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Swimmin’ In the Holler

by Mark Leasure 7 months ago in fiction
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Dark Cold Water

Swimmin’ In the Holler
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

It’s early autumn here in Ohio and it’s almost ninety degrees. The leaves have been falling for a couple of weeks but it’s still hot enough to swim. This happens every year, and I should know I practically grew up on this lake. Sure, the waters a little colder because it’s late in the year, and it’s a little darker due to all the leaves, but in my opinion there’s no better time to go swimmin’ in this holler. In fact, I’d say this is the best place to go swimmin’ in the whole county.

If you’re a kid this is the funnest place you can be. If you’re a parent, it’s relaxin’ to sit on the beach and read while you watch the kids jump off the dock. Heck, you’ll probably even see me with ‘em, I’m the skinny one with the black hair. If the weathers right for swimmin’ you can bet I’ll be there.

Did you know there’s a grill on the beach? It would be really fun to cook up some food for the kids while they’re playin’, maybe you could even save some for me. I’m the really quiet skinny one with black hair that the other kids kind of ignore. It’s okay though it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

Have you seen the old tire swing on the big elm tree by the lake? It’s just like the one from when you were a kid. I bet it would be loads of fun to swing on it for a while. Don’t worry you can still keep an eye on the kids from there. Give me a wave if you see me. I’m the quiet skinny one with black hair who looks vaguely familiar.

After they’re done swimmin’ the older kids can leave the younger ones behind and go pass the football on the sand. I’ll stay behind in the water though, it’s my favorite place to be. You’ve seen me from the corner of your eye peeking at you from the dark water, but I always dive under before you turn around. Im the quiet skinny one with black hair and black eyes.

You know you’ve seen me somewhere before but you just can’t put your finger on it. I know where, but I’m not telling. Your youngest is the only one still swimmin’, he’s always loved the water, you’ll probably see me standing nearby. I’m the quiet skinny one with black hair and black eyes and gray skin.

You remember me now, don’t you? You yell for your son to get to you now because you’re leaving. You make a mistake. You don’t tell him not to swim back. He dives in the deep, dark, cold water, and as you see him disappear beneath the surface you see me. You see my gray face sticking out of the water, my black hair and my black eyes. You see my blue lips. You see them grin. Then, you see me go under too.

I’ve been lookin’ for someone who loves to swim as much as I do. I can’t remember how long I’ve been swimmin’. I know it’s been a long time though, waitin’ and waitin’ for the right one

The water is so dark this time of year. I blame the leaves mostly. It’s hard to find anything in it. Do you remember me now? You should. I told you I was goin’ swimmin’ in the holler. You said you’d go with me. You forgot. Even when people got scared and started lookin’, you forgot. Then you forgot me completely. You were supposed to be my friend. It’s okay though, I forgive you. I have a new friend to swim with forever.


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Mark Leasure

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