Those in the Water

If you know me, I love stories. Here is a short story that I wrote recently. Let me know what you think about it! I would love to know your interpretation of the story.


She stands at the edge of the water staring out towards those in the depths. Her head cocks to one side out of curiosity. They smile with their lips and move so gracefully with the waves as if to dance with the tide.

“How peculiar,” she whispers. Those in the water look different than she. Their skins were smooth and noticeable. Each individual was covered with a white suit made for the waters.

“Why can I see them? Why aren’t they hiding?” She ponders aloud. “Who are they?”

Those in the water see her and encourage her to come join them in the depths. To join them in the freedom and love they all share provided by the water. Baffled, she mouths the word, “Me?” while pointing at her chest.

They nod as she looks down at her finger pointing at herself. She sees she has no clothes, nothing at all. She is naked, covered in muck from head to toe. Completely unnoticeable under the layers of earth.

“If I do,” she says to herself. “They’ll see me.”

The tide flows up to her feet, stopping just before her toes. She stares at the waves as it calls out to her. She bends to her knees and dips her hands in the cool waters. Vigorously, she scrubs away at the muck on her hands until her skin is visible. For a brief moment she feels the water with her bare skin and she smiles under her mask, causing the dried on earth to crumble from her face.

Her heartrate accelerates as she excitedly shoves her face into the water and scrubs at the dried on earth. She pulls her face from the water, a smile on her face like those swimming in the depths. Her face and hands are clean.

She takes a drink of the pure water. It soothes her aching throat like nothing ever before. She longs for more of the water. With every wave that washes against her skin it calls for her to go deeper.

At that moment she hears her friends run up from behind her. She panics not wanting them to see her naked face. “If they see me they’ll know me and what I’ve done!”

Quickly, she crawls away from the water and shoves her hands into the mud. She slaps a fresh coat of muck onto her face and with her index finger she draws a curve on each side of her lips to form a smile for her friends to see. Her heart aches as she takes a glimpse at the water. Guilt consumes her.

Her friends run to her, covered in muck just like her. None of them were truly noticeable. Their skins, their hair, it was all the same: earthly.

“What are you doing?” They ask.

“Nothing,” she says nervously, hoping that her drawn on smile will fool them.

“Look at how ridiculous they look,” one friend laughs as he points to those in the water.

“Yeah,” she whispers as she looks behind her, longing to swim in the freedom of the depths with them. Those covered by the earth fear being found, yet they live together often playing an anxious game of hide and go seek.

Hide, or you’ll be found, but seek others to exploit. They claim to be your friends, but watch your back. It’s their favorite place to keep their knives. She reminds herself with a sigh. What an exhausting way to live.

After a few brief moments she stands to face the water. “No,” she states firmly.

“What do you mean, no?” One asks.

“They don’t look ridiculous. They look different. Happy.” She takes one step into the water, then another, until she is waist deep.

“What are you doing?”

“Joining them,” she answers without looking back. As she goes deeper and deeper she no longer cares about covering her skin, her past, who she was before. She longs for the water’s sweet relief. “You’re welcome to come with me. The water is… indescribable.”

She meets those in the water with a smile, a real smile, shining from her freshly washed face. They hand her a suit made for the water. The suit covers her nakedness, her past, but not in the way the earth did. The suit became a part of her. Her pulse matches the rhythm of the waves as it washes through the fabric of her suit. It is all she needs to begin again as a new creature, no longer a part of those covered by the earth. Now she belongs with those in the water.


7 thoughts on “Those in the Water

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