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Three Times Under
by Michael C. Keith

The first time I pulled my way above the water’s surface I saw the ferry moving away, and I screamed and waved my arms hoping to be rescued.

Help! Help!

The second time I broke the water’s surface I saw a giant swell lifting toward the empty sky, and it blocked everything I had seen just seconds before.

Help! Hel . . .

The third time I groped my way beyond the water’s surface I saw the shapeless light of the sun. Why hadn’t I learned to swim? I asked myself, the brightness giving way to the sea’s dark interior.

Hel . . .

I’m gone . . . I’m gone. Three times under, I thought, but a wave miraculously carried me to the sandy shore. There I gasped for air as beach goers looked down at me with disdain.

And then I saw the sign: “Private Beach.”

Shit! Lousy luck!