Death and Life in the River | Teen Ink

Death and Life in the River

June 25, 2014
By BrightBurningCampeador PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
BrightBurningCampeador PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
42 articles 11 photos 333 comments

There is a bridge, and a car driving slowly across it, and a driver, whose head is spinning with vodka and misery. The car stops and she steps out. She does not stagger. She will somehow manage to hold herself together in these last few moments. She walks to the edge of the bridge. There is a small rail, and past that the night, and a long straight drop into the river.

There are so many ways to do this. A bit of hemlock. A twisted rope. A well placed knife, or bullet. But for some reason she doesn’t quite understand, she’s come here, to the water.

She remembers a time, years and years ago. She was just a kid, trying to keep up with her brothers as they swam up the creek by their parents’ house. She slipped, and the current dragged her down, down and away. She kicked and fought and screamed, but no sound came out, only bubbles, and water gushed into her mouth, her throat, her lungs.

They managed to pull her out. They said she hadn’t really been under that long. They said she would be fine. But she never stepped in the creek again, never did catch up to her brothers.

And now she stands over another river. She is a thousand miles away from that ill-remembered creek, but to her it’s all the same water, water that hates her, would kill her instantly if given the chance.

“Fine then,” she whispers. “Finish what you started.” And she climbs up, over the rail, and with all her strength jumps.

And away the current drags her, away from the bridge, the car, the road. Away from the life she is so desperately fleeing. But somehow the water doesn’t drag her down, and she can still feel that life pulsing sickly in her throat. Angrily, she tries to duck her head, tries to go under, tries to enter into the wet embrace of death.

But the river won’t let her. The foaming water somehow conspires to keep her head level and high. The river refuses to kill her. Refuses to let her die.

And finally the current pushes her to the jagged, rocky bank, leaving her there to shiver and shake alone. She stands up wet and cold. The warm haze of the vodka is gone, but the misery is not. Hugging herself, she stares at the river.

“Damn you,” she whispers through chattering teeth. “Damn you.”

And, head held high, she stumbles back towards the car.


The author's comments:
I guess this is realistic fiction. It depends on how you interpret it really, but calling it fantasy would seem too much a stretch.

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This article has 3 comments.


on Jul. 1 2014 at 3:52 pm
BrightBurningCampeador PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
42 articles 11 photos 333 comments
Thanks! :)

JRaye PLATINUM said...
on Jun. 30 2014 at 4:29 pm
JRaye PLATINUM, Dorr, Michigan
43 articles 10 photos 523 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."

"Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, 'I just don't care.'?"

I really like it :) The story is really intense and dark - you can tell that, even though this is fiction, some parts are based on raw feelings, and that's awesome! Really, really great work.

on Jun. 30 2014 at 3:52 pm
LittleKid1985 SILVER, Watford, North Dakota
8 articles 12 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Accept people for who they are, gender, race, sexual orientation it doesn't matter, we all walk different paths with different goals and interests.

Awesome story! Captivating until the last sentence!