Pull Me In The Undertow.

Dallas Lucy Connelly.

I, Dallas Lucy Connelly, hate boats.

Houseboats, sailboats, speedboats, pontoon boats, dinghy boats, yachts, ferries, barges, skiffs, sloops, gondolas, rafts, cruise ships, cutters. You name it, I hate it.

I despise water.

Ponds, rivers, lakes, oceans, swamps, bayous, streams, pools, puddles, creeks, lagoons, reservoirs, rapids. Small bodies of water, large bodies of water. I drank water to keep my body hydrated. That is it. I despise water.

I loathe storms.

Hurricanes, tropical storms, rain, snow, blizzards, hailstorms, ice storms, thunderstorms, windstorms. On a large scale, or a small scale. I loathe storms.

I remember the exact moment all the negative outlooks surfaced. My father owned a small boat, and he loved to take the family out for rides on the bay. Nearly every weekend he would pack up the kids and take us for a little cruise. We used to play pretend a lot. We would be super secret agents, chasing down an evil villain. Or we would be pirates, searching the waters for treasure and adventure. I was only a little girl of five years old when all that stopped being fun for me.

It had started as a beautiful day, the early morning sun making the bay sparkle. That did not last though, a few hours into our little trip the weather turned sour. The sky darkened, the wind stirred up, and it started to drizzle. Dad had turned around and taken us back into the harbor, my brother was watching my father, I was staring into the shadowy waters.

Then I wasn’t staring into it any more. I was in it.

They say that drowning isn’t the worst way to go, that before you die there is this moment of euphoria. Maybe I just wasn’t close enough to death, but it was anything but euphoric. It was horrific.

I did not even have time to realize thoroughly what was happening. I just knew it was cold, and I was sinking. I was face up the whole time, my eyes on the surface. It just got darker and darker though, the dim glow offered from above just got further and further away. It was quite lonely. I remember the pressure in the lungs, the lack of oxygen, wanting to scream but having no air to do so. And then nothing. The darkness had finally taken me.

Next thing I knew, I was returning to consciousness. I was laying flat on my back, sucking up as much air as my lungs could hold, and looking up at a crowd of people surrounding me. I was dang lucky. The person who saw me fall in had been on a swim team, or rescue swimmer, or something along those lines. Point is, I fell in and they jumped in to save me.

I recovered, but retained some pessimistic views. As well as some fears. Weather made me wary. Boats scared me. Water straight up terrified me. Sometimes I would wake up in the dead of night shaking from one of the many nightmares I had about being cold and alone at the bottom. I would dare myself to walk down the beach, muttering curses to the sea. Each wave that crashed along the shore looked as if it was reaching for me, just for me. The water rolled across the sand trying to grab for my feet, wanting to drag me back and pull me under. Wishing to finish what it had failed to do.

I tried to stay away from my fears, especially any water I can‘t see the bottom of. I attempted to bury them away, to never show anyone else but myself my weaknesses. So when my friends called me up, wanting to party on a yacht as celebration to all of our successes, I desperately wanted to avoid it. I pulled out all my excuses, unfortunately they weren’t buying any of them. It was either pull the “woe is me” card I‘ve been keeping secret, or stifle my fears for one night.

I remember thinking that I deserved this, I deserved some fun. After working since the age of sixteen at the tattoo parlor, starting as a desk clerk, then piercing apprentice, becoming a full body piercer, and finally a few weeks ago at age twenty-two I bought into the shop. I was proud of myself, and I truly wanted to just let loose with my closest friends.

I decided to ignore the icky feeling in my gut, which I shoved aside as my phobias. I decided to celebrate.

Big freaking mistake.

I was a walking disaster from the moment I stepped foot on the boat, of course I hid that. It got worse as soon as we set sail. I started shivering, my stomach started turning. So, I did the only thing I could think of, I grabbed myself a bottle of tequila, and hunkered down in a corner. It wasn’t long before I was pretty out of it, I’m such a lightweight. The nights festivities are extremely foggy, though I know for certain the alcohol was flowing. I know I tried to make myself look busy by taking loads of pictures. I remember loud music, and lots of bad dancing. I recall someone having brought fireworks, and everybody coming up with creative ways to set them off. I know they got into the silly string I had shoved in my backpack. I can vaguely picture the disastrous round of limbo, and the ill conceived game of Twister.

It was too late when I figured out the wind was getting very strong. There was nothing to be done when the rain began falling. We were out of time when the ship started rocking violently.

We were being pelted so badly with rain that every little drop felt like a small stab, and the wind was howling and slapping us at every turn. There was a lot of crashing, glass breaking, many crunching noises you do not want to hear coming from the ship you’re standing on. Standing was another thing with the ship being tossed around like a child’s toy in a bath tub, it was pretty impossible to stand, not to mention my extreme inebriation. I can’t count the number of times I got hit with things. Objects flying into you just added insult to injury, or maybe injury to insult…shoot, injury to injury.

It was awful to hear my friends screaming. A lot of screaming, a lot of yelling. Panic filled screams, terror filled screams. Once again, I held my own scream in. Every actual word we would try to say was lost in the storm, only loud indistinct sounds met our ears. Each one of us tried to hold on, we would try to hold onto anything. Anything that was not being thrown about we would cling to, even if that meant clinging to each other. Memories of my friends slipping and flailing around helplessly while someone else who was only slightly better off attempted to grab any limb they could get was one I honestly wish I couldn’t remember. Of course, those are the memories that chose to replay in my head over and over again.

This time I decided to go down fighting. No passive falling for me. I did not want the dark to take me again. I’d spent years playing basketball, soccer, softball, lacrosse, track, and roller hockey. And gosh darn it, I was going to use every bit of athletic ability I had to not succumb. It worked, I made it into the emergency raft that someone had the presence of mind to find and inflate. Even though I was none too fond of getting back on a boat, at that moment it truly was the lesser of two evils.

I am alive, but I still ended up in hell.

When I first started to wake, I was praying that it had all just been another nightmare. I was going to open my brown eyes, and wake up in bed. Problem is my bed isn’t covered in sand, and I would never have ocean sounds playing in the background. Opening my eyes was the hardest thing I had to do in a long time, but I needed to see it, to confirm it.

First thing I did was get out of reach of the water, my movements incredibly jerky. For most people it may have been a bit of a beautiful place, for me it was revolting and nerve wracking. Clean white sand. Pristine blue water. Lush forest. Clear bright sky. Glowing golden sun. Birds squawked and chirped. All you’d need to do to make it as picturesque as postcard is take away the debris, fallen palm trees, oh yeah, and the unconscious bodies washed up on shore…

Oh God, I hope they’re just unconscious.

This place couldn’t really be a deserted island, right? There had to be an obvious answer as to why no one had discovered us washed up on shore, right? It is just a fluke that it looks so empty and desolate, right? Things like this don’t happen in real life, right?

In my heart though, I knew the worst was true.

Why? Why did this happen? I’m not that horrible of a person. I try not to lie. I work and pay my bills. I try to be nice to everyone, unless they give me a good reason not to be. I won’t even cheat at cards. I volunteer for charities from time to time. I’m no saint, but who is? I make a lot of mistakes, but I’m first to fix them. I can be cynical, but I always hope for the best. Sometimes I can be selfish or self-absorbed, but I do try not to be. Why do I deserve such an excruciating punishment? It’s not fair, not when things started going so well.

My hangover decided to kick in, so I got to toss my cookies and then just dry heave for a good while. Afterwards it felt like someone was trying to hack open my skull with a dull axe. That’s when the crying started. And I am not a crier. If I can help it, I shed no tears.

I heard some stirring behind me, of course someone would choose to wake up now. My heart was dancing with joy that my friends weren’t dead, but I just couldn’t face anyone like this. So, I turned my back to them. I laced my fingers in my flaming red hair, the long twisted curls were stiff with sand and dried saltwater. I pulled my knees up against my body, only my red and black plaid high tops and the bottoms of my red and black plaid pants are still damp. My red hoodie and black t-shirt are dry, but are as stiff as my hair.

Crying sucked, I just sat there trying to control my sobbing. Nothing else I could do until I wore myself out. Now wasn’t the time for regrets, nor was it the time to dwell, but I did. I regret ever going on that freaking boat. I regret not having much fun at what could be the last party I’d ever be at. I regret that in a way I resent my friends for convincing me to go. I regret not being a survival buff. I regret that I unintentionally jump every time a waves comes too close for comfort. I regret that I blame myself.

Did the sea want to claim me so badly that it would try to take my friends with me? Did the water need to hold me forever in it’s grasp so badly that it would hold the innocent as well? Why did the water want to kill me at all? Was this some kind of sick joke the universe was playing on me? How long were we going to have to endure this? How long was I going to be able to take being here? How long was Tom Hanks stuck on that island?

Finally, I got the tears in check. There was some murmuring behind me that I couldn’t make out. Still sniffling slightly I shakily got to my feet, it does nobody any good to sit around crying. The only thing that is going to help us survive, is actually doing something productive. We’ve got to build a shelter, find food, make fire, make an SOS, and whatever else they do on those reality TV shows I wish I’d paid more attention to.

Does the same approach as making a fort in your backyard with your brother apply to making a survival shelter? Gosh, why did I never join Girl Scouts? I’m sure there must have been something they did that would help out here. I should’ve been more involved when my parents took us camping. I didn’t even go fishing. I thought it was boring. And that whole cleaning of the fish thing, pretty darn gross. Really, really darn gross. Especially when you think about that whole chopping the head off part. No, the closest I got to fishing was cleaning our aquarium.

Upon standing, and getting over the spins, I noticed the pain that accompanied my movements. Slowly, I lifted my shirt to reveal a myriad of bruises in varying degrees and shades. They were concentrated along my left side, and I could feel them run down my leg as well. Flaring up when I moved even in the slightest way. Just lovely, just so freaking lovely.

During my assessment of the battering I took, I felt something in my back pocket. Hesitantly, I reached in and pulled it out. I know I don’t want to see this…

And sure enough, the item I had in the palm of my hand was a painful sight indeed. It just sat there, dead from the treacherous sea water. The poor thing never stood a chance. In no way should it have been brought into this. It could never have even put up a fight. This was just way uncalled for. Fate’s humor does not amuse me.

My Ipod. All my music. Gone. Dead.

It hurt a little. Seeing it in that state pushed me over the edge completely. I was breaking down. I was loosing it. I could not hold it in anymore.

After seventeen years I finally let loose that scream. A blood curdling, ear piercing scream.
♠ ♠ ♠
Survivor; Mibba Edition
Well, here is my chapter. I now pass the torch to the next writer. :)