Monday, May 23, 2011


"Staci's it!" they yell.
Quickly, I push my legs against the wall and glide away from the small crowd of kids. In my summer uniform: speedo swimsuit, hair in ponytail, I try to adjust my goggles underwater.
Not a good idea.
I come to the surface in the middle of the pool, random bodies swim around me.
I spy her to my left looking for prey.
"Crap" I think, "she just might catch me", as I dart behind an elderly lady in a flowered swim cap.
My heart starts beating faster.
I peek around the lady and watch as she dives to her right, going away from me.
I'm safe.
My goggles are securely covering my eyes now, as I weave through the crowd of bodies bobbing along.
I am desperate.
I have to find a ladder.
As I dive under the water again, pushing from the cement bottom, I kick my feet with all my might. I rise a few yards away from where I started.
I spy my sister in the shallow water. She's clinging to the ladder, yelling for me to swim over.
"You can make it!" she pleads, "Staci's on the other side of the pool!".
I analyze my path. A few waders and moms with infants stand in my way of safety.
I can do this, I think and decide to swim over. Just as I go to push off, another kid grabs the ladder.
The base is full.
Staying still too long is not wise. I swim around for a moment. I'm in the center of the pool again. The water is just deep enough that I have to tread. My legs move around in circles as I skim the water for options.
I turn my head to the deeper end, 20 yards away. There stands an empty ladder.
Can I make it?
"Where's Staci?" I whisper.
The pool is my battleground.
Instead of bombs being launched, I deal with cannonballs. Causalities are few, however injuries aplenty from the jab of a rogue elbow or a foot kicking as they swim away.
It's a dangerous endeavor, swimming from my location to deeper water, but what other option do I have?
"Where's Staci?" I whisper again to myself.
I feel my heart beating quickly again, as I see her. She's immediately to my right glancing around the pool looking for us.
Our eyes meet for a second.
I have no choice now.
I must make it to that ladder.
Breath is not an option, as I kick my feet and move my arms under the water with all my might.
Can I get there before she does?
She is fast so it will be close.
I kick and kick. The silver ladder is in my grasp.
I reach out my hand.
I'm so close that I can almost feel the metal.
One more hard kick and stroke, I can get there.
I feel the pull on my ankle.
She got me.
"Jackie's it!" she yells.

This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young.
Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble?
Write a piece that explores one of your memories.
Let's have a 600 word limit.


  1. Very exciting! I was hoping against hope you'd make it to the ladder.

  2. I love your take on this. I could almost smell the chlorine. And I definitely felt the tension rise toward the end.

    What a fun game!

  3. Tag in the pool? Awesome! I liked the tension buildup.

  4. Echoing what the others said, you did a great job of describing the mounting tension.

  5. Oh gosh I remember pool games. So fun! Great description in this post. Nice serving of the prompt!

  6. Well done, for a moment I felt like a kid again!

  7. How perfect. I love the tension throughout. You pull the reader right in.

    And isn't it all so intense, our play as children?

  8. I wanted to swim for you to help you get up that ladder! Great game of tag in the pool.

  9. Swimming pools and swim suits are such great memories. Hoping to have a pool in our next house. Love your attention to detail.

  10. Love this story... reminds me of all those days spent at the pool as a child.


Let me know what you think.