The First Day of Spring

I love a writing prompt. Over at yoyoliving, we’ve been presented with a visual writing prompt and I am all about it. Click over there and participate! The more the merrier, I say! Here’s my story…

It was the first day of spring and it was gorgeous outside. No way was I going to let a day this perfect go by without spending a little time on the lake.

My little boat isn’t anything special. She’s not gonna turn any heads and I’m certainly not going to win any races with that rubber band engine I’ve got attached. But she gets the job done whenever I want to spend some time on the water. So I grabbed my fishing gear, just in case, and made the 20 minute drive to the marina.

I know… With a boat as small as mine, a lot of people would just keep it on a trailer at home instead of keeping it stored at a marina for $27 a month. But, I mean, it’s only $27 a month. And it means I don’t have to deal with a trailer. Nor do I have to have an ugly little boat sitting in my driveway approximately 340 days out of the year. That’s right, she’s an ugly little boat, but she still gets the job done.

Besides, that $27 a month also pays for a marina employee to help me get the boat in the water. If it was just me and a trailer, I’d be on my own. I have a hard enough time backing my truck up without something attached to the back fighting me with every turn.

Sorry… That was a lot of build up for my desire to spend a day on the lake. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fish or not. But I’m glad I brought the proper equipment in case the mood struck. For the most part, I was content to just move across the water and take in the beauty of the day.

The sun was shining brightly, bouncing off the surface of the lake and reminding me to reapply sunscreen if I didn’t want to turn completely red. There wasn’t a cloud to be found and the sky was the deep kind of blue that’s almost awe inspiring. I was surprised at the lack of people on the shore, especially outside of those big lakeside homes. I was also a little surprised by the lack of breeze. But since it was just the first day of spring it was still fairly cool, so I decided to be thankful that there wasn’t a chilly wind blowing.

As I motored along, I finally noticed a few people sunning themselves on a dock. But I was still surprised that more people weren’t taking advantage of this amazing day.

Then I spotted something that disturbed me to my very core.

At first I was excited to see another boat on the water. It was ridiculous to think I would be the only one out here today. That excitement quickly turned into confusion when I noticed the two kids jumping off the stern. I know what you’re probably thinking. He was concerned that these kids are jumping into the lake and it’s just going to be too cold for them.

Y’all… that’s not my problem. If these kids’ parents are cool with them jumping into a lake on the first day of spring, that’s on them. They’re not gonna get hypothermia from taking a dip.

No, my issue was that these kids were suspended in mid-air. They weren’t moving. It’s like someone turned gravity off. Except, I suppose, if gravity had been switched off we would all have been floating upward, including the water. But they weren’t moving.

Neither was their boat. It wasn’t rocking. Because the water wasn’t flowing. Everything was still.

Two adults on the boat, I assume they were the parents of the frozen children, were staring at the kids with amused looks plastered to their faces. As I got closer I called out to them, but they didn’t look my way. Maybe they couldn’t look my way.

My head was spinning. What was causing this? What would you even call this? Some sort of space/time anomaly? Was it localized to just this boat? I mean, I was still moving… My boat was still moving… Then I looked behind me.

My boat had been cutting through the surface of the lake with ease. And it left a gash behind. It was as if as soon as my boat was through touching that portion of the water, it froze that way, leaving the empty space where my boat had been behind.

I came up alongside the frozen boat and still couldn’t believe my own eyes. This was no illusion. Those kids were suspended in mid-air. There were no strings. The grown-ups were watching them, captured mid-laugh. It’s as if I were looking at a 3D photograph that I had somehow stepped into.

Look, I wasn’t the greatest student in school. I took enough science to get my degree. So I couldn’t even begin to wrap my head around how something like this could be possible. But then I got to thinking about those people on the internet who claim we’re all living in a simulation.

Then I thought, Am I witnessing a glitch in the Matrix?

I turned my attention away from the boat and saw more people on the lakeshore, looking in my direction. I shouted at them.

“Hey! Can you send some help over here!? I think something’s wrong with these people!”

No response. In fact, I was fairly certain my voice had not even carried across the water to reach their ears. It’s as if I were screaming in a recording studio and all sound had been absorbed by the environment around me. And I realized, those people on shore weren’t moving either.

That was when I decided to steer my boat toward land. I needed to try and interact with someone, but I wasn’t going to risk climbing aboard a boat that seemed to be frozen in time.

I ran my boat aground and approached the couple staring toward the jumping kids. I waved my hands in front of their faces, but they didn’t budge. I even tried to scare them by suddenly screaming at them, but they didn’t flinch. Was I the only person who could still move?

Then I could have sworn I heard a voice. It was faint, but I’m certain it was a woman who said, “He’s waking up.”

Of course, I thought it was the woman standing in front of me. It had to be, right? Her mouth had not moved, but the voice was so faint and there was no one else nearby, except for the man standing next to her.

“He won’t wake. Not now,” I heard another voice say, this time male.

“Then we need to reset the program.”

Now it was my turn to talk. “Who’s there?!” I shouted at the sky. “What’s going on here! I deserve some answers!”

“Do it. Reset in 10… 9…”

“What?!” I yelled. “Reset what?!”

“3… 2… 1…”

Suddenly my world went dark. There was nothing. The lake was gone. The grass beneath my feet was gone. My feet were gone. I had no body. The world was void.

It was the first day of spring and it was gorgeous outside. No way was I going to let a day this perfect go by without spending a little time on the lake.

2 thoughts on “The First Day of Spring

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