photo byAl, the sunday photo fictioner
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.