She reached over the gate, feeling for the metal latch, and wrapped her fingers solidly around it before lifting it silently from its resting place.  The gate swung open as if inviting her inside, revealing the cement path that wound itself gently down the slope, glowing white in the moonlight and guiding her way.  The sweet smell of honeysuckle hung thick in the night air, exotic and intoxicating, drawing moths from far and away that fluttered across her path as she made her way down to the pool.

Was anyone home?  She couldn’t be sure.  But then again, that was part of it…permission would spoil the thrill.  Amelia slipped off her shoes and dipped her toe into the water.  Ripples expanded across the glassy surface.  She undressed quickly, leaving her clothes in a heap beside the pool, and slipped silently into the deep end.  Her fingers traced a path along the side wall as she descended, her feet finally touching bottom and gently springing her back toward the surface.  The water, still warm from the afternoon’s sun, enveloped her – familiar and primal.  Slowly, she leaned back and drew her legs toward the surface, her naked body floating in the moonlight.  With each slow breath her nipples crested the water, chilled by the night air then warmed again as they slipped back beneath the surface.  Ears below, even the sound of her own thoughts were muffled and she was grounded in the moment.  Amelia cast her gaze at the milky expanse of stars above her and felt at once extremely present and incredibly far away.  Floating was bliss.

In that moment she had no thoughts about the direction of her life.  No concerns for where she was going…or not going.  No worries about him.  In that moment she was not lost or confused or sad or angry or scared…she just was.   Amelia basked in the vastness of the night sky, understanding she was small and finding peace in the perspective that provided.

A light flicked on in an upstairs window.  Amelia slipped beneath the surface and made her way to the side of the pool, pressing her body into the shadows when she came up for air.  Adrenaline coursed through her, no time to think about what she would do if she was discovered.  She’d been careful, or was it just lucky?  Either way, she’d been coming to this place for a while now and the idea of losing it was not something she wanted to think about.  She glanced at the clothes she’d shed at the edge of the pool and made a mental note to stash them behind the potted palm next time…if there was a next time.

The light flicked off and Amelia let go the breath she’d been holding.  A few minutes more and she pulled herself slowly up and out of the water, silently leaving her bliss behind.

Her clothes stuck to her as she wrestled them back onto her wet body.  He waited until she was fully dressed, then proffered a “Shhh” just loud enough to get her attention yet quiet enough not to startle her (he hoped).  A finger pressed against his lips, he repeated the sound and stepped from the shadows of the patio.  Amelia was not a skittish girl and she swallowed her surprise, presenting an air of confidence once must carry to get away with behavior that skirts the norm.

“I’m Adam,” he said.  “And you are…”

“Leaving.  Thank you for a lovely swim.”  Amelia turned and made her way up the winding path and through the gate, trying to ignore the feeling that something significant had just happened and wondering all the while just how Adam would figure in.

© Kelly Rainey and 500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2016. 

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13 thoughts on “Floating

  1. The first paragraph is gorgeous and the sensory details of floating are great – the honeysuckle and moths and the temperature made me think Southern Gothic. The use of the word “grounded” felt a little out of place, though, given that she’s floating and enjoying feeling disconnected. Kind of along the lines of what Nate said, you do a really good job of conveying her tension and connection to that pool without needing to state it.


    1. Good point…it didn’t occur to me before, the contradiction of “grounded” with “floating”. At first I wasn’t sure I agreed with your description of her as disconnected…even though now I do see that’s exactly what she was. My mind was just on how firmly she was planted in the sensory here and now…the same reason why grounded felt right to me at first. But standing back, I completely agree with you and I appreciate you taking the time to share the constructive criticism. Thank you.


  2. I also liked, “leaving her bliss behind”. Really conveyed what it’s like to be alone, yet engaged with the physical world, like a satisfying melding between inner and outer existence.


  3. You have enough of a plot, I think, with the conflict of being caught. I like the elements of creepy/polite you gave Adam- standing in the shadows watching her, but waiting until she was dressed to say anything. He could go either way as a character at this point. There are a few times when your explanations stuck out to me, probably because your descriptions otherwise are so solid. For instance, “that was part of it…permission would spoil the thrill.” could be cut down to “that was part of the thrill” and convey the same information. Nice job!


    1. Captivated…now that’s an accomplishment! Thanks for the enthusiastic feedback! I really enjoyed writing this piece…I’ll admit there’s not much plot there…its just getting itself started…but it was a pleasure to write.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I enjoy writing with lots of descriptive detail…its like painting with words and it brings me such pleasure. And of course its even better when I hear from readers who enjoy it too!


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