Cool Water #freewrite #carrotranch

This is the third free write prompt from the Carrot Ranch TUFF competition, here. This is now closed

‘It’s neither.’

Brian wrinkled his nose. ‘That’s daft.’

She didn’t try and hide the sigh in her voice. ‘It’s just what the bumph says. Neither hot water – which means trouble, nor cold – which means depressing. This is just, you know, perfect.’

‘I still don’t see how.’

‘Try it. You’ll see.’ Prettie reached out a hand to the reluctant teen, whose arms were folded hard across his scarred chest.

‘Sure it won’t hurt?’

‘Come on.’ She indicated her legs. ‘See, I’m fine.’ She held his terrified gaze, imploring him to believe her. Though why would he? He’d been let down so often by so many others, all well-meaning. Why believe the hype?

No one could explain it, after all. It wasn’t some unique combination of salts that eased everyone’s pains. The Earth’s crust wasn’t especially thin here, no weird magnetic field, no unexplained seepage of a previously undiscovered radiation. But everyone – even those at the most sceptical end of the spectrum – admitted the lake did something. It eased them, soothed all pain, let them breathe.

‘You know what water does to me, Prettie.’

She did. She’d heard the screams, knew what the medics said about his ultra-fine dermis. ‘It won’t. This is special. Everyone says so.’

‘But they don’t have this.’ Once again he waved at his tortured flesh.

‘You’re not unique and this is just right.’

‘Yeah like Goldilocks made it, yeah?’

The terrified boy, with the damaged body and crippled mind stepped uneasily forward, tensing. Prettie held her breath, so proud of him.

As promised the waters lapped his calves, he felt easier, relaxing with each cautious shuffle forward.

‘I told you. These waters are special.’

Brian looked up, a grin splitting his face, something Prettie thought she would never again see.

‘This is so cool.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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12 Responses to Cool Water #freewrite #carrotranch

  1. Trust and faith. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great final double entendre

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    Special water! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The perfect short story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    This is beautiful, special, I really liked it.💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Norah says:

    What a lovely story, Geoff. Is it really 297 words? I wanted more. This brings out a more tender side of you that we don’t always see.

    Liked by 1 person

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