Porpoise – Magpie Tales

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Cassie hated the changing rooms and the feeling of being sized up, assessed, compared and found wanting by the other women. With their sleek limbs, muscles rippling under their skin, and flat stomachs, oh yes, she could imagine their thoughts as their eyes travelled up and down her own mis-shapen, lumpy body in revulsion.

She wished she could wear a sign hanging from her neck, explaining to people who she was, what she had been through, how much it took out of her to come here every week, how the memories assaulted her every time she passed through the doors and the chlorine tickled the back of her throat. But that just wasn’t the done thing. And she didn’t want pity, just recognition.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry, aren’t you..?” a teenaged girl was swiping her index finger furiously over her phone, looking first at Cassie, then down again.

“Oh, I can swim, even though it looks impossible. Well, kind of, anyway,” Cassie plastered a smile on her face, practised but not yet used to the sharp stab of pain in her heart. ‘Not the pity, not the pity,’ she thought.

“No! No! It’s not that! You’re Cassie Anderlecht, aren’t you? The Olympic swimmer..?”

“I was the Olympic swimmer, once, yes,” Cassie sighed. “Not any more, as you can see.”

The girl looked Cassie full in the face, ignoring the crutches, the ill-fitting swimsuit, the twisted legs, the scars that bore witness to the story of her past.

“But you’re still Cassie Anderlechts. I’m so very pleased to meet you.”

—–

Here’s this week’s entry into Magpie Tales. Please visit here for more creativity, and why not take part, if you feel the urge!

The Fight – VisDare 38

Here’s my latest offering for Anonymous Legacy‘s photo-inspired prompt, VisDare. This week’s prompt word is ‘Chase’. The rules are simple:

150 words – or less.

Post entry to your blog and “link in”.

(Please – no erotica or graphic violence.)

DON’T FORGET to read and comment on others’ entries!!

The photo is below, and my piece follows.  Let me know what you think, and give it a go yourself, why not?

 

– The Fight – 

They’re too fast. There’s no way I can escape their clutches. My stomach clenches with fear, I gasp, swallow sea-water and go under, once, twice, flailing, kicking, eyes stinging against the salt.

My chest is on fire. I’m desperate to breathe, to oxygenate my lungs. Where’s the surface? What will be worse, drowning or….?

Instinct – the primeval urge to survive – pushes me to the surface and I pop up, released like a champagne cork. I drag in ragged breaths. I don’t care if they get me, I just need to breathe…

The sun shines. A lone seagull casts its shadow on the gently swelling surface. The storm has passed and they are gone. I see the lighthouse, a candy-striped speck in the distance and begin to power through the water towards it.

For the next few minutes, I can pretend that all is as it used to be.

*****

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