I’m flaked out. The sky is mauve yet still I lie, my skin warmed and taut from sunbathing.
In the pool, the water is inky. There is something amniotic about the way it draws me as if I can go back to the womb where I once tumbled and turned. I will always be my mother’s boy. The others go off in search of more beer but I’ve had enough. Fag buts and spliff ends dot the paving stones. I stand and stretch then pump my shoulders. You can’t get more chilled than this. Ready for a swim, I watch the water winking. Puzzled, I turn. Of course it’s the fairy lights strung amongst the trees that reflect on the surface. Chinking bottles announce the boys are back but I am poised, my toes grip the edge of the pool. That’s when the shouting starts. They like to make a noise but I’m not distracted. My chin’s tucked in, my back’s arched and my arms are ready. One little bounce at my ankles and I’m propelled forwards.
I am prone. The lights on the ward are bright but I lie there, the result of an impetuous moment and a shallow end.
Gail Aldwin is an award-winning writer of short fiction and poetry. As Chair of the Dorset Writers’ Network she supports writers by connecting creative communities. She is a visiting tutor at Arts University Bournemouth and author of Paisley Shirt a collection of flash fiction. @gailaldwin https://www.facebook.com/gailaldwinwriter/ http://gailaldwin.wordpress.com