The Pier

I am running along the pier. I can hear my breath, the smacking of my bare feet on the dry, cracked boards, quick and dull like the thumping of a drum.  The wind streams my hair out behind me, the early morning chill catching at the naked flesh of my face and arms and legs with icy fingers. My muscles are young, lithe, they propel me with ease as I jump high into that still, clear air and plunge, feet first, into the lake, smashing through the serenity, whisking it into a sudden frenzy that bubbles and hisses like a witch’s brew.

Then the momentary thrill is over; the lake calms and slowly drifts to sleep again and I, the interloper accepted, am falling softly downwards, hair unfurling around my face like a fragile web. As I drift I feel the dark vastness of the lake all around, this ancient and ever waiting creature, swallowing me into its silence, coldness seeping up from below, slipping icy tendrils along my spine, my ribs, goose pimpling my legs. I look up, moving my eyes only, my body safe in its cocoon. And I see you. A shadow on the glittering surface, your legs, spread wide in an arc as you leap, surpassing my meagre distance with your effortless strength. A muffled whumph as you land, a watery bomb exploding to my left, spreading across the stillness, bursting, destroying, annihilating as you kick frantically, inelegantly and race to break back through the surface. Always in a hurry. I remember you.

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