Sink like a Stone – Sunday Photo Fiction

AnElephantCant swim across La Manche
Though he hasn’t yet given up hope
He has two legs and two arms
His ears keep him from harm
And his trunk makes a cool periscope

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (c. 150 words) based on a photo prompt (below) provided by Alastair.
Just click on the link to find some soggy stories of aquatic adventures in response to this week’s excellent image.
But please first cast an eye over AnElephant’s watery woes!

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Sink like a Stone

His name is Jack Stone.
It is his first day at his new school, the sixth in nine years.
He has missed the first two weeks of term due to illness.
He arrives to discover that the boys are going on a field trip with Mr Watson, the PE teacher.
This involves a four-mile cross-country race, rowing to an island on the river, then lunch.
And then survival swimming lessons.
Not yet fully recovered, he struggles on the run, finishing a poor last to the derision of his new classmates.
And, of course, Mr Watson.
Can you row, he is asked.
I don’t know, sir, I have never tried.
Where was you last school, boy?
Inverness, Scotland, sir.
So I suppose you swim like your name, eh, unless you practised by chasing that monster!
Laughter all round.
He looks down, says nothing.
By the time they reach the island he is the butt of every joke.
As they sit eating their sandwiches Watson receives a call.
Quickly, boys, to the boats, there is a problem at the dam.
The boys watch in horror as the first great wave smashes the boats, with Watson among the debris.
They drag him to safety, his leg broken.
His phone is lost in the fast-rising water.
And the boys are forbidden them during school hours.
Stone surveys the wash, then strips.
He ignores Watson’s frenzied cries and dives into the torrent.
He cuts through the flood like a shark, reaches the bank in no time.
The emergency services find the group on the highest point, water splashing around their knees.
Twenty minutes later and we would have been gone, Watson shakes Stone’s hand, and you said you couldn’t swim!
No sir, you did.
You learnt that in Inverness?
No sir, I grew up in South Africa, near Durban.
But your style, that power, quite extraordinary.
I competed in the national under-15 championships, sir.
How did you get on?
I won, sir.

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9 Responses to Sink like a Stone – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Ally says:

    This flows nicely and kept my interest.

    I like your style

    Ally 🙂


  2. Indira says:

    Lovely. Very good story.


  3. Lovely. So easy to judge people in a negative way!
    (I studied in Durban. Great beaches, most of which are protected by shark nets.)


  4. emmylgant says:

    Jack Stone… Perfect name for a hero.
    What a good read! I love the way you write in the quiet strength of the young man from the very beginning.


  5. There’s a good lesson about making assumptions. Good for Jack! I’m glad it ended well for all of them.


  6. babso2you says:

    Good story! I liked the rescue! Come visit tomorrow to a new site with a twist on flash fiction:

    I hope that you will join in the challenge

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Steve Lakey says:

    A really satisfying end to this story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lyn says:

    Nice story, Mr AnE. Just shows you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover…or a child by their quietness. Bet Mr Watson is glad he didn’t leave young Stone at school.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Al says:

    I like that. Judging someone by things they can’t do, and so by assuming they are useless at everything. Excellent 🙂


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