drowning - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The first time her head bobs beneath the waves Sasha isn't worried. She's dived before, she isn't scared of a little water over her head. After only thirty seconds more she is sinking again, her legs tired and struggling to bring her back toward the sun-speckled surface. She can't hear the music and chatter from the lake-side beach anymore and her hair rises like seaweed upwards, rippling in the currents. With super human effort she breaks the surface again, gulping at the summer air and then with barely a splash she is under again. This time she sinks faster and the panic has her heart hammering against her ribs. Nobody is looking, no-one has seen, she isn't a small child under her mother's watchful eye anymore, she is a teenager and a competitive swimmer. When she can no longer hold her breath the cold water rushes in, all illusions of surviving are gone. Soon the oxygen deprivation takes away her thoughts and she will have to wait for the divers to return her to her loved ones.
In the movies drowning is loud and splashy, someone yells and waves their arms, they dip below the waves and come up in dramatic fashion while those on shore scramble to rescue them. I've been a lifeguard since my teens and I can tell you that that particular scenario has never happened. Drowning is quiet, their movements are subtle, they rarely make any noise at all. One minute their head is bobbing above the water and then it is gone. So if you're not any good at "spot-the-difference" this isn't the job for you. Someone can go in the time it takes you to check a text from your man. Last summer we lost two men on my watch, young, twenty something, more bravado than sense. I was there when they pulled their lifeless bodies up the sand, water-logged and blue. So I tell my guy, there's nothing macho about drowning, always tie a float to your leg when you swim out, gives you something to hold onto if you get a cramp.
My head is pounding, every cell in my body is screaming for oxygen. I keep fighting until I feel like my head is about to explode, I have to take a breath. So I do. For some reason it doesn’t hurt like I thought it would, I’m not scared anymore, it’s almost peaceful actually. I begin to fall. I fall further and further into the darkness until it threatens to swallow me whole.
I have held my breath in a pool before, this isn't like that. This is like having a gun to my head and being told not to let my heart beat. Of course it will beat. And just like the heart must go on my lungs will inhale whether it is air or briny water. In the moment that the coolness rushes in I know I am already dead. In moments I will float like the sea weed, nothing more than flesh and bones ready to decay in the currents. I want to be saved, I want a rescuing hand to tow me back to life, to the world I know...
Darkness enveloped her. The water closed in around her, filling her with a deep dread. She held her breath as long as she could, too long in fact. Red and black splotches danced in front of her and she couldn't remember if her eyes were opened or closed. The coldness she had felt upon entering the water was completely gone. A desperate hot wave had come over her, warming even her frosted toes. Her heart was beating rapidly in panic. The urgency for air was more apparent than ever. There weren't red blotches in her field of vision anymore. It was all black.
She opened her mouth, gasping for air.
I thought it would be okay to go for a short swim, to take my mind off things and try to escape from this depressed cloak in which I stand. I jumped into the water feeling the cold splashes on my tear stained face. I swam down and reached the bottom in one breath. I always used to swim in the lake when my father was alive. The cold water pushed me down and when I tried to swim back to the surface my oxygen levels had run out. I felt my brain fuzz with the onset of asphyxia. I tried with great effort to swim back up to the surface, but I sank faster. My heart started beating frantically, desperate for sweet oxygen. But it was no use. The oxygen I had had moments earlier was spent and I was left with a headache, dizziness. After a long while of suffering, my thoughts and memories were taken away, and I returned to the bottom of the lake.
A sense of anguish, more so than pain, had taken rule of his heart, and he was extremely light-headed.
Maybe the upper content of his head was little more than a spiral of wool, which was slowly turning as it unravelled. One more revolution, and the final strand would release, to allow his mind to slip through the gap, and float slowly up and away.
Now he was drifting, drifting, drifting down through a bed of gently swaying strands of seaweed, to be crowned by the vertical green fronds as they wrapped around his head. As his feet touched down on the ocean floor, Jonah exhaled his final breath, which rose in a fascinating stream of bubbles back to the surface from whence it came.
My arms and legs kick out desprately as I try to swim to the surface. The dark indigo water swirles around me, trapping me, keeping me from the oxygen I needed. My entire body is throbbing, my lungs feel as though they've been set on fire. Slowly, black begins to seep in at the edge of my vision. I try to open my mouth to breathe, but I only got salty water. Then, ever so slowly, everything faded away. Painfully, quietly. I didn't want to die like this, but it was too hard to try to fight, so I simply let the darkness take over me.
When I fall beneath the waves I expect to come back up, and I do. But each chance to breathe becomes further apart, each breath less than the last. Before I go under that final time I know I have been kissed by the sun for the last time. The current takes me down and I strain for the light that dims above.
The water rushes in like it owns me. It enters cold and murky, stealing away the air that could save this fragile body. I can taste it, like a dirty river, foul and unclean. My limbs are moving like some stupid clockwork doll and my mind is loosing focus faster than a child at a fun fair. Only there is no fun, only fear, fear enough to make me fight harder for the light. I need my head to break the surface before the strength leaves my limbs. I need my movements to be calm and calculated but my primitive reaction has taken control and I thrash with no more mind than a monkey in a whirlpool.
Tina moves her arms like she's climbing rocks but it's only water around her – water that washes around her body preventing access to precious air. After only a few seconds her brain is in full panic, there are no coordinated movements, just clawing through the thin liquid that threatens to invade her lungs. From her lips comes an explosion of air bubbles, moving away from her at a peculiar angle. She almost realizes she isn't facing upwards, that she's struggling perpendicular to the surface, but already her thoughts are groggy. Her limbs slow down, stop and she floats in the current like a doll. When Dana clasps her wrist she is unaware, but slowly she is towed upward to the daylight above...
Hue was enveloped by the dark indigo body of water. The incredible pressure compressed her chest, forcing her lungs to burn as if on fire. Her heart began hammering, increasing in intensity and speed, like a bird trapped in a cage. Her throat seared in agony with the rising pressure of trapped air. Head pounding with panic, threatening to explode any second. Hue gave into the pressure and took a breath of air, only to engulf a gush of salty water. She tasted the filthy ocean, foul and polluted. Opening her mouth again, this time to scream, Hue let out a string of bubbles. Despair filled her with every struggling gulp.
Icy cold water was thrust up her nostrils, a stream cascaded into the back of her throat and nose, sending jets of pain through her body. Slowly, the commotion and chaotic sounds of the sea drowned out to a low hum, buzzing at her ears, gradually muting into silence, one with the darkness. She gave up on the screaming, on the thrashing, allowing the water to hold her body in a sustained position beneath the sea. As her vision blurred out and her consciousness faltered, her body became numb and she waited in resignedness for the numbing hands of death to suck away every last piece of life left in her.
The ice breaks beneath my boots: cold water, no breath, pain. The sunlight that was so strong just seconds ago is a blur. My arms flail against the icy water that steals heat from every part of my skin. My head hits ice. Bubbles brush my cheek. One hand finds the gap, shooting into the wintry air. I sink just a little before asking my body for one final push for the light. A hand clasps mine and seconds later my body is shaking so violently on the ice that I cannot form a coherent thought. My lungs drink in the air in noisy rasps and again the hands come, urgent voices, instructions...
I thrashed and flailed wildly in the water. My head was bobbing up and down, my lungs screaming desperately for oxygen and I felt dizzy. A few moments ago, the water had been beckoning me towards it. Now was a totally different story. The strong waves of the sea had me in its clutches, and I struggled to stay afloat. "He...help..." I wheezed. With my last ounce of energy, I propelled myself towards the surface and tried to get attention, but the people were still oblivious to my state. Giving up all thoughts of survival, I lost consciousness and let my thirteen-year-old body sink down to the dark, cold bottom of the sea.