He dropped his hand and let the cool water run over his upturned fingers. He lowered himself until his entire arm was submerged. Grit swirled around him as water slipped over the lip of his tiny boat, The boat began to sink lower as he refused to move, the surface of the water becoming perilously close to even with the edge. Reluctantly he withdrew from the water and reached for the bucket that threatened to float away on the current.
As he dumped the water back into the river, the boat began to bob higher and higher on the current. He pulled away from the shore and made his way to an island in the middle of the river. With ten feet left to go, he launched the oars toward the edge. He missed and the oars disappeared with the current. Shrugging, he threw the bucket in the same direction.
Both arms slipped into the refreshing cool of the water. Inch by inch, he lowered himself, but the water was too deep and too fast here for him to reach bottom. The water in the boat approached the height of his hips, As the boat began to tip, he let himself fall out and sink into the current. He surfaced after touching bottom with his toes. The current was carrying him away, but it felt cool against his sun-warmed skin. It drew him past the island as his head dipped below again.
A hand reached for the boulder on the island, then let go.
by Parenthesized on July 27, 2010