cool breeze. No humidity. No stickiness. Almost too good to be true.

The weather is simply gorgeous, Rebecca thought to herself.

Looking out her living room bay window she decided it was a great day to take the kids to the beach.

She finished her last sip of tea, went to wash the dishes and clean up the breakfast nook. An hour later, she and the kids where packed in the car heading to the beach.

“Which beach are we going to Mom?” asked Landee.

“Bellevue. It’ll be nice there and not too crowded.”

Then in his sweet innocent voice, Randall pleaded, “Can we go on the carnival rides this time too?”

How can I possibly say no to those little puppy eyes.

“Yes, bub, we can go on the carnival rides too, but not too long because we have to come home for Landee’s violin lessons,” and she saw him smile and look out the window with glee.

After getting on the same four rides for an hour, Landee and Randall finally decided they were tired of the Carnival and ready for their Boogie Boards. Chasing after each other, the kids ran over to their favorite spot at lifeguard stand eight and planted their gear and towels on the sand.

“Ok, Mom, we’re heading to the water for some board surfing!” they yelled in unison.

As they ran off toward the water, Rebecca yelled, “stay close together and don’t go out of sight!”

Rebecca sat down in her beach chair and watched her children play together and jump onto their Boogie Boards as they’ve done for the last two years countless times. Twenty minutes later they came back in for some juice and a snack and went back for more board surfing. She began to settle in with a book she’d been reading for the last two weeks.

Just can never get through a book as quick as I used to.

Ten minutes later, Rebecca heard shouts and screaming, so she looked around. Suddenly she realized it was Landee screaming…

Where’s Randall?

As she got up and sprinted to her daughter her heart began to race in fear… where’s Randall?

She looked her daughter straight in the eyes and asked, “Landee, where’s your brother?”

Unable to speak, Landee’s arm pointed into the water.

Omigod. Where’s the lifeguard?

“Landee, baby, go get the lifeguard and then stay here on the sand. Mommy’s going in to look for Randall.”

As Landee started running for the lifeguard nearby, Rebecca ran into the water and started looking for the little lime green Boogie Board hoping it would lead her to her son Randall. After two minutes, she spotted the board and swam to it.

The tide was unusually strong this close to the shore. He must have slipped too far off and got pulled in.

Finally grabbing the board, she saw her worst fear, his little feet up above the water and his body face down.

Please be alive….

She grabbed him by the neck along with the board and tried to swim back to shore. The lifeguard met her halfway and took Randall back to shore.

Please be alive…

Back on shore, Rebecca saw the EMT already running in from the parking lot while the lifeguard began CPR.

Please be alive…

Holding her breath and grasping Landee tight in her arms, they watched the lifeguard pumping Randall’s chest and breathing air into his lungs. The EMT finally arrived to strap him into the stretcher and they jumped into the ambulance together.

Please be alive…

Holding his tiny hands, watching the EMT do their job trying to revive the tiny little body, she began to cry.

Please please be alive…you can’t die.

Rebecca held Landee in one arm while holding Randall’s hand in the other.

What felt like eternity was only 15 minutes as they arrived in the Bellvue ER. Doctors and nurses everywhere, moving swiftly and talking to the EMT. A completely foreign language.

Please be alive baby… Mommy can’t live without you.

As the doctors plugged Randall into their machines all she kept thing was how fragile Randall’s body looked… so tiny… so blue…She couldn’t breath. She could feel her heart getting crushed. Thinking about how she shouldn’t have taken her eyes off of them even for those 10 minutes. She she should have been standing right next to them. Shouldn’t have done that… should have done this…

One pump..

Two pumps..

No heart beat on the machine.

Three pumps…

Four pumps….

No heart beat on the machine.

Five pumps…..

Six pumps……

No heart beat on the machine.

Seven pumps…….

Eight pumps……..

No heart beat on the machine.

Time stopped in her mind… all she could think about to herself was..

Please please please be alive. Mommy is so so sorry.

Nine pumps………

Ten pumps……….

beep…

OMIGOD…. is that a heart beat?

She could see thru the glass windows the doctors stopped pumping to listen.

beep…beep…

More movement in the room between the doctors and nurses.

beep…beep…beep…

Please be good news…it’s the heart beating…

And as she stood there staring through the glass window, clenching one child in one arm while raising the hand on the glass window to reach for the other, Rebecca vowed never again to let this happen because as water gives life, it can surely take it away.

———-

This is a work of fiction and was written as part of “The Red Dress Club”. This week’s assignment was to write a piece based on the prompt, “Water gives life. Water takes it away.”

———-

Photo by Pui Pui Photography

16 Comments

  • Mandyland

    WOW!

    I read this with my hand over my mouth the whole time. And then goosebumps at the end.

    Thank you so much for letting him live!

    This is one of my worst fears. I’m that awful helicopter mother when we’re anywhere near water. Maybe because I can’t swim well and have a horrible fear of drowning. Whatever the reason, this make me glad that I’m the way I am.

  • Kelly K @ Writing with Chaos

    You captured a parent’s worst nightmare very well. I liked the constant “please be alive” chant echoing in Rebecca’s head. Also the pacing with the pump counts – I was there with the mother. The flow and urgency was there – especially in the latter half.

    ConCrit: I’ve been told – having made this mistake myself – that beginning a story/book/article with weather is a big no-no. Yes, I was shocked at first until I thought about it – then it made perfect sense. Instead, begin with a hook or foreshadowing, or some piece of action. Even the conversation with Landee, before going back to describe the day.

    Excellent piece and I hope the advice helped!

    I hope this helps.

  • Kelly

    A nightmare for every parent! You captured that guilt…for taking just a few minutes of mom time to read…and the panic….

    SO well done. On the edge of my seat the whole time…eagerly cheering “Come on! Beat, heart, beat!” So glad he survived! 🙂

  • Sonora

    This is definitely one of every parent’s worst nightmares. I am so glad he was ok at the end. The suspense was killing me (in a good way). Good job!

  • Rita @YippyMomma

    Thanks so much for all your comments and compliments! I started out thinking I was going to write about my experience at a near drowning experience when I was less than five years old but in a pool, but then as I started typing, this story just came out instead. I had thought about how to end the story and whether I wanted to leave it as a “cliffhanger”, but ultimately decided it would not have been right. I’m glad everyone enjoyed reading the piece. Thanks again for leaving comments and dropping by!

  • Tracie

    The tears were threatening to spill over and I wanted to shout out with the mom “Please please please”

    This was so gripping.

    I’m glad you let him live. i don’t think I would have forgiven you if he died.

    • Rita @YippyMomma

      Thanks for your post! I don’t think I would have forgiven myself if I let him die either. I did though, toy around with leaving it as a cliffhanger, but ultimately decided against it.

  • Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Well, that was scary! And every mother’s worst nightmare for sure, especially when you’re distracted by something and you lose sight of your child. Terrifying!

    My concrit is you say it’s a beautiful day, then you describe the day, then you have Rebecca SAY it’s a beautiful day. You could start the story with her looking out the window and deciding it’s a perfect beach day. Also, the convo w/ the kids about which beach doesn’t really move the story forward. You have your best stuff buried down lower and that’s the part that should really shine.

    • Rita @YippyMomma

      Hi Cheryl. Thanks so much for stopping by. Would your advice still apply it this text for a part of a novel? Just curious. Thanks for the concrit! There’s always room for improvement.

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