Pull Me In The Undertow.

Peter Black

Tropical Storm Serena is terrible! It was right off the American coast, damaging at least 6 American yachts and many (maybe as many as 20) that didn’t radio in. To make matters worse, we (the American Coast Guard) had to get permission to send in the rescue swimmers to find all of the ships and possible survivors. It severely damages the survivor’s chances!
Anyway, I’m one of those proud few rescue swimmers, and I’m being deployed. It’s not easy being a rescue swimmer. First we’re put through rigorous training to make sure we’re ready for such a dangerous task. I made it through and now I try my best to save lives in the most dangerous situations. It’s not easy, but in the end it’s worth it. At school I was nicknamed Dolphin or Speedboat because of my swiftness in water. It was often joked that I was most comfortable in the water then on land.

The waves were still high, coming from where ever Serene is now. I swam expertly through them because the helicopter had spotted a crashed yacht near this area. I saw the sad few bodies floating, but I found one alive and I quickly sent him up in the basket, but not before he pointed in a general direction.
“Save my friends. Their alive, I can feel it. Help them,” he begged. I agreed to the man’s requests and seeing as there was no one else to save I was hauled back up.

Our crew found a few more bodies, and they were all ¾ drowned, but I tried my best to keep them alive. I tired to keep my head, although I’ll never get used to the sight of people dying. I fought for them as we headed in the direction pointed out by the first man we found. Then Fate or who-knows-what intervened. Serena is coming back, in the same direction that she had come from. Just hazard a guess at who’s in her way.

The waves were reaching heights I had only heard about. They were about, at least, 16 feet high, and it’s honestly hard to remember everything from that difficult time above water. I do remember our helicopter have to hope against hope to find a small island to land on and hopefully wait out the rest of the storm. Then we almost passed over a small stretch of land, but thankfully I spotted it and screamed out to the pilot. We almost got blow off as we tried to land but we made it with centimeters to spare. All of us were trapped inside the helicopter as we waited because it’s way too dangerous to send the half drowned people out into a raging storm.

The storm left us battered and exhausted, but we tried to scout the island beached for any other survivors to the storm, and seeing none I turned around to get our victims to shore.
“Hey! Wait! We’re stranded here! Help!” I spun around and saw a group of people in torn and ragged clothes running toward me. I gasped as they converged on me, hugging and yelling “Hallelujah”. I staggered back under all of the weight from all of the individuals. When I managed to get out from under all of the people the had all calmed down.
“Ok, would you all please proceed to the helicopter in an orderly fashion,” I stated in a clear firm voice. I was worried over weather we could make it back to the base before the helicopter ran out of gas.

The answer is yes, but just barley. The helicopter died on the runway. I mean everything just turned off, something unheard of and pretty darn scary.
As I helped unload all of the survivors I focused on getting the ones that needed the most medical attention unloaded first, which meant that the survivors form the island are the last ones off, so I caught a good amount of what they were saying. They jabbered about a yacht party gone wrong and about a girl called Carrie. The supposed Carrie was shaking her head vigorously, but blushing all the same. I chuckled as I walked out of the helicopter with one of the better looking victims. All of the Island Survivors’ heads snapped toward me.
“What’s your name?” one asked me.
“Peter Black,” I replied in a suddenly professional manner.
"Oh, cool. I’m Anna and these are my friends and co-workers. I would like to thank you for saving us.”
“It’s my job. Now if you would proceed to the ambulance it will take you to the hospital so that we can make sure you guys are 100% OK.”
“I’m sure we’re fine,” one of the boys said.
“That’s fine, but you need to go anyway. It’s a requirement,” I state in my authoritative voice that I save for moments like this.
“Fine. B****d,” he mumbles the last part because it obviously wasn’t meant for my ears.
“Look, this is our only condition for us saving you, so if you want to dumped in the middle of the ocean, just say so.” Brain mumbles something that sounded like a sullen sorry, but I can’t be sure.

It’s been a long day. We’re very short on swimmers and the older ones aren’t permitted to go out as much due to any sight that might trigger a traumatic memory. I was sent out multiple times and I brought back quite a few. Some were close calls, but I did my best. By the 5th time we got in, I had to ask for a break. I wandered into the break room and fell into one of the beds set up and fell asleep instantly and slip into a dream.

In this dream I was out in water and I spotted my younger sister Christina floating in water near me.
“Christina! Come over here!” my dream self said. As Christina started swimming toward me I saw a whirlpool appear a foot from her and I suddenly was screaming.
“CHRISTINA! SWIM! SWIM OVER HERE!” Christina as I recognized her was 8 years old, where as I was 16. I noticed a concerned look cross her face and then a dawning understanding flooded her innocent face. I screamed for her, I even started to swim to her and then I saw what looked like the eye of storm forming over head. At this point all I can hear is my sister’s cries and all I can think about is saving her. I swim in and I almost lose my life in doing so. Christina’s head disappears beneath the surface. I panic and go down after her, forgetting that this would be a very stupid thing to do. All I see is murky water, but I do see fish scattering from what appears to be clam water. I head in that direction. Finally! A flailing arm! I grab it and hoist it upwards. I run out of breath and I feel the need for oxygen flooding my lungs, and with one last burst of energy left I power upward and I start swimming with all the strength the adrenalin lends me.
I reach shore and Christina’s not breathing. As soon as I realize this I lung for my beach bag that holds my only chance, a cell phone. I quickly dial 911 and tell the all of the required information. Next I call my parents telling them to get to the beach. I call my sister’s name hoping to wake her up but to no anvil. I start what little I know for sure about CPR (the chest compressions). I see her eyelids flutter, but no breath comes. In the distance the sirens are wailing I keep up the compressions until a paramedic comes and they allow me in the van as they drive off with my parents following behind.

I jerk up quickly, my breaths coming short bursts, like I really had been watching my sister drown. She lived in real life, but it came so close that they had lost her for a full minute and I broke down when I heard that flat beeping noise. My sister forgave the water, and I never blamed it. I was however scared and I dedicated my life from that point forward to helping people escape the cruel fate of drowning.
“Black,” I glance over to see who has barked my name. It’s Sullivan.
“You have visitors.” I smile a small smile and I make my way out of the break room.
“Hello Peter. Remember us?” I nod to the girl, Anna I think it is. ‘Thank you again, and I just thought we could chip away at our debt to you by inviting you to dinner or lunch when you’re done with your watch.”
“I’d love that.” I noticed the under current of flirting, but she seems nice enough. We say awkward goodbyes and I turn around with a grin on my face. Maybe that whirlpool wasn’t so terrible.
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Yay! I finished. Feedback is very loved peoples!