Moon behind clouds at night.

Speed Writing #4 – Night Swimming

There was nothing more perfect than gliding through the water at two in the morning, under a cloudless sky with a sliver of a moon.  This was when everything was calm.  The annoying mosquitoes and even more annoying drunks had all gone to sleep or passed out.  The bats, who were active early on, had settled in for a few hours.  The surface of the lake was still, glassy, with the exception of the small ripples spreading out from her body.

Having a restaurant and bar right on the edge of the lake was a novelty, though it had worn off after the third or fourth karaoke night.  It wasn’t that she minded the music.  She was all for expressions of happiness.  But the off key howling of hammered patrons hurt her sensitive ears.  Her evening swims had moved later and later.  And it seemed she had finally stumbled upon the perfect time.

She rolled, belly up to gaze at the stars, allowing her momentum to slow, but not stop.  She had a long way to go to complete her circuit, but she had plenty of time, and there was no need to rush.  Her eyes caught the dim glow of a satellite tracking quickly across the sky, and she smiled.

Without warning, her head rammed into something firm yet yielding.  It was immediately followed by an inarticulate shout and a great deal of splashing.

Fearing the worst, she twisted her body to tread water and look around.

A man stood about six feet away, the water just reaching his lower ribs.  He was shirtless, and water dripped from his dark hair to shoulders.  She couldn’t help following the little rivulets of water down his pale chest, wishing her hands could do the same.  Though she was sure the water temperature hadn’t changed, she suddenly felt warmer.  He held his arms out, hands open and extended as if he feared he might need to fight something off.  He was breathing hard, obviously more startled than she was.

“I’m so sorry,” she said quietly.  She didn’t want to disturb the silence of the night needlessly, but she felt bad about causing his panicked state.  “I should’ve watched where I was going.  Are you all right?“

He blew out heavily, lowering his arms.  “Yeah.  Yeah, I’m okay. You?”

She nodded, her lips curving into a small smile.  “I’m Luria.“

“Luria? Hi.  I’m Krish.”  there was a trace of uncertainty in his voice.  “So… what are you doing out here this late?“

“Swimming,” she said with a giggle.  “Isn’t that obvious?“  She thought he might have blushed, but it was hard to tell in this lighting. “What about you?  What are you doing out here?”

“Uh… couldn’t sleep, actually,” he said.  He took a couple steps closer.  “I’m on vacation.“  He pointed over his shoulder toward the little cabin behind him on shore.  “But my brain hasn’t realized it yet.”  He had a nice smile, friendly.  “So… do you… live around here?“

“I do.”  She grinned at the accuracy yet misleading nature of that statement.  “Would you be interested in a local tour guide?“ This time, she moved closer.

“Is that an offer?” he asked, delight clear in his wide eyes.

“It is.”  She reached a tentative hands toward him, hesitating and pointing to his left shoulder.  “You have a bit of lake weed.“

He stared at her for a moment, slightly befuddled as his brain tried to put together her actions and words.  “I… what?”

With a little laugh, she let her hand finish its trajectory to pluck off the scraggly green strand and hold it up for him to see.

Prompt:I’m swimming laps in a lake alone at night and I thought no one else was here, but I just swam writing to you, and uh?  You’re not wearing a shirt, and your hot as hell.  Please take me right here.

Modifications: She’s not human

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Author of adult and young adult speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, dark fiction)

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