Water did not shoot up her nose on the third flip turn. Progress! Aimee continued swimming freestyle on her third lap of twelve. Her coach told her to keep her left elbow as high as the right elbow when out of the water, but she was trying to remember the number of laps she was on as well.
"Three laps out of twelve. That's 3/12's. Simplified would be 1/4. 1/4...2/8's...3/12's...4/16's...5/20's..."
Another flipturn, this one not so lucky. Aimee took a ragged breath to try to shake out the chlorine from her nose.
"Keep the elbows up. Four laps out of twelve. 1/3...2/6's...3/9's...4/12's..."
Numbers were always a comfort for Aimee. They were logical and reliable, yet you could play with them. They could go forward and backward. Represent time on a watch or space on a map with latitude and longitude.
The fourth lap seemed to stretch on forever. Keep the right elbow up.
Aimee popped her forehead up and looked over the water like a crocodile to see how much further she had to swim, but she did not see the wall. Her arm reached out to grab on to the lane line to help hold her up in the water, but the lane line was gone as well. There was nothing but a horizon, and her pool was not big enough to reach out to the horizon. Panicked, Aimee treaded water and twisted around. Horizon was the only thing she could see for miles and miles. Besides the water, of course. It was smooth with subtle waves that warped the sun reflecting off of it. The sun was high enough still that the rich cobalt water had only a small patch of glittering light.
"Coach?" Aimee whispered. Her whisper seemed so loud in the stillness. She mustered up a louder call.
Nothing. There was not even a bird. It would be peaceful if it was not so unexpected. The isolation could have been enjoyable. That's one reason Aimee enjoyed swimming in the first place, because it was quiet and individual. No one to distract her in the middle of a lap. No need to worry about how to react or what to say. Just the water hugging her as she worked with it to pull through to the other side.
Off in the distance (Aimee thought it could be East, but that was based off the pool she was in a few minutes ago) a rippled moved in an arrow shape toward her. It was some sort of hump. A whale perhaps? Should she be trying to escape or swim to it for rescue? In conflict, Aimee continued to tread water exactly where she was as the hump glided nearer. The gliding was so smooth, that it did not seem like an animal. In fact, the hump shape itself was too symmetrical. Stripes ran lengthwise with a raised ridge down the middle, also lengthwise. Aimee recognized the shape - it was the bottom of a ship. Where was the top? The sails? It's orientation with the bottom of the ship out of the water left one logical but bizarre option. Aimee ducked underwater.
[Writing so I am sort of in her thoughts. Pull away completely? Straight narrative?]
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