500 Word Short Story
Riptide
Scott A. Gese


500 Word Short Story

Zane Mason hit the beach early. It was his first time in Hawaii and he was anxious to get in some snorkeling. There were some rocks just out from the beach he wanted to explore, hoping to see some colorful fish or maybe even a sea turtle.

It was early and he had the beach to himself. Even the lifeguards hadn't shown up yet. He waded out to the rocks and pulled on his flippers and mask.

Zane was unfamiliar with the area and didn't think to stop to take note of the morning current. Not long after he was in the water, a lifeguard placed a red flag and a warning sign on the beach. A riptide warning was in effect. The lifeguard never saw Zane or the lone snorkel that stuck just a few inches out of the water.

Zane was having a great time exploring when off to his right, a huge sea turtle swam past so close he could almost reach out and touch it. The turtle was heading out to sea and Zane gave chase. The turtle was faster than he was and it soon disappeared. Zane had totally lost his bearings and decided to take a look to see where he was at.

To his surprise, he was a long way from shore. Heading back to the rocks was probably a good idea. He put his head down and began to swim, letting his flippers do most of the work. After a few minuted he stuck his head out of the water to see how close he was.

To his surprise, he couldn't see the beach, just the hills in the background. This made him extremely nervous. He put his head down and kicked even harder. When he looked up again, he realized he had gone nowhere. That's when it hit him. He was caught in a riptide. Now panic was beginning to set in.

No one knew he had went to the beach and no one knew he was in trouble. He started to call for help, but he was too far away from shore for anyone to hear him and he was too small for anyone to see him.

He figured he was at least two hundred yards from shore. Knowing he wouldn't make it if he panicked, he kept a cool head and picked out a landmark way off to his left and started to swim across the current toward his mark.

Zane was a strong swimmer and the flippers kept him from tiring out too quickly. When he did feel tired, he floated on his back to rest. He had managed to swim out of the current but was still a long way from shore.

After forty-five minutes, Zane was tired. He was ready to give up when he spotted a jet ski coming toward him. An alert lifeguard had spotted him from shore. It was a close call and a lesson Zane promised himself he would never to forget.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.