I am standing in knee high water, between the flags, talking to Adam. He points out to me that the sea bed not far from where we stand, falls sharply like a cliff. Despite Adam being a marine biologist, I am sceptical so I point my toe out to test his assertion.
Suddenly Adam is very small and the beach seems miles away. I swim a little and get dragged out by the rip a bit more. My mouth fills with salty water and my breathing gets harder. I wave my arms desperately but that only serves to drag me under.
I didn’t think it would be like this. Without warning and on my birthday too. The others will be upset and the party will probably be cancelled. I feel strangely guilty about that but decide I should depart with dignity.
I float for a bit and it feels oddly relaxing; my last couple of minutes. Then as if to disturb my peace a surfer with blonde dreadlocks parks up next to me and asks if I need a ride. I hang on to his board and we wait for a big wave to push us in to shore.
As we face each other in the shallows, he tells me that I shouldn’t have panicked as that is what could have killed me. We shake hands like a couple of gents and he takes off. I don’t even think to ask his name.
Back on dry land I’m a little cold with the shock and release an extraordinary amount of warm salty sea water from my nose. I dont tell the others what happened. They probably wont believe me if I tell them God wears a wet suit sometimes.
©Ash Cheyne 2017
Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Panicked