This is not an action piece, but feel it has subtle drama. And it is a piece entered for DL Hammon's High Drama Blogfest. Click over there for a list of other entries, and to visit DL's great blog.
Sweat. It slides down my jaw line, around the blemish on my chin, and drops onto my chest. There it hesitates, soaking briefly into that one spot before continuing its run. I feel it in an almost sensual way. The sweat slides from my collarbone to the ever-widening expanse between my breasts. It pauses again here, before taking the plunge over my (clavicle?), turning beneath my sagging right breast, crossing my rippling ribs, and joining the bathwater.
It is gone, but I can still feel it on every point of its path.
Can I sink below the water? How much skin can I cover with this half-filled bath? There's never enough hot water for a full tub.
I try anyway, creating a aquatic frame around my face. My legs are stuck over the end of the tub like an undiscovered corpse. I fold them crossways and hold them under water; it takes work to keep them from floating. But my stomach still rolls above the surface. It takes all the muscle control I have to create a concave belly, pressing my back to the bottom of the tub.
Now my knees float to the surface. I can't keep it all under. I choose the stomach.
My ears are beneath, and the world is quiet. I can hear something bumping. Footsteps? Did they discover me so soon? I'm not ready. I need silence just a bit longer. Please!
No. Its my own body, my heart beating its time. I've never heard it quite like this. Then I realize I can feel it in my fingers, which are grasping the swan-neck faucet I didn't know I was holding onto. I must have used this leverage to push myself beneath the water, and kept hold as a precaution. I don't remember being so cautious before.
But the pulse continues. I hear it underwater a millisecond before I feel it in my fingers.
Was that a missed beat? An extra beat? Panic takes over for a moment and I hear the thumps quicken...Is a killer hiding in my chest? Am I dying? Should I end it all now, in the half-filled bathtub?
The extra beat is just my bones—when I turn my head the joint makes a sound...it's like...It's just stupid. I laugh inside a bit, but not too much.
Then I sit up. Better wash now, before the world notices how long I've been in here.
Who am I kidding. There are already real worries headed my way, real thumps in the hall. If I can just reach that towel in time...
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