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The River


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The River

By Trab

The new pool facility was lovely, with a competition sized swimming area, water slides, children’s play pool, wave pool, sauna, and steam room. However, the best was “The River”. From the looks of it, mostly guys liked this, with only a few females watching demurely from the side.

Only 3 feet deep, the warm water was propelled around a nearly 100 foot circular channel only two people wide, by numerous jets, all bubbling furiously. Everyone entering was pretty much swept off his feet in seconds. Bill was no exception.

Tossed, turned and churned, he circulated with reckless abandon, his goggles saving his vision, and rising to gasp for breath several times during each round. He would stretch out full length at times, and at others curl into a ball, to be rolled along in the maelstrom. Suddenly, it all changed.

Someone had decided to stop and had struggled to a standing position, holding on to the side with a grip of steel. Mind you, Bill couldn’t see that, as numerous others had already crashed into the human barrier, creating a logjam of bodies. Bill barely saw the jam before he crashed into the wriggling mass of males. Hands, arms, legs, feet and torsos were everywhere; slipping, sliding, grasping, gasping as they worked their way lose.

Bobbing to the surface after getting free, Bill was crying, soul wracking sobs, as he was pulled around once again. Nobody could see his tears, and his deep gasping breaths as he surfaced seemed to be the result of his exertions, however, that was far from the reality. For the first time in nearly a decade Bill had enjoyed physical touch with other human beings, guys no less, and he was overcome.

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Lovely, Trab. What an unusual Flash story.

I had a slightly similar experience myself a year or two ago but instead of crashing into a mass of male limbs I came upon a small girl whose progress down the flume had halted but she was too small to be visible above the walls. Fortunately I slid past her rather than hitting her head on, but the mass of water that accompanied me swept her off her feet so I had no choice but to pick her up and take her with me and at the bottom I handed her over to her father who was waiting for her in the water. She was shocked but unharmed, I was mortified and attempted to apologise but the family were German so I didn't get very far. I think they didn't want my apology, they just wanted me to be somewhere else. So I obliged.

It rather spoiled my day. How different I would have felt if my experience mirrored your story more accurately!

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I like it Bart. I think I'd change only one thing, and it is minor. Your last sentence reads awkwardly to me (I know, I have nerve as I write some real doozies). Bill, for the fist time in over a decade, other than the occasional handshake, was overcome...

I think it looses its impact the way you have it worded. I think the final thought for the reader should be how overwhelmed he was. Just my thoughts. I think it's a nice piece of flash fiction nonetheless.

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Thanks, Steven. I didn't do it quite as you suggested, but removed the handshake altogether, but I think you are right and this has more impact.

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Even though I'm not as late to this as to some of the others, it is true that arriving late means the best has been said.

And I, wholeheartedly, agree with it all.

I'm not a writer, but it's still great to see how you guys work with each other, with respect given, accepted, and returned. It's encouraging well beyond it's context here.

Thanks Trab, and thanks all.


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