Wednesday 24 November 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 227

This week's picture prompt is from artist and underwater photographer Elena Kalis. Based in the Bahamas Elena has some incredible images and attained global success in her field. 

Another dabble into Tricky's world to see where it ends up.  (Last Tricky Tale was on Week 222)

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Image of a woman in a white dress underwater but facing a wall of water and touching her own reflection. Taken by photographer Elena Kalis

Play Dead

Tricky was thankful her mother had taught her how to swim. She’d struggle otherwise. She’d been wise enough to take in a deep breath when they’d chucked her overboard, and swum down as far as she could despite her tied hands.

She felt the riverbed under her feet and pushed herself away in a horizontal line under the water, getting as far from the boat as she could. She hoped they’d think she’d drowned.

The River Red was wide, so it was going to be a struggle to get to the side without coming up for another breath, but she kept going as long as she could. Then turned over on her back and floated up slowly, letting her face and mouth break the water just enough so she could exhale and take in another breath.

She daren’t look back. They were nasty pigs onboard, cut you up as soon as look at you. Tricky knew their sort, and under Stanislav’s vicious hand they’d been given free rein to abuse the people in their charge. It mattered little to them; you were just a piece of meat for them to try out their sick perversions. Even in the water Tricky could still feel all the sore spots where they’d attempted to extract information they’d wanted. She’d given them nothing.

But one thing was for sure, they’d still be looking out for her body to appear. Stanislav wasn’t stupid – at least not that way. He knew their ilk better ... in fact she wasn’t even sure he wasn’t one of them. He knew more than any non-gifted person should, and things that weren’t in any book or learnt in any classroom.

It wasn’t like Tricky to be unnerved, but he’d achieved it. He’d even managed to scare her, which since her mother’s death she hadn’t thought possible – despite all they’d put her through.

The water grew darker ahead and she was confident she would see the side of the river soon. She hoped to come out under the shelter of some trees, even draw some energy from them, because she couldn’t pull herself out of the water just yet – oh no, she would be trickier than that. She wasn’t going to let those slimy rancid slugs spot her again, no definitely not. They were never going to get their filthy hog paws on her again. Next time they saw her it would be their death, oh yes.

When the muddy wall of the river appeared in front of her, she drifted up as close to the side as possible, her fingers touching the soil wall, and tilted her head back so her face broke the water surface. She blinked, trying not to sputter or make any sound, and looked up into the leaves of an overhanging willow. Wonderful.

She reached out and sent her energy reserves and felt them met with the deep green energy all trees possessed. She felt immediately refreshed.

But rather than come further out, she took another breath and went back down, underwater until her feet were on the bottom and put her hands out against the riverbank. She breathed out hard, humming as she did, the sound filling her head, and a pocket of air opened up.

She watched the water part and shimmer as the air pushed it out. Her floating underskirt and camisole top dropped and stuck against her it moved round her, and she opened her mouth to breathe, taking in big gasps as she relaxed.

Some people would think she had been able to part water, but really all she had done was create a time bubble. The tiny bit of river bed she was standing in was not actually here, but in another time and place.

She considered opening it out further and travelling through it away from the river, but she wasn’t sure where she might end up. It was always a nice idea travelling through pockets of time, but you could come out on the other side of the landmass even though you might have only travelled a few feet. Time was tricky like that. It’s what gave her an affinity for it. She liked tricky, she understood tricky.

And not just that, she didn’t trust Stanislav not to anticipate such a move. She’d found she wasn’t the only one adept at manipulating time. Where had he learnt that skill? Who had trained him and honed it? Someone must have. She’d seen his ability wasn’t natural like hers; he needed tools to achieve the same effects. But the only other person that knew as much had been her mother. Or was there someone else, someone unseen?

She sat on the floor of her time bubble and pondered such things. She had plenty of time to do that, oh yes she did. She chuckled, time was never hard to come by for her, oh no. She’d sit here and wait out those dumb meat heads and play dead.     

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