Many thanks to Sandro Kager for coming along to a recent Sunday Writers’ Club session and writing this entertaining story:

The Swimmer

By Sandro Kager

(Writing prompt: Write a summer story with a surreal twist titled “The Swimmer”)

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Photo by Guduru Ajay bhargav from Pexels

Bright sunlight, shimmering green flashes and the enthusiastic calls of the crowd. These are the first 3 things that come in my mind when I remember this one silly August day.

On first hand the idea discussed in the weekly event meeting with the major seemed quite as ridiculous as entertaining. OF course everyone underestimated the effort of setting this whole thing up as well as cleaning up the mess afterwards. But even when I look back on the days of preparation in which we hung up the billboards, ordered the dining tables, food trucks and the necessary “special fluid” I still wonder how easily this idea was accepted by the village headmen. I clearly remember how stressed we were because the final part of the event, the highlight itself – just arrived 20 minutes before we opened the gates to our beloved open-air bath. The first 4 hours vanished very commonly as we all are used to summer fairs. Singing and toasting voices of squiffed people, gossips, the clanking noise of clashing glasses, the sound of folk music which echoed through the whole village and the gold-brown roasted chickens that spinned their turns on the skewer shaped the beginning of the event.

 Finally the major announced the start of the highlight. The swimmers were called to their positions and the people surrounded the pool which was covered with a tarpaulin. The cover was removed and noone could be helped but to stare at the green glance that lied before them, like an ocean of melted smaragds.Since nobody of us was experienced in swimming in this type of consistence, helpers and ladders stood ready. The winner had to be the first who crosses the 25-meters-length 5 times. The major pointed the gun to the sky, shot and we jumped into excitement itself. Despite cool and inviscid water we faced a warm and mildly painful surprise since the surface way more solid. As we plunged into the pool, approximately 2 thirds of our bodies were stucked. The crowd of spectators couldn’t be helped but to laugh at the spectacle that opened in front of it. Although we had sheltered the liquid from the sun with the tarpaulin, the heat still found its way through every single molecule. We all struggled with coming even forwards. Soon we realized that the best way to succeed in this task was not to swim at all, but to dig the masses aside and crawl ahead. By doing so we caused a huge mess as shapeless and slimy chunks flew across the scene.

 In a swimming competition the winner usually is one of the lightest and tightest in terms of body structure. This day Thomas gained the laurels thanks to his massive arms and weight. For days after the event we still mocked him with childish jokes, like winning the contest by eating through the bulk. Putting the effort and the pleasure in contrast this whole thing wasn’t worth it at all. Since this day I’d rather just be satisfied by pouring the Götterspeise into me instead of vice versa.

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