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Breathe

My lips press against his, my hands against his chest. Breathe. Breathe.

Air hisses down my throat, into his. My hands pump his ribcage, one pump, two pump, stop, breathe, start again.

“Come on,” I whisper. “Come on. Please. Please.”

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

His eyelid flickers. I hold my breath, tail flopping uselessly against the sand.

The movement stops. He is still again.

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

“You’re a sailor,” I say, voice harsh, demanding, desperate. “You’re a seaman. You can’t go out like this, John. I won’t let you go out like this.”

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

A cacophony of voices sound within my mind, each fighting for attention. None understanding. None willing to actually help.

Get out!

Your tail’s drying!

You’re going to die, Lea.

Get in the water.

You’re going to die.

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

Tears bud in the corners of my eyes. I shake them away. “You’re not dying this way, John.”

“We’re not dying this way.”

Another breath. My hands are thin, frail, tired, trying to make a corpse breathe.

No. He’s alive. Still alive.

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

“You’re so stupid,” I mumble. My breath is shorter, more ragged. I’m not meant to breathe this air. “You know you can’t swim against the current. Not when I’m not there.”

My tail drags, dry and cracking like a dying fish. We don’t have much time.

“C’mon, John,” I whisper. The tears aren’t in my eyes, they’re in my voice, blurring my words, closing my throat. “Just breathe.”

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

My vision blurs for a moment, spots twinkling everywhere. The voices are louder.

Lea!

Please, Lea.

Come back.

You can’t go this way.

I close my eyes. Can’t leave, I croak, faint and distant, a fading echo. Have to . . . stay.

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

“J-John.” My throat is dry, too dry, too tight. “C-come on. We’re g-gonna make it. You and m-me.”

One shaking hand, the skin red and cracked, smoothes his hair back.

Breathe. Pump. Breathe.

My hands fall from his chest, lying weakly on the ground. They don’t move.

Breathe. Breathe.

The spots are growing larger, more numerous, swarming across my eyes. There’s so many. The voices are so dim.

“BreatheJohn,” I slur. “Breathenow.”

One last time. One last time.

Breathe.

His eyes open.

Mine close.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

JuliaRuby said...
Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:01 am:
really beautiful writing.  love it. could you check my stuff out?
 
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forevermore147 said...
May 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm:
AMAZING! your a wonderful writer
 
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