Splash was a story I wrote in 2017 based on the prompt “Blue”.
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Sometimes Blue wishes he could jump. He figures when the time comes, it will be when he’s not considering jumping at all. When he’s not thinking about it. Will he take a deep breath and see how long he might last? See how deep he might go before blacking out? Or will he let the water fill him immediately, like a pasta strainer submerged in the kitchen sink?
The fog has moved in quickly, as it often does on nights like these. The old, wooden footbridge over the creek is his favourite spot to sit when he doesn’t wish to be anywhere else. To his left is everything that pisses him off. But to his right lies the unknown. Surely there must be something in the unknown, or there wouldn’t be a bridge in the first place, would there?
But nothing is ever really for sure in Blue’s world. When something feels obvious to him, he couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s fine though, all things considered; terrible instincts have probably killed billions of men throughout history.
Of course, Blue may as well be dead. He has no car, no real friends, and no relationship to speak of outside of those he has with video games and his fantasy baseball league.
Blue muses over the sound his body might make upon contact with the water. He’s never learned to swim, and has never so much as jumped into the town’s wading pool. In the game Big Stolen Vehicle IV, of the countless times he’s driven the misappropriated sedan off the pier, the sound effect is always strangely similar to breaking glass. It’s the same melody when he drives the delivery van off the pier too. How accurate are these things, really?
There’s an empty beer bottle just out of reach, and Blue stretches for it. The bottle is dry but sticky in his palm. He takes a curious whiff before putting it to his mouth in the hope there might still be something salvageable at the bottom.
Blue tosses the bottle out toward the murky water, but a tugboat’s fog horn interrupts the splash. What a waste.
His mom and his dad were both home tonight, unusual in the way two leaders of warring nations might spend a cordial evening together. Their arguing had driven Blue out of the house, and where else would he think to go but here? To the wooden bridge.
Blue hears a shuffling off to his right. Not as far away as the unknown; no more than ten yards away. The fog tries its best to obscure the figure, though Blue can make out someone standing atop the guard rail. Blue doesn’t react at all as this unknown person jumps, but listens closely for the sound the body makes as it hits the water.
It’s a lovely crash; a beautiful splash. It’s perfect.
And then, without thinking, Blue jumps; plummeting into the fog himself. Who knows. Maybe someone can still be saved tonight?