#101 Polar

by AnnaLeigh A. Oakes

Somehow, someway, as he felt the intense, paralyzing cold of the soft pressure of fresh water, his mind processed the environment and replayed his actions with clear precision.

It was his decision, his choice. It wasn’t the dare or the taunting or the threat of his reputation as a weak man. It was purely his heart. He wanted to do it. Now, however, as quickly as his body pierced the softly frozen, ever frigid lake, he longed to undo the plunge. As his body continued its downward plunge so seemingly slow, each motion he took in fearlessly jumping in unraveled. He saw his body rising up from the water, his hands flailing above its plane. He felt the stabbing of a long, strong, inhale of cold air, his lungs filling with a sharp jolt of oxygen. He felt the worn, splintered planks of the wooden dock as his toes curled about its edge. He heard the laughs and cries of John and Davey as they warned, laughed, urged, tempted, teased about the thought of anyone being stupid, brave, cool enough to jump into a freezing lake on a sunny day in January.

Suddenly, he heard their voices again as they reached from the dock for his hands, yelling fears of a heart attack, pneumonia, hypothermia. Numb through and through he only felt the warmth of their hands as they pulled him to the platform of the dock and covered him in their jackets. He did it.


JRVogt said...

Nice peer pressure piece. Humans. Are we the only species willing to subject ourselves to idiotic levels of pain so we "impress" each other?

pegjet said...

What is especially compelling about this piece is the hero's journey--he did it because he wanted to, he found human contact and the other side of peer pressure (I almost wrote pier-pressure..lol)but in the end, he was more thrilled that he did the dare than that his friends saved him.


Anonymous said...

Matt shared this piece with me. Would you mind if I allowed my students to do a "quick study" of it? It's beautifully written: wonderful vivid imagery;I love the play on words by the previous comment (pier pressure)!! It opens with the feelings of a possible suicide ("reputation as a weak man" "he longed to undo the plunge" "as his body continued downward"..then metamorphasizes into an exhilarating plunge.
Please continue your writing journey...you should be published.
With love,
Mrs. Stacy