“The Swim” Flash Fiction

The following flash fiction piece is inspired by this pin found on Pinterest.

The Swim

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I stood at the end of the pier, my toes curling around the rough wooden board. They stood behind me, ready to push me in if necessary. I had to do this. There was no choice.

I’d been tortured for years, bullied mentally and physically by my classmates. Joining the swim team had given me strength and hope, a place to belong. It had been my escape, my way out.

Or so I’d thought.

I quickly learned that with the swim team I’d simply added to my list of tormentors. Maybe the target-on-the-back cliché was true.

So here I was again, being forced to the edge – quite literally – in the name of boosting someone else’s wilting self-esteem.

Last month alone, I’d broken an arm and dislocated a shoulder. Two weeks ago, I ended up in the emergency room with four broken ribs and kidney damage. If I told, I died; that was always the promise, and I had no reason to doubt it.

The waterfall was so far. I knew that making it there would be physically impossible; forget making it back.

There were closing in, eager, almost as if they were hoping for the opportunity to shove me over the edge.

As if they hadn’t been doing that my whole life.

If I was going to go, I was going to be in control, not them.

So I took a deep breath.

And I jumped.