The Determination of Youth

Water. People who lived by water -the ocean, a lake, or a wide river- knew water. People who lived by water loved it. They were not terrified by it.

Not so, me.

Landlocked. I did not live by water; did not know water. I did not love it. I was terrified by it.

I thought this; as I inched, grasping, toward my parents. My feet; then toes; then tiptoes felt the pool floor drop, my face cresting the water’s surface. I saw their bobbing forms.

I think.

I think I saw them, just before water drowned them from view.

©2023 Chel Owens

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on

Written in response to Charli’s prompt at Carrot Ranch:

May 1, 2023, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about high water. Hell can be involved, or not. Is high water a new drink? A crisis in nature or the basement? Get in the flow. Go where the prompt leads!

23 thoughts on “The Determination of Youth

  1. Even landlocked folks need to learn to swim. A handy skill. I used to play hide and seek with my youngun’ at the pool. But then I love water. I was told I could swim before I could walk. But then I lived in a state where you needed that skill. One still needs to know how to address tides and be very careful of how water works. Even in public pools!

    So… I was just thinking that the parents were playing in the ‘pool’ water – not anything dangerous until I read other comments. EEK!


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