Warning Signs

he just went in, i told him, i said to him, i remember, i was almost in the water, get out you silly bastard, stop it!’ i was mad, i was shouting, ‘stop playing games, it’s not funny!’, but it just drove him on, he was laughing, said he needed a swim, i remember, his coat, it got snagged on the wires, he got stuck, couldn’t move, and then, he kinda… he kinda turned around, like he was gonna come out, but he just freed himself, i should’ve gone after him, maybe if i’d… but… he just laughed, he laughed and grabbed onto the rails, onto the wires and laughed, i couldn’t do anything! i just watched! the water was up to his neck, he just went out, holding the rails, he went out, i kept shouting, i couldn’t do anything! i told him to come back, i told him… but he wouldn’t… then he started swimming, and laughing, and then, oh shit, oh god, i just watched, i just watched, i couldn’t do anything, i couldn’t… i should’ve, but.. oh god… i.. i just watched… i should’ve stopped him, somehow, the stupid bastard, i just watched him! and then he stopped laughing… he started shouting, but i couldn’t help, i just watched… he was waving his arms, splashing, just splashing, in the water, and then… oh shit… it happened so fast, it… it just went… quiet… he was gone…

i can’t believe it… i can’t believe he did it… the idiot, putting up stupid signs like that, why, why bother with the barbed wire and a sign like that, like that! ‘no entry, ‘danger’, ‘deep water’, to someone like rob, that was like giving him a big red button and telling him not to press it, of course he was going to! he was always messed up i guess, like there was something inside he needed to get rid of, i still can’t believe he did it… that he wanted to…

The policeman places his hand on my shoulder, turns to mom, shakes his head, and tells us to get some rest, that the divers will continue for another few hours; As I watch one of them resurface from the lake, I stare again at the stupid sign trying to make sense of the words, but nothing makes sense now, not the stupid jetty, the stupid wires, the stupid sky with its stupid stars, the stupid water lit by all the stupid headlights from the stupid cars in this stupid world — nothing.

© 2017 Occasional Dreams
In response to: Three Line Tales, Week Fifty-One
Image by: Sean Tan


Thanks as always to Sonya at only100words.xyz for organising and coordinating these three line tales each week.

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12 Replies to “Warning Signs”

  1. Spooky…I experienced a similar incident, but with a stranger. There were a bunch of bystanders watching a man in lake. My boyfriend and I went to see what was going on…this was a ‘holy’ lake in Kandy (Sri Lanka). Being a tourist, I initially didn’t separate human behaviour from the unfamiliar customs in a foreign land, and I too just stood there and watched. The penny dropped when the man didn’t come back up to the surface. I couldn’t speak…I just cried and I remember the unperturbed reaction ov one of the others, shrugging and saying ‘karma’. Not sure I can ever forgive myself for standing by and watching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Wow! I’m sorry you had to witness something like that. 😦 Although I imagined this, I can’t imagine what it must have really felt like. I find it disturbing that nobody helped, it doesn’t align with my understanding of karma.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just wish I was more switched on at the time. I believe the lake was considered holy and it was forbidden to swim in it…maybe that’s why they considered it karma…but what about the karma of the spectators (including myself)?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. that was more like a short story but you worked it so well – the words just flowed and did not need a pause of a full stop. seeing someone helpless like that yet so focused on destruction can have severe effects on the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ah its a thought i think about from time to time but my kids come to my rescue! It’s easy to be lulled into a feeling of supreme self-pity we forget who we hurt, I enjoyed reading it, a bit of melancholy and gloom and you got me reading on. thank you for the words.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, my kids keep me pretty grounded these days too. But I still always find it more interesting to write from those darker places. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. totally agree! we are lucky aren’t we to have good kids from such crazy parents! be blessed with them as i am with mine. yes i like those dark corners too and they never disappoint.

        Liked by 1 person

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