Flash Fiction – Drowning

Someone in my writing group posted a writing prompt today. As it was not a picture prompt (oh the struggle!), I was able to come up with a little something. The prompt was:

So this is what it means to drown.

I wasn’t terribly clever with the title but at least this time it didn’t start with the word ‘The.’ Enjoy!


So this is what it means to drown, Bruce thought. The water splashed over his head repeatedly as he bobbed up and down, yet he couldn’t breathe. He spun in all directions looking for his friends but they were nowhere to be seen. They probably disappeared as soon as he found himself in trouble. Jerks! If he survived this he would give Willy the beating of his life for talking him into this.

If only they hadn’t double-dared him.

The halfway inflated life ring around him made the situation worse. One moment he was floating, the next he was head down in the water. Since it wasn’t saving him Bruce tried to escape it. He gave up after three tries. Every time he flipped the right direction, the air in the tube would shift to the other side and cause him to start drowning again.

Exhausted he finally stopped his thrashing and waited for death to take him. He couldn’t help but gulp, taking in more of the horrible stuff killing him.

Bruce was almost unconscious when he heard an unfamiliar sound. As it got closer he recognized it, a boat. He’d never heard it like this before, so oddly muffled. He wanted to signal it but he no longer had the energy.

He couldn’t even work up surprise when the boat pulled alongside him and freed him from the life-preserver. As he sank he breathed deeply, several large draws. As the water rushed through his gills he felt his strength return. He swam upward toward the boat. Several men leaned over, watching him. He was tempted to grab one for dinner but since they had saved him, he let them all live.

He surfaced once, mouth open wide, showing all of his teeth to scare the men who saved him and give them a good story to tell, before swimming off in search of a certain killer whale to get some revenge.


This was the first story to pop into my head when I saw the prompt. I dismissed it at first because it’s so cheesy but later decided I wasn’t about to contradict my muse. Not after her coming out after over a month of writer’s block (affectionately known as the time of hell TOH for short).

This is the second silly story my muse has presented me since that TOH. I’m starting to get the hint. Perhaps it’s time, or almost time for me to write something funny.Nanowrimo is coming up soon and I thought I would work on book two of the trilogy but perhaps I should take a month off from it and do something completely different.

It would please my flighty muse and give me a break from the serious nature of books about good versus evil. I have zero ideas for this proposed humorous endeavor but I’ll start looking at prompts and asking people if they have any ideas to throw at me, that includes you!

Sidenote: Bruce is the nickname for the mechanical shark used in Jaws and Willy, as you might have already noticed, references the whale in Free Willy.

P.S. to Melody. Keep the prompts coming!



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