The world was cold and dark, and Steven screamed silently as he sank into the icy darkness. His hands clawed desperately through the water, slowly pulling himself upward as his lungs began to burn. Finally his head broke the surface, spluttering and choking as he drew in great ragged breaths of the freezing air. The cold cut into him like a knife but he didn’t care: he was alive, and not drowning. He treaded water desperately as he looked around, searching for any sign of the kayak, or at least the shore somewhere close. No luck there, but he spied a boulder half-submerged around ten metres to his left and began to swim towards it, willing his freezing limbs to make the final effort. The current didn’t help either: it kept dragging him downstream to the left, and it took all of Steven’s strength to maintain a roughly straight course towards the rock. Finally he reached it, and his numbed fingers scrabbled desperately on the slick surface, searching for any crack or lump he could possibly use. His probing fingers found a small crack, and with the last of his strength Steven pulled himself up onto the rock, icy water cascading off of his soaked clothing in miniature waterfalls. Drawing his knees to his chest Steven huddled in a small bundle and took in his surroundings: thick banks of pine trees all along the shore, with a turbulent, angry river surging all around him. No sign of Jess or Will, or of the bright yellow kayak. Shivering again, Steven curled up even tighter, trying to conserve what little body heat he had. He knew he was going to die of hypothermia if he didn’t find shelter soon, but it was so cold. He didn’t want to swim again, not any more.
It was so very cold.
Hamish Tso 11L