lisa t cresswell lisa t cresswell lisa t cresswell
The Color of Water

The Color of Water

Chapter 1

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind
And sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
   —Oliver Wendell Holmes

It's funny what you notice when you're dying. It's not your breath or your heartbeat, or the ripple of your mind slowly coming undone. It's what you love. For me, it's the color of the water. First, it's green like bottle glass. Then it's deep, dark blue-black, like a midnight sky.

The water seeps into my ears blocking everything else out. It creeps into my clothes, through the strands of my hair. It invades my nose, my mouth, and slides into my lungs, into my stomach. It envelopes me, claims me as its own. I'm going with it.

And then something jerks me back. In the murky water, I can barely see what it is through my salt-blinded eyes. It's Dad. He's got me. He's tugging on my vest, trying to unhitch the tether and I wonder why. Something breaks free and he pulls me up with him. The vest I'm wearing pops me up to the surface like a cork.

On the surface, my lungs vomit out searing salt water, even as more angry waves bash us against the hull of the sloop. She's completely upside down. Dad's pushing my limp arms up on The Tempest, trying to make me grab a hold of something, anything to keep my head above water.

© Lisa T. Cresswell

Return to The Color of Water page