Short Story Preview: Moment of Truth – Josie Arden
Ella found life dreary and lonely with the children gone, so she joined the local swimming club. She was already a strong swimmer and had won medals. Almost from day one, she fell deeply in love with Ralph, an instructor there. She lay awake imagining scenarios which might bring them together, but would never have foreseen what actually transpired.
That winter, Ralph proposed a warm-sea, ten-day, swimming trip off the Peruvian west coast and had no trouble raising a party of twenty. ‘But to identify you on the beach, all in red swim togs, please.’
The fourteen hour flight whisked them from London chill to scorching sun. The heat that met them as they came off the plane was like a hairdryer on their faces.
Ralph picked a small, deserted, sandy bay which Ella assumed was unpopular because of two rotting wooden hulks lying on their sides and obviously hazardous for children.
Inevitably, she couldn’t keep her eyes off Ralph and was now admiring his gorgeous physique as he strode down to the water. She watched him wade in up to his waist and then, and then, he just disappeared!
For some seconds she stared, unbelieving, at the still sea surface, then his head came up, far out and he was clearly in great distress.
Ella only just made out his faint cries of ‘HELP! HELP!’ and then his head went under again and did not reappear.
Galvanised, Ella raced among the group, flaked out, too hot to swim, ‘QUICK!’ she screamed, ‘RALPH IS DROWNING! I’m going in after him! For God’s sake – ALL OF YOU! COME QUICKLY.’