One-Liner Wednesday: Summer Fun With Kids

#OneLinerWednesday #summer #swimming #kids #igetnorespect #writingprompt @storyadaymay

This post is part of StoryADay May ( #StoryADay #StoryADayMay @storyadaymay #freeshortstory

Summer Fun With the Kids

Her life sort of did flash before her eyes, or through her mind, anyway.

She was a bookworm, dragged to a “camp”, which meant a crappy, smelly little house on a rise by the nearby river, where her parents and their friends would cook over an open fire and drink and laugh and she would shudder as she squelched through the mud/sand banks into the filthy water, her orange life vest stained with previous visits’ grit, alternately teased and bullied by her parents’ friends’ children, who, apparently, enjoyed swimming in disease and fish poop.

She was a teen at an after-graduation, parent-approved church group all-day outing at a lake, with “all-day” meaning into the evening, when couples took turns distracting the chaperons with religious questions they didn’t actually care about so other couples could slip into the darkness to, hopefully, not be fruitful and multiply, her “date” taking her limp hand when it was their turn, she going along out of shame and pity because she didn’t really want to but she didn’t see why he should suffer for her – it wasn’t as if he were Jesus, after all.

She was a young mother, delighted to be expected to stay at home with the kids – “Irish twins”, both born in the same year — using their nap times, play times, any possible moments to read or watch educational television, trying to catch up with the college she’d missed by becoming pregnant right out of high school by a boy just religious enough to marry the soon-to-be mother of his child, watching with one eye while the kids splashed in the inflatable pool, which was better before they were potty-trained because, when they were out of diapers, of course they peed in the pool.

She was the “cool mom”, or at least the mom whose upwardly mobile husband had had an in-ground pool installed, hosting the neighborhood kids during the summer, baking cookies and mixing powdered drink by the gallon, getting daily proof that whatever television professor it was had been right that two of the most powerful needs are the need for love and the need for security, because one of her “twins” loved to hang onto the edge of the pool and lift her face and say, “Gimme a kiss!” and, when she went to give the kiss, push off and crow, “No kisses!” and the other one loved for her to splash around and cry, “Help meh! Help meh! I’m drrrrrrowning!” at which point he would say, “That’s your prob, lady.”

And now, of course, she was really drowning.

“Let’s go to Florida,” her husband had said, and the kids had cheered. “Visit DisneyLand. Swim in the ocean. Stay at a nice hotel. We can afford it.”

At the cost of her life, maybe? The price was right?

She could see the kids hunting shells, forbidden to go into the water while she and her husband were swimming, her husband having taken her limp hand and led her into water deep enough for the affectionate exploration he had never tired of and she had come to love for his sake. Then he had taken a few strong strokes back toward shore to shout at the kids to stop throwing sand at each other, and a current had grabbed her and pulled her under and away.

Was that his arm around her, raising her up, or was it an octopus, dragging her down? Was the water going to be expelled from her lungs, or was it going to claim her at last?

Which did she prefer, not that anyone had ever cared.

MY PROMPT TODAY: Playing in the pool with my kids, which I very much enjoyed.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “One-Liner Wednesday: Summer Fun With Kids

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 2, 2024 at 12:14pm

      Thanks, Dan! The kid jokes were real, but they were LOL funny in real life.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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