You grab the boards with all your strength trying to hold on

You try to brace yourself in a case of another blow, and it does come, threatening to overturn the raft and you together. You yell, in surprise and fear, and –

Another flashback hits you, this time of a summer two years later. Bored with heat and too hot for an adventure, Tom and you have ventured to the beach, and spotted one of the smaller kids – Andy? on his little inflatable mattress. Thinking it a great fun, you stormed in the water and started shaking the mattress, trying to make the little boy fall off. He screams in fear

- another blow, stronger, threatening to break the raft in pieces, and then you’d be in the water, with it, you scream again, fingers forcing their way between the boards in attempt to hold tighter, not to let go –

although he learned to swim last summer and would be all right in the water. He’s scared of YOU now, of big boys’ jeering and taunting; he’s screaming at the sight of your eyes, old and cruel. It is the first time you found yourself repulsed by your actions but unable to stop, mesmerized by power and malice you suddenly hold within. Andy’s frantic now, screaming his lungs out at

- blow after blow, like it’ll never stop, shaking and turning, you scream, fingers bleeding as you struggle to push them deeper, you must hold on, you MUST! You scream your fear and helplessness and -

your brutality, snot and spit dribbling down his face, until his mother comes running, and chases you away.

No help is coming for you so you scream although your voice is hoarse. There’s no one to help you, and you scream, snot and spittle and water and foam spraying everywhere; you scream – the blows are subsiding but you scream sorrow and pity and innocence lost; you keep screaming although the blows have stopped a while ago and you have no voice left. Only dry sobs shake your exhausted frame now, and after a while they subside too, awhile yet you even stop shaking. Soon after, mercifully, sleep comes, and then, finally

you know

no more


Some unknown time later, you open your eyes. It hurts, everything hurts. Your throat’s burning, your muscles are rigid with pain, your body bruised. Bit by bit you realize you can see, there’s light now. Pulling yourself slowly up – real slowly, crap that hurts! you look gingerly around.

The End

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