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Blue and Green: A tale of a young boy's drowning
Posted by Kevin Rector, Apr 2, 2008. 1266 views. ID = 1002

Blue and Green

Posted by Kevin Rector, Apr 2, 2008. 1266 views. ID = 1002
This post was written in 22 minutes.
I'm not crazy about the ending, I might re-work it a bit.
This post has been awarded 29 stars by 9 readers.

You know, I was rather surprised about how I didn't really have time to panic as I was dying. You would think that I would have been full of fear, raging against the fates that brought me to such an unfortunate place. But really, I mostly remember the colors blue and green.

I had been playing in the water of the lake. My family was on Summer vacation and due to the extreme heat we'd gotten out of our tent and hiked the nice marked paths of the state park to the beach. I was 6 years old.

Thinking about it, I'm not really sure why my parents would let me go out into the lake unaccompanied; after all, I really didn't know how to swim. Nevertheless, there I was, gleefully splashing around in the dark green lake water under a cloudless blue sky, being very careful not to go deeper than my waist. I was a careful child, and I knew that I didn't know how to swim.

Maybe that's why I was left alone, my parents knew that I was too cautious to get into trouble. That and the fact that my sister Claire was with me.

When it was time to go, my parents were calling Claire and I to come over to the beach where they were. The beach wrapped around a cove and my parents were on the other side of that cove. Claire walked straight over to them, and I, like a good boy followed along not more than fifty feet behind her.

Death is such a peculiar thing. I was a young boy, full of vigor and life, with literally not one care in the world. But this day, the fragility of the cocoon of safety that I'd been wrapped in was shattered forever.

As I walked toward my parent, with no warning the ground below me ceased to support me, in fact, it ceased to exist. I had stepped over the edge of an invisible precipice.

That's all it takes when you don't know how to swim to go from happy, smiling, rosy cheeked cherub to cold, lifeless, corpse.

So there I was, not panicking as I probably should have been. Rather, I just did something that I did not even know was natural. I paddled my hands in front of me and kicked my feet wildly. The blue of the sky and the green of the water taunted me as my feet grasped for purchase. Somehow I managed to get my face above water to grasp a small piece of air. Then, I would fall back underwater, to a silent, green and blue world.

I'm not sure how long it takes to drown. It may have been seconds, or perhaps even minutes. But that relentless struggle to get my head out of the green, and into the blue seemed to last forever.

But it wasn't forever. Eventually I fought no more. The green and blue gave way to black, a surprisingly peaceful black. It was as though I was being pulled into somewhere different. Somewhere I was not expecting to be able to go.

His arms were wrapped around my waste, and with a haste I found amazing, the black was ripped away to vivid blue. The battle was over, I was safe.

It's amazing that I didn't have time to panic as I was dying. I fought with all my strength to stay alive, but I truly was dying. But that day, a stranger I did not know had the strength to keep me alive, when I did not have it myself.

Copyright 2008 Kevin Rector. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 29 stars by 9 readers.


Apr 2, 2008
I remember these feelings from stepping off the drop-off as a child. It's amazing how your mind focuses on inconsequential details. The only thing I experienced differently is that, though I didn't have time to panic, I panicked anyway.

Nicely done, and welcome to the site!
   ~Posted by Douglas, Apr 2, 2008

Apr 2, 2008


I particularly like the use of color... it helps bring the work alive.

As someone who doesn't swim, I would only say that I can't imagine being in such a scenario and NOT panicicng!
   ~Posted by pastorjon, Apr 2, 2008

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