Blue Horizon [a short story]

Food for Thought

[image by: Matt Hintsa]

This is a short story I wrote a long time ago for school.  Right now, I’m working on writing my first novel, but this is something random I wanted to share with you. 🙂

Blue Horizon

short story by grace taft

Delia, a girl of nineteen, gazed across the Atlantic ocean.  Pulling her dirty blonde hair into a bun, her good friend Annie smiled at her.

“Well, you ready to swim?” She asked excitedly.

I looked down.  Not really, I thought. She still doesn’t know about the accident.  “I have to tell you something.” I said in an unsure tone as we began to walked across the long board walk.

“What?” She was very confused.

We had been planning this beach trip for months.  As I looked down, my red hair fell over my face.  “I have a fear of the ocean.” I said, slightly embarrassed.

“How?  I mean, what happened?”  I could tell by her tone, she would understand.

“It happened on our family vacation the summer when I was six.”  I then proceeded to tell her about the incident.  “It was my first time at the coast.  I can still remember how excited I was.”

I was a little girl with huge blue eyes.  I stared at the blue ocean in awe.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  The water looked as if it went on forever.

“You can go swim, dear.  Just don’t go higher than your ankles.”  My mother had told me earlier.

At first, I was too timid to face the loud, crashing waves.  For the past hour, I occupied myself by searching for crabs.  I raced around looking for pea sized holes in the deep sand.  Then I would use my small hands to dig in the hopes of finding the mysterious creatures.  Gradually, I moved closer to the high tide.  I was just about to dig up a patch of rough sand when the cold sea kissed my feet.  Looking back at my parents, I could see that they were talking and were not paying attention.  I gazed down at the clear water.  Amazed, I noticed hundreds of tiny sea shells of various colors.  I picked one up and rubbed its beautiful smooth surface.  Collecting several shells of different shapes and sizes, I unknowingly walked deeper and deeper into the ocean.  The water had long passed my ankles and was now coming up to my belly.  I could hear my parents’ smooth chatter in the background.  Excitedly, I looked through the blue salt water at a gorgeous purple shell in the distance.  Stumbling over the rough terrain of the ocean floor, I walked towards it.  I dropped some of my other shells in order to grasp this one of a kind object.  I reached down into the sea to grab it and at the same moment a huge wave crashed on me, knocking me off of my feet.  This caused me to lose all of my beautiful treasures, including the purple one.  I choked and gasped for a single breath, but another wave came.  Before I knew it, I was being swept away with the current, and rarely getting a good breath.  Every time I tried to yell, another wave would knock the wind out of me.  At that time there were no other people in the water that I could see.  Flailing my arms in the air and water, I attempted to swim but without much success.  Finally, a wave bigger than anything I had ever seen collapsed on me, causing me to almost lose consciousness.  I have a faint memory of my father reaching for me and carrying me back to the shore.

“Ever since then, I have been scared of the ocean.  I can swim now, but I only go to pools where there is no current.”  I concluded.

“I had no idea.” She said looking surprised.  “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I was embarrassed.  I didn’t want you to know that I had a fear of the ocean…”

“Well, what are you going to do?  You can’t be scared forever.”  She said thoughtfully.  “I think today you need to conquer your fear.”

I was unsure about this.  “Oh, I don’t know… someday, I’ll swim in the sea again, but not now.  You go on and I’ll watch.  I don’t want to spoil your fun.”  At that moment, she took me by the hand and led me close to the water.

“You won’t drown.” She said.  “You just have to be careful and pay attention.  That’s all.”  Her face melted into a smile.

I realized protesting was pointless, and that sooner or later I had to conquer the ocean.  My toes touched the cool ocean water.  It reminded me of how I felt when I was younger.  In a single moment, I wasn’t scared anymore.  Perhaps it was the unknown that I was afraid of.  The only memory of the ocean I had was when I nearly drowned.  And that was from a bad chain of events.  We spent the rest of the day swimming under the hot sun.  And to this day, I enjoy the beautiful ocean.