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Kat Sparks

United States

An almost-adult from snow and sun country. Doesn't feel like growing up anytime soon or staying the same age forever, though.

Message from Writer

Insanity is just another word for 'eccentric genius'. A saying that I live by which lets me write as much in whatever genre I want however I want to.

Cloud of Tears

August 20, 2015

PROMPT: Two in a Canoe


GROUP: Flash Fiction

Jordan grunted, brow furrowed from exertion and hands shaking from gripping the wooden paddle in his hand so tightly. The wood that, even now, was slightly broken and shoving splinters into his palms as he tried to relax the iron grasps he had: his mind on his hands and his hands on the handle.
He looked back at Megan, hunched over in the back, head burrowed in her knees. She had not said a word since they both boarded the old rickety canoe. She did not look like she was going to break her self-imposed silence anytime soon.
There was nothing in the lake except for them. No sound, no sight, nothing. There was no sign of the usually bustling cabins of the summer camp. No sign of the yelling, laughing, clearly happy children that always attended this camp. It was too early in the morning for it.
There was just the barest sign of the storm that had caused the heavy fog now blanketing everything. The smell of ozone lingered, melding with that of freshly fallen rain, washing away the usual horrid smell of all the undistinguishable gunk that was normally present. It was just that kind of day.
"Well?" Megan's voice suddenly cut through the absence of everything, breaking the hold of the blankness that had slowly been taking over. No, that had already taken over. It was evident in the silence hovering over both of them, the way he had allowed it to be absorbed into him for this occasion.
Jordan looked back. Megan was sitting exactly the same way but now her head was up. The canoe was so long that he could barely see the tear stains on her cheeks. Good. He didn't want to have to deal with the guilt that those glimmering trails would have brought up in him.
"Aren't you going to do something?" She said, voice quavering as though the sudden courage that had prompted her to speak up was draining from her.
He looked at her for a time, looking through her to all the hidden questions submerged in the one seemingly innocent question. Why would you do this to me? Why now? Why not later? I thought we were happy. Weren't we? He ignored them all.
"I'm looking for the shore now." His voice held no inflection and she winced as though struck. He may not be a good person but he would never do that. It wasn't in his nature to hit girls.
His pretend-ignorance at her true question seemed to be the flint that sparked the dying embers of her anger and vehemence. "What, that's all you've got to say to me? 'Sorry babe, but I have to break up with you. No harm, no foul, right?' That's it? No explanation, no 'it's not you, it's me', not even something the other way around? I'm supposed to leave it at this? You- you-" She stuttered on, voice rising with each word, each single one piercing through the mist like one of the arrows that she taught the children how to use.
He quickly averted his gaze. Not because he was scared, no, more of that he had to check that no one had heard. That no one would come check. That would just make the whole thing awkward. Well, more awkward than it already was.
"Coward!" She suddenly shrieked, rising up as though the word had propelled her. The canoe wobbled with the sudden shift in balance but she held her stance, wounded but furious. Funny, she never would have been able to do that before. Before she had been terrified of falling into the water and had always clung to his arm.  It seemed as though the breaking of the one bond that she thought would keep her safe from the watery depths had given her the strength to do so on her own. Or maybe her anger was just blinding her from the terror. Either seemed likely at the moment.
He kept his steady gaze on her, just as blank as it had been the whole ride. Nothing shone through the mask judging from how her cries got even louder and more fervent. Good. Inwardly, though, he was screaming back in rage. You think I like this anymore than you do? I don't have a choice! It was either hurt you now or hurt you later! Which one would you have chosen? But he couldn't let any of that shine through.
He stayed silent as she continued to scream at him, insults then cussing then just an unending repetition of why?
He stayed silent as she started swaying back and forth, clutching her head as her madness mantra continued.
He stayed silent like the dead as her swaying ended in her sitting back down in her previous position.
He stayed silent as he rowed back to shore, his ex-girlfriend crying and shuddering in the back.

Now that I look back on this, it turned out a whole lot different than my original plan. The original idea ended with, in the line "he stayed silent like the dead", Megan falling overboard since I included the fact that she couldn't swim and then Jordan continuing to row back to camp without her, having planned the whole thing out. But somehow it ended up with lots of teenage drama. Huh.

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