Until Dawn

Chapter 1


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The ghostly pale light gloated from the ceiling and colored my skin a pale bluish-white. It had always done that at the Old Harbour swimming pool. On its rubber orchid white floor, I stood barefoot, anticipating the temperature of the chlorinated water. Would it be too cold this evening or just right? Practice consisted of simple dives and lengths of the pool, but that always made me hungry.

Since dinner, I hadn't been all that hot. The fight with dad took everything out of me. I hated fighting with him. Why did he get so, you know... Assholeish? I just wanted to be able to do my own thing: in my own time. He was always on my case. I never got a break, not since… Well, not since mom died. If mom were there, she'd have given him hell for running over me like a steamroller. I don't think it was his intention. I wouldn't even assume that he realized what he was actually doing. He just did it without really thinking. He couldn't let me do anything on my own. It was always his way or no way.

The grass had to be cut a particular way; the ornaments to be dusted perfectly. There was no trick; you just had to take everything off the shelf. One week he had gotten mad at me for not doing it like he showed me. He hated being able to see the dust outline—what a load of crap! I mean, the situation he was on about; was it necessary for him to lose the head with me? Probably not. Then again, I didn't really listen all that well, did I?

Clenching onto the hem of my T-shirt, I pulled it up over my head. The refreshing cold nip in the air kissed my delicate naked torso. I don't know why, but it always excited me. It felt free, as opposed to wearing clothes all the time. Not that I didn't like wearing them, clothes are usually a necessity. However, just the actual physical act of ditching them is satisfying. I guess, in a way, that's why I took up swimming. It was freeing. There was just something about the water; no matter how hard you paddle, nor lay on your back in it, it's soothing.

I had never been interested in such a position beforehand; that was until mom died. Football and other sports in general, didn't interest me. I wasn't doing all that well; dad took me to see a psychiatrist. Later on, and $1200 poorer: we concluded that I should take up a hobby. He barked on how it was my fault that I had set him back $1200. Though I promise he's not that sort of bad father, not anymore. He was just preoccupied at the time. We don't really talk anymore. He was just dad, a hollow, empty shell of a man who sat and stared out the window for most of the day.

I guess I was lucky that I had an escape and friends to chill with. I don't know what I'd have done without them. At the time, I had only been on the swim team for three months, yet, I felt like I belonged. When I came home, it was always quiet and empty.

Dad wasn't violent or anything. To me, he seemed lost or broken like a toy that a child throws across the room, and it discharges into pieces. I missed having a level of conversation with him. I wondered if he’d ever get over mom. Not that I didn't miss her, it's just... dad had never been the same without her. Never mind, I was late for practice as it was.

Pinching my T-shirt by the cuff of the neck, I folded it carefully. Aligning both arms back to back, I pressed them snugly into the fabric, and folded over the article's remnants into a ball of sorts before placing it inside the top of my gym bag. Mom always told me not to roll it into a ball. It creased it. I guess that part was correct. I rolled it into a ball the first couple of times I started swimming. Just to save time. Though, I eventually reverted back to my mom's way of doing things. I worked hard to try and make the team. It first started out as a hobby, just to pass the time and hopefully take my mind off what had happened.

Before I could even realize what was going on, I had made four new friends, and I became the team's best diver. That day, I was late because of the fight with dad.

The first time I started out, I wasn't sure I was cut out for the attire swimmers have to wear. You could say I was conscious of what I might look like. I mean, anytime I had gone swimming prior, I wore board shorts. So, a speedo was a big step up. I remember the first day fondly; I kept rearranging my bits, unsure if this was actually meant for me, the swimming, I mean. Now, I'm not so bad. It's true what they say: you just grow accustomed to something the longer you do it. I think my love for freedom and the water amplified my confidence. Once repression of self-doubt and angst, it floated away like me in the water.

Tearing the zipper across on the top of my bag, I picked up my shoes with my scrunched socks nestled loosely atop. Mindlessly, I cracked open a locker, fired the sneakers into the bottom of the box, and the stocking from my right shoe fell to the floor. 'Great…' Now it was going to be wet.

They were my only socks.

Releasing a fuelled huff… I flung the sock into the locker, followed by my bag. I put a token into the slot and then sealed the hatch, securely locking it.

The anticipation of what would transpire the moment I got out to the pool blitzed through my brain. I hated being late. Anxiously I ran the length of the apartment blocks' worth of locker storage with the key for my locker in hand, darted left at the end of the channel, and headed for the pool. I could smell it now, the bleached aroma lingering in the air like a cloud of smog, or an eggy fart.



Thanks for reading, comments are welcome and I reply to all. I hope this has been a interesting start to our run-up to halloween, my favourite time of year. 

I have written many LGBTQ+ books ranging from romance, adventure to horror. Visit my website to browse my full bibliography. You can also sign up for my mailing list to ensure you don't miss any fun future updates. 

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