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The Whirlpool

Asher Lytton

Fear is cold water.

We see the water rippling and flowing. We are mesmerized by it. We walk slowly to the edge of the water. And we reach out. Then we feel the frigid chill spread up our arm. We feel the shock of the cold. Our hand turns numb. We try to pull back but our hand doesn’t want to move. The water freezes and splashes. It swirls. It pulls us in. We struggle to stay afloat.

The initial shock is replaced by panic. We stop worrying about getting to the shore. We are consumed by the fear of drowning. The fear of immersion. We stare into the depths of fear, and it scares us.

The whirlpool begins to subside. We paddle exhausted to the bank and drag our dripping body out of the water. We collapse beside the pool and shiver. And we stare back at the water. And wonder how that calm water could ever pull us in. We stagger to our feet and march, still shaking, away from the edge.

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