Ice Cold

Writing prompt: It’s the summertime and you’re swimming with your best friends in the lake near your house.
You dive in for when you come up for air feel the chill of winter, snow was covering the ground, and your friends are floating dead next to you.

“Race you!”

Jaden flung his shoe at Lance, who caught it. Jess giggled. Lance blushed, dropped it and ran after Jaden.

“Come on, we can easily beat Jaden,” Jess said tugging on my arm. Holding hands we ran together. She was faster than me but she always stayed at my pace, she could beat Lance no problem.

Catching up on Jaden, Lance kicked out a foot. His flip-flop raised slowly into the air. With unbelievable accuracy, it hit Jaden on the back of his head. Jaden, already unbalanced with trying to take off his shoe, tripped forward.

Jess and I passed him spitting dirt out of his mouth.

Reaching the jetty, Jess lets go of my hand. Lance had dived in already and was making for the raft in the middle of the lake.

I stood, panting. Fumbling with my sandal straps, I watched Jess run and dive smoothly into the sparkling water. It closed around her with a small splash.

Looking back, Jaden was standing, holding his other shoe over his head triumphantly. He smashed it to the ground like an American football.

I ran along the jetty, gasping as my bare soles smacked the roasting boards. The jetty vibrated violently warning me of Jaden’s approach. I jumped into the water, no graceful dive for me.

The water was cold, but I ignored that. Not moving as the bubbles brushed past my skin, I love this feeling. I started swimming through the water. Breaking to the surface to breathe and orientate myself. I love swimming underwater.

I pulled myself onto the raft.

* * *

“Danny!”

Looking around I saw my mom and a cop skating across the frozen lake. I couldn’t tell if it was dawn or dusk. There were an ambulance and a cop car parked beside the lake. The headlights pointed towards me standing in the middle of the raft. Looking down, I cried out and fell to my knees.

“Don’t move!”

I flinched as the cop pulled out a gun and pointed it at me.

“Don’t you point that thing at her!” Mom halted between me and the cop, holding a hand up to the cop. “She’s in nothing but a bikini and shorts, she’s not threatening.” She called out clearly so that the EMTs who were approaching could hear her too. The cop reluctantly put the gun away.

“She is not to touch the bodies.”

I stared down at the frozen remains of my three best friends. They surrounded me, in a triangle.

“Danny, come here carefully,” mom coaxed holding out a blanket. I got up and stepped over Jess, “that’s it, come here,” mom encouraged.

The cop scolded us. “Ma’am, I have questions for Danny.”

“Robert, she has no shoes on. She has to be checked up by the EMTs.”

“I’m not cold,” I whispered to mom.

“It’s the shock, you there,” she caught the closest EMT girl with a stretcher, “like down.”

“But I can walk.”

“Do as your mother says. You will get frostbite and hypothermia out here.” The EMT girl said pushing me onto the stretcher.

* * *

“If we get a lawyer we might as well shout it from the rooftops that she did it!”

“We have to get one Sonia, how else can we explain it. They are saying it was a group
initiation ritual! They are saying Danny was the leader.”

“Oh come on, that’s laughable!”

“It’s the only thing that makes sense, why else were they all in summer clothes in the middle of winter?”

Opening my eyes, my mom, and my stepdad Henry were whispering back and forth. They both looked towards the door every couple of seconds. I groaned as my surroundings filtered in, I was in the hospital. I hate hospitals.

“Danny, you’re awake?” Mom grabbed my hand and squeezed it.

“Mom, what happened?”

“You don’t remember?” Mom whispered Henry moved to the end of the bed watching the door.

I shook my head. There was a knock on the door.

“Don’t say anything until the lawyer gets here,” mom said, Henry breathed a sigh of relief. The doctor came into the room.

* * *

“Well, this isn’t too bad,” mom said in a cheery voice.

“Mom, it’s a mental hospital,” I dumped my bag on one of the 2 beds the little room. There were 2 lockers, 2 wardrobes, between the wardrobes was a door that led into a small bathroom, “why am I here?”

“The doctors want to keep an eye on you. You were on that raft for ten hours and not even a cough.”

“They could keep an eye on me at home. No need to lock me up here.”

“The lawyer has advised us that if you participate in a program you will get a lighter sentence,” Henry came into the room.

“I didn’t murder my best friends,” I said for the hundredth time.

Mom shot Henry a disgusted look.

“We both know that,” Henry said, “but right now your explanation sounds bat shit crazy, and won’t convince anyone other than those who know you.”

He pulled me and mom into a hug.

“When can I get out?” Accepting the tissue mom handed to me.

“I don’t know, it depends on the doctors.”

A bell sounded in the corridor.

“We have to go, honey, we will be back next week. I love you,” mom gave me one last squeeze before leaving.

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