Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fall: A Six Sentence Story



He attended college that fall in an area with a rich history of limestone mining, quarries, old and new, dotting the landscape. The abandoned quarries eventually filled with water and became recreational areas for local families and college students, where they swam and scuba dived, and brave (or foolish) ones, usually college boys, would even dive off the high sides into the deep, deep water. He never joined his friends at the quarries, as a childhood accident left him terrified of water, but it never bothered him that he could not, or would not, swim.

College students being what they were, they were drawn to the quarries at night, where under the moon and the stars, they would gather in the parking lots to drink beer to the sounds of Tommy James and the Shondells and the Turtles and Sam & Dave drifting from someone's car radio, and after much begging from friends, he finally joined them there one crisp night, putting off studies in favor of beer and laughter and maybe a chance to sway to the music with a pretty young thing. Eventually, nature called, and he excused himself for a moment and stepped into the darkness to relieve himself, but when he hadn't returned after several minutes, his friends began to call for him, casually at first, then more and more frantically, turning on car headlights and digging flashlights out of glove boxes, his name echoing over the rocky walls of the quarry.

His body was found by divers the next day, floating in the cold water of the quarry, and an autopsy revealed that there was no water in his lungs; he died of fright, his heart stopping before he ever hit the water.


Linking up with Ivy at Uncharted for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "fall."

26 comments:

  1. Please tell me this is fiction!

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  2. oh my gosh...totally caught me off guard! not true! not true! is it?
    Thanks for coming to the six sentence party! Wow! this was really good!

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    1. My 6th grade teacher told us this story from when she was in college. She wasn't there when it happened, and she just told us the basic facts, but I've never forgotten it to this day (obviously).

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  3. How sad! And how poignantly you tell it!

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  4. Ewww! But wonderful how stories get passed on through the years. Nice reference to music of the times. Is it really possible to die of fright?

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    1. Beats me. I remember the teacher telling us the story, and her point was that he died before he hit the water. I've never thought to Google it and see if it's even true.

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  5. This is like a scene from a movie...

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    1. Thank you, Romi! What a wonderful compliment!

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  6. What a sad story. By telling that story to impressionable 6th graders, I imagine your teacher certainly got her point across. It would be interesting to know how many other students remember her telling that story and how they felt at the time and later on when they were faced with a dares.

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    1. I'm still in touch with several friends from elementary school. I need to ask if any of them remember that story.

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  7. Wow. Terrifying, isn't it, how quickly these things happen. Sad if there's even an iota of fact in this.

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  8. Holy crap! No wonder that story stayed with you years later!!

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  9. …what is it with teachers (of Grades 1- 6) and their cautionary tales!?! (Disclaimer: I have never been a Teacher, but I have been a pupil.) The problem with adults ( as people in general and as Teachers specifically) is that they forget what it was to be young, which, I will maintain is nothing like they would think, because they've forgotten that they don't remember.
    good post though

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    1. I don't remember why she told us the story. There must have been some context that led her to tell it. I sure remembered it!

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  10. Ohhhh that sucks. It made me think of the lead-in stories in Smallville, where an underdog type is persuaded into a situation which is dangerous to them, and then it gets them but somehow empowers them in a bad way. If this story had happened in Smallville, I suspect he would have come back alive with the ability to drown people on dry land.

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    1. My brother lives in that town, and when we go visit and I see signs for things like Rock Quarry Road, I think of this story.

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  11. Oh dear, what a terrible story--and with a backdrop of such nice summer music!

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  12. No one would ever forget a night like that. Interesting that he didn't cry out. Scary story and more so since it is based on something that actually happened.

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    1. I really do need to find out exactly when, and if, that happened. I guess it could be an urban legend.

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  13. So many questions! This is really haunting.

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