sunday photo fiction: the red canoe

photo byAl, the sunday photo fictioner


the red canoe

The canoe was a tiny red spot bobbing against the background of rainbow sunlight and the deep green of the woods.

I tried to measure the distance, but my brain wouldn’t work. Was I closer to the shore than the canoe?

The glimmering waves hurt my eyes. If I closed them, I descended into a dark watery abyss.

Could he see me? A speck treading water – an otter, muskrat, turtle or beaver?

I can see his face as I fell backward in slow motion. Hitting the water like a slab of concrete. Current pulling me away.

I knew he would hunt me. Find me. Pull me into the canoe.

I turned toward where the shore should be. With aching muscles, I stroked. Each time, mouth and eyes filling with water.

Not here. Not today. He wasn’t going to win. I wasn’t going to die. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke.



13 thoughts on “sunday photo fiction: the red canoe

    • Thanks!
      I almost drowned in very shallow water, and I remember the desperation of trying to get a foothold on the river bottom. I tried to put that kind of desperation (for other reasons) into the story.
      Guess it worked!


  1. He’s done a good job with this story. I like the way he made you think that at first the swimmer was hoping the canoeist would see him, then, very cleverly, he twists the plot and you realise the swimmer is trying to escape. I hope he makes it 🙂


I like first person narratives.

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