Night of the Drowning

This piece was written in answer to The Word of the Day Challenge:

Euphoric means: Extremely Impressive.

Here’s what I came up with…

Night of the Drowning

“I still can’t believe Madison stripped off and danced naked through the party room for attention,” Sarah remarked with a giggle.  

Ethan looked from the road to her gleeful face for a moment as he drove along the dark roads in his blue Mondeo. “She was bladdered. Not once did I see her without a glass of vodka in her hand.”

Sarah and Ethan had been to a friend’s twenty-first birthday bash. It had been a rocking party, with loud music, rivers of alcohol, and the usual chaos.

“She’ll regret it when she’s done being sick in the morning and see’s her birthday suit all over social media!.”

Ethan felt Sarah’s hand caressing his gear changing one. “No kidding, silly woman!” he said, having made a right turn and accelerated safely.

“I’m so glad you aren’t drunk, sweetheart.”

Ethan gave her a quick kiss. “I have to take care of my precious lady. I can’t do that if I’m drunk. I had no alcohol at the party and that means I can get you home safe and sound.”

“Well, I appreciate it, thank —” Sarah let out a small shriek as lightning sliced through the midnight skies ahead. “Wow, I think it’s about to get rough out here.”

“Holy crap! Where’d that come from.” Ethan slowed and engaged his window wipers as the rain began to fall like jewels in his headlights. Thunder rolled, and lightning banished the darkness for a split second.

“I don’t like this. It’s getting hard to see.” Sarah said in a small voice.

“I agree.” Ethan felt deafened at the onslaught of rain hammering his car. Struggling to see beyond his wipers, he knew driving in this was suicidal. “We have to stop for a minute.”

“Please,” Sarah begged.

Ethan nodded. It was always safety first for him. He rounded a bend with a plan to stop ahead and —

An oncoming car was right in the middle of the road.

Ethan was blinded by the brilliant white headlights and he swore.

The oncoming car was slewing sideways – out of control. It scythed into the couples car and vanished into the rain.

Ethan stomped the brakes but it was futile. The car spun off the road, hit something, rolled once and took flight.

Sarah screamed.

The car slammed into water with a terrific splash.

“Shit! We’re in the lake!” Ethan felt his blood pounding in his ears. A look left revealed Sarah unconscious and the car rapidly filling with water and sinking. “No!” Ethan fought to control his rapid breathing as panic set in. He punched his seat beat free and lunged for the glove box. Tearing it open, he seized a red window punch. He always kept on for safety.

The car flipped in the water. He smashed his head on the roof and then fell through the murkiness to his seat as the car righted again. Forcing his head up, he drove the pointed hammer into the windshield and kicked it out. He sucked in one last breath.

The car fully submerged in the dark, murky water and dropped to the lake bed.

Underwater, Ethan grasped Sarah’s seatbelt but couldn’t free it. Fear and adrenaline were stealing his breath. He had no choice, he could barely see her angelic face, her beautiful hair floating around her. Distraught, he kicked out of the car and angled upward with his air bubbles. Breaking the surface with a guttural gasp, he hurriedly took deep breaths a difficult thing in the pounding rain.

 A torchlight found and almost blinded him. “Dude! Are you okay?” somebody yelled.

Ignoring the shouter and blood dripping from a head wound, he flipped in the water and plunged back down to the car. Feeling his way inside, he found Sarah. He reached into the glove box and found his second safety item – a Stanley knife. Forcing himself to relax, he sawed through the seatbelt and hauled Sarah free.

He felt something tear through his shirt sleeve and his flesh but ignored the pain as he eased her out of the windscreen and powered toward the surface. Reaching the surface, his lungs burned for air. There was no time to recover, he rolled Sarah on to her back and opened her airway.

She was lifeless.

“No – don’t die, I haven’t given you enough love yet!” Ethan felt his tears mingling with rain, blood and muddy lake water as he kicked back toward the shore.

“Dude, I’m sorry I lost control of my car!” shouted the man on shore.

“Help me, man!” Ethan replied. Feeling mud beneath his shoes he clawed his way to his feet and picked Sarah up. Sloshing out of the water he saw the guy dressed in a Hawaiian shirt. He had a spliff tucked behind his ear. “Did you call the ambulance?” Ethan put Sarah down and fought back tears as he took in her grey lifeless appearance.

He opened her airway again, inhaled a deep breath of air and gave it to her. Wasting no time, he began chest compressions.

“No, I can’t… Sorry!”

“Call an ambulance, damn it! she’s not breathing!” Ethan yelled through the torrential rain while pumping Sarah’s chest in a fast but controlled rhythm. Pausing he gave her another breath of air and carried on. “Call them, you bastard!”

“Sorry man.”

Ethan saw a light and heard him making the call. “Thank you!” Ethan knew he was cracking ribs and cartilage by the racking sound he was making but that only meant he was doing the chest compressions correctly. He reached down and gave Sarah another rescue breath. “Come on sweetheart, don’t die. Please, I beg you!”   

“They’re coming. I gotta leave. I’m sorry.” said the man.

Ethan vaulted to his feet and smacked him in the mouth. The cannabis leaden man collapsed in a heap. “You’re not going anywhere, pal,” he said having resumed his chest compressions. “You did this to Sarah; you’re paying for it,” he said in floods of tears.

Beneath his hands, Sarah convulsed.

“Sarah! I got you.” Ethan rolled her into the recovery position and banged her back to help her expel the water. He felt her shudder.

 She choked and water poured from her mouth.

Ethan’s body flooded with euphoric tremors of joy. “Thank you! Oh thank you! I love you, Sarah.”

Sarah’s hand found his and squeezed. “Ethan?”

“I’m here. You’re okay, precious. I got you.” Ethan hugged her tight desperate to warm her. To ensure she expelled any remaining water. She survived the drowning but oedema, pneumonia and hypothermia could still kill her especially as the rain refused to stop.

“I lo-ve you.” Sarah managed before passing out in his arms.

“Sarah? Stay with me!” Ethan could feel her breathing. He put her back in the recovery position as flashing blue light announced the arrival of the ambulance and police vehicles.

Officers wasted no time learning what happened and dragging the man with the spliff to the police station.

Sarah was soon loaded into the ambulance with Ethan by her side. He would do all he could to see her fully recovered soon.

The End

Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories and poems to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 and Poetry Corner tabs.

Have a great day!

6 thoughts on “Night of the Drowning

Add yours

  1. One of my biggest fears is drowning in a submerged car. You did a fabulous job telling of the horror I envisioned it to be. It shows what a gifted and imaginative writer you are, Mason. Good going!!

    Liked by 1 person

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