Death by Water
by Gypsy Silverleaf

Author's Note:
< >This short story written for a "journal entry" in Honours English III class; October 24-25, 2002. "Death By Water" is a title within the poem "The Wasteland" by T. S. Eliot, and the prompt was to write something using one of the several titles within the poem. As exciting as "The Burial of the Dead" was, I picked Death by Water.
< >This story insinuates a lot and I don't promote the end result whatsoever. It's a cowardly way out and if you feel this way, please talk with someone. This story is not meant to be a basis of comparison; it's just depressing angst.


< >I am drowning. I always have been. Sinking slowly beneath the waters like a wayward stone, struggling to get back on the bank but ever falling and alone until I hit rock bottom. I haven't gotten there yet, but I see the ground coming fast and the dark will swallow me.

< >"Forge your own path, Mikel," the counselor with the too-big smiles always me. "You can make your life your own."

< >But I can't. It's disingenuous to believe I can.

< >I am that stone, skipping atop the waters until I breach the icy surface and rocked forever by the waves until my jagged edges run smooth . . . until I am nothing.

< >I have no control. A man or woman, boy or girl, can pick me up and throw me like that stone, and I won't even bother flailing my arms or cry out. No one will save me. Might as well sink.

< >Crushed is the idea - or was it ever there? - that schools, kids, are getting along better with their peers. It may be true that lines are becoming blurred, so you can't tell one person from the rest, but They are always there. The ones who push my head under the water and when they pull away, I can't move. If they ask why I remain, I tell them I don't want to move and to push me down again.

< >Funny how that sick admission is the only way I can get them to leave me be.

< >Set me free. I am shackled to the earth. Like a bird flapping, beating its wings and begging for its cage to be opened - to be set free. I need to be released. I would fly as high as I possibly could until the cold took me and I fell back down, plummeting to the waters below. My only relief being I wouldn't notice, couldn't care.

< >Why can't I fly away like a bird? Or fall through the dark waves like that stone? I don't understand why I want to get back to the bank or hang - hovering - in the trees above. Perhaps it's fear. Fear of life, fear of finding more bitterness, fear of losing my conscious. But my humanity is slowly slipping away and I find I don't care anymore.

< >They'll shake their heads and wonder why they never knew my pain, why I could never voice it. How is one supposed to express the heart, if the soul doesn't even know why it has to ache? And how can I say what I feel, what I think, if I am ignored, not taken seriously? There is no point.

< >Death by water, they'll say, when they find me. The underwater light is dark and foreboding, but I welcome it with open arms and quiet tears because only it embraces me, keeps me safe and warm. It is not biased and I remain in peace, no longer disquieted by my own fears or the words of anyone else.

< >"Forge your own path, Mikel. You can make your life your own."

< >Can I make my death my own?

< >I am drowning and I have found my thermal, lifting me above the waters and taking me to the sky. I am drowning, a falling stone, and death by water seems a better way to fly.

< >The Harry Potter books and other trademarks are by Ms. Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Little Literacy Agency, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Arthur A. Levine, & Warner Brothers. All rights reserved.
< >This website and all work is 1999-2002 Chako'Lanna Inc. and its designer, Gypsy Silverleaf. All character art is 2001-2002 Meg Kerin unless otherwise stated. Use of information and/or art is strictly prohibited unless written permission has been given.

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