a tiny story "The Stroke"

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The man happened to be driving his car down the desolate two-lane country road with the long slow bend in it. It was a beautiful day. It was just as hot and as clear as a day could ever be. And the man had actually just been thinking to himself that this was, in fact, precisely the kind of day a person easily could (and probably should) waste the entire thing loafing around on someone else’s front porch preferably, shooting the breeze and drinking iced cold sweet tea by the pitcher full. He had let his mind begin to absently run away with this particular fantasy when he began to slowly make the observation that up ahead, the actual road itself, on which he was traveling, looked oddly and impossibly wet. The very instant that this new peculiar realization began to set into his mind, the tires of his car began to make a splashing sound beneath him and the road somehow suddenly now appeared to be flooding, right before his very eyes, with the most beautiful Caribbean-esque clear cool water he had ever seen.

He had never in his life, up until this very moment, seen water quite like this. Not even in his travels. Not even in pictures. And try as he might, there was just simply no possible way to tell where all of it was actually coming from. There was no rain and there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky all day.

The sound of the car tires splashing against the wet road beneath him began to grow steadily louder, and as he approached the actual bend in the road up ahead, the sky suddenly flashed white above him and he realized, to his own great surprise, that the car itself was quickly beginning to submerge outright. The depth of the water around him grew rapidly. He was actually noticing himself letting his hands go limp and slide from the steering wheel where they had just been, when he discovered that he felt, for possibly the first time in his entire life, absolutely no fear at all.

As the car finally began to skid off of the road and into the depths, the man clinched his eyes tightly shut and was preparing to take one last gigantic gulp of air, so as to facilitate the holding of his breath for as long as this particular situation should happen to persist, when he came at once to the inane realization that it suddenly seemed he was not, in fact, actually going under water at all. The rushing sound of water was suddenly gone, only to be replaced only by an echoing silence. After a few moments of hesitation, and upon the opening of his eyes, he found himself to be suddenly and inexplicably, actually standing indoors next to an olympic size swimming pool, dripping wet from head to toe. Standing there at a short distance before him was a girl of angelically plain beauty, with dark brown hair, brown eyes and smooth skin, who also appeared to be dripping wet. From head to toe. They were both in bathing suits and it felt to him, somehow, as though they had just been swimming in that particular pool by which they stood, together. Although he had no memory of just such an event ever having taken place, so he could not be sure. He was fairly certain however that he had never seen this woman before, as far as he could tell. And it did seem to be, to him, abundantly clear that they were, in all likelihood, the only two people that would ever be discovered here in this particular place in time.

He looked around briefly though he dared not move his head. He felt at once disoriented and a little bit dizzy. He stood awkwardly examining her perception of him, as if looking for any possible clue in her eyes that might allow him to know what had just occurred. Or was occurring. As he found himself locked in this present state, frozen like ice, she slowly began to come toward him. He looked away from her, his head tilted down almost shamefully. He felt troubled all at once and it seemed as though a great weight, like nothing he had ever experienced before, had just come upon him. She embraced him gently and stepped away. After a moment of muted silence he heard himself uttering the words, "Can you tell me.... Is there anyone else here?"

She continued to examine his face with a knowing look of concern. She kissed him softly and gently put her hand through his wet hair. She appeared to have a much deeper understanding of this thing that was actually happening to him than he was ever going to have himself. After a brief moment of great ease, the man suddenly found himself beginning to crack and break apart just like one of the giant icebergs in the arctic sea. The burden of this great weight, that had now come upon him with the full force of mountains, was suddenly and quickly beginning to crush him.

She continued to study his face with gentle eyes while the event occurred. She then reached out to him as thought she alone understood completely, as though she alone was the only one who would ever understand completely. And as she finally pulled him into a long embrace, the choked sobs of his weeping echoed loudly throughout the natatorium. And it was in this moment that the man finally realized that he had come to find himself in a place of great relief.

Created: Nov 26, 2010

Tags: creative writing, fiction, tiny story

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