Alone. By myself. Can’t see anything. Don’t hear any voices. Everyone must have run away. Friends wouldn’t just leave like that. Guys, where are you, I need help! How much longer can I hold my breath?
Ice on the pond looked too thin to me. Justin, the daredevil, slid over the surface with no problems. Kurt called me yellow when I said, “I ain’t goin’ across.” Laughter from the guys on shore when halfway I hollered, “It’s crackin’!” My boot punctured the fragile crust, opening a crack that swallowed me whole.
Now I’m floating but sinking, red down parka pinning my arms like a straightjacket. On my feet, brother Kurt’s Redwings, two sizes too big, drag bottomward like steel anchors.
Pretty soon, I’m gonna have to inhale; will it hurt when icy water fills my lungs? Quiet bubbles escape my bluish lips as I struggle against the burning need to draw a breath. Regret fills my slowing heart that I didn’t kiss Mama this morning before leaving home with the guys.
Screaming sirens penetrate the eerie silence of my ice water tomb; surely they’re too late to do any good. Two minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, how long is too long for a kid like me to go without air? Up on the edge, a shadowy figure stretched flat on his belly lowers a boat hook past the floating Knicks cap. Very gently, the crooked brass finger snags in my poufy red nylon collar, and I am lifted toward light and precious air.
Warm blankets surround me, strong fingers clutch mine, and I awake to find Mama and Daddy leaning over the strange bed I’m in. “Xeric environments are much more suitable for humans than aquatic ones,” the snobby old doc scolds my parents from his post by the door.
“Yellow, he ain’t,” proclaims Kurt to our friends, still awed by my stubborn refusal to succumb yesterday to death’s trap in that murky deep pond. Zipping up my red down parka, I kiss Mama goodbye and join the boys dribbling under the hoop, the frosty asphalt court solid beneath my Chucks.
Today’s challenge was to write a story 26 sentences long, each sentence beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, and being one word longer than the previous sentence. Idea modified from prompt #15 on http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~creativewriting/Prompts.php