Future Views Magazine
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© Future Views Magazine 2022
Zadkiel Irpe Eudaemony Lethe
a Jig-Word Puzzle(LX) for brilliant minds
TANYA GOES FOR A SWIM
Tanya was an attractive but shy girl who kept herself to herself.
She walked for several miles through the forest until she came to a
special spot secluded from view and, she imagined, known to no one
but herself. It was quite difficult to reach.
The river fell in a waterfall down the rocks into a small but
deep pool; from there it flowed out between a wall of boulders
into a long stretch of still water before dispersing into shallow
rapids with overhanging grassy banks.
The trees stopped about a hundred yards from the water's edge
and the clearing was soft and springy with grass and mosses.
Tanya lay in the warm afternoon sun, she could hear the insects
and birds and the occasional scratching of a rabbit or squirrel.
She had seen a deer on her way up, always a good sign that there
was no one else about.
She sat up and looked around, she listened for the noise of
distant traffic but could not hear any. She looked for an
aeroplane or helicopter but the skies were clear and quiet.
She stood up, she wanted to stop the waterfall in order to hear
better. There was no one else around for miles.
She slipped off her clothes and stood naked in the sunlight.
She threw back her head and shoulders and took in deep lung-fulls
of clear air, the sun beating down on her closed eye-lids.
She felt free, vulnerable and exposed.
In a moment of anxiety she thought she had better put something
on at least but consoled herself that in many parts of the
world everyone wore nothing all the time. 'If it's alright for
them,' she mused, and walked towards the water.
With each step that took her further from the safety and
propriety of her clothes she felt more daring.
She stood at the water's edge and watched her reflection in the
ripples. She could still go back. She held her hands under her
chin with her elbows tucked together as if this would serve as
protection. She prodded the water with her toe. She had slender
legs and smooth, dark skin. The water was cool and pleasant.
Carefully she lowered her foot into the water, it sank into the
soft, fine mud. She could feel it oozing up between her toes and
settling on top of her foot. It was a comfortable, warm feeling.
She looked around once more to make sure she was still safe
before putting her other foot into the water. She began walking
slowly towards the middle of the river. A cool breeze swept over
her making her shiver. The water crept up her calves and her feet
sank deeper into the mud. She looked down to see if there were
any stones or sharp objects but the river bottom looked perfectly
smooth. She could see the clouds of fine silt swirling around her
feet and behind her her footprints traced a path to the shore.
The water crept up past her knees and up her thighs, it was an
Tanya continued wading into the river, the water rose over her
hips and up to her ribs. As the coolness surrounded her chest she
took air in gulps rather than breaths and held her elbows clear of
the surface. She waded forward until the water tickled her
armpits, pushed herself forward and began to swim.
A shoal of fish darted beneath her.
She swam towards the waterfall, the river gushed down between
huge boulders from the upper pool.
She could feel the sun on her back, she rolled over and let her
hair tumble into the river. She closed her eyes and floated face
up, the rays of the sun gently warmed her skin and the water
lapped over her legs and arms.
After several minutes of blissful drifting Tanya rolled over
and swam upstream again. She had floated almost as far as the
She let her face fall into the water and lay perfectly still,
letting the slow-moving river carry her. When she could no longer
hold her breath she looked up and swam furiously towards the
She closed her eyes and did a duck-dive down to the bottom, it
was deeper than she had expected. When she re-surfaced she
spluttered for a moment then tried to touch the bottom with her
toes, it was too deep. She had a moment of anxiety and began
breathing in short, rapid breaths, she had never swam where she
could not touch the bottom before. She started swimming towards
the shore but then consoled herself that she had been swimming
perfectly safely and there was nothing to fear.
Tanya resumed her swim towards the waterfall. She was not sure
whether she would be able to climb the rocks into the deeper pool
nor whether she would have the courage to dive in but it gave her
a direction to swim in.
When she reached the line of stones that stood between the two
levels of the river she swam alongside them until she could walk
on the bottom. She held onto the boulders and picked her way over
the stones that were strewn along the river floor until she came
to a place where she could climb out.
She hauled herself up onto a large boulder and sat in the sun
to dry, looking down at the view spread out beyond the river. Her
clothes were lying untouched where she had left them. There was
no sign of anyone around.
A large wet patch formed on the dry grey stone where she sat.
She drew her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around
them as she began to shiver in the occasional breeze. She was
summoning the courage to dive into the upper pool, the water was
turbulent and she wondered whether there was any danger of being
sucked under by the falling stream. It was not a big waterfall,
it fell quite a long way but it was not very wide. The pool might
not be any deeper than where she had just been swimming.
She looked around and stood up, stretching her arms and baring
herself to the elements once more. She took a deep breath, swung
her hands up above her head, bent her knees and leapt into what
should have been a graceful dive. Her legs kicked a little and
she did a bit of a belly flop but she congratulated herself on
having tried it at all.
She spouted out a mouthful of water and thrashed her arms and
legs in order to keep her head as high out of the water as
possible. She could feel the thundering of the waterfall
vibrating around her and small waves were constantly rushing
past. She was being pulled towards the opening in the rocks and
suddenly worried that she might not have the strength to prevent
herself from being swept over.
She swam as hard as she could towards the foaming water beneath
the waterfall. Her ears were filled with its sound, it was much
louder here than it had been in the lower pool, louder than she
The water began frothing around her, she could feel the
currents swirling around her feet and legs. She had to swim hard
in order to keep her chin out of the water.
She studied the waterfall to see if there was a cave or hollow
behind it, maybe bandits of long ago had hidden their hoards of
treasure and contrabrand there. As far as she could make out it
was plain rock, covered in green slime.
The froth splashed around her and tickled her skin, water
spouted up under her armpits and over her shoulders making her
laugh involuntarily. She felt drawn towards the waterfall and
wanted to stand underneath it but when she tried to touch the
bottom with her toes she noticed it was a long, long way down.
She held her breath and sank vertically as far as she dared but
the pool seemed to be bottomless.
She kicked and swam frantically back up and shot through the
surface gasping for breath. The waterfall was nearly upon her,
she turned and swam away as quickly as possible.
In moments she was being pulled towards the opening in the
rocks, she started to swim for the side but then changed her mind;
she held out her hands and allowed herself to be swept towards the
widest opening, the water carrying her ever faster. She took a
deep breath and next thing she had hurtled through the gap and
plunged into the calm pool below. It was a drop of less than two
Tanya had made a discovery, she had found a place that was
better than any swimming pool she had ever been in.
Her heart was pounding.
She swam down the river until it was too shallow to swim
comfortably, turned and swam back towards the waterfall. She
rolled onto her back and swam the back-stroke, she rolled over and
dived down until she was skimming along the muddy bottom. She
dared to open her eyes under water and glimpsed flashes of silver
as fish darted past, curious, no doubt, about this unusual mamal
visiting their domain.
She broke the surface and gasped for air, then looked around to
make sure she was still really quite alone. She spent several
moments bobbing in the water. She had only been there for half an
hour or an hour at the most, there was no reason why she should be
She ducked down and held herself below the surface by pushing
up with her hands, imagining what the scene would look like to
anyone appearing now: her pile of clothes, the deserted river.
She stayed down for as long as she could then pulled herself
vigorously to the surface, once again popping up with her head and
shoulders clear of the water.
She was beginning to feel cold, she noticed she was shivering
and had been for several minutes. A lecture on hypothermia came
to mind where it had been described how one ceases to notice the
cold. Tanya was definitely not at that stage yet.
She swam towards the bank and, as she drew close to the mud-
bank beach, she lay still with her hands held out and floated
forward until she sank into the mud. She pretended to be a
crocodile and crawled forward on her belly, the soft black mud
sticking to her all down her front. She liked the feeling and
decided to roll around until her body was completely covered, she
pushed herself into the mud and started smearing it around her
neck and shoulders, she even rubbed mud onto her face. She
laughed to herself and hoped no one would see her like this, he
would think she was crazy; she didn't know why she was doing it,
it just seemed like a good idea and sort of, well, it felt good.
She lay on her stomach in less than an inch of water, she
rolled onto her back. The water had washed off the mud in some
places, she sat up and began smearing thick dollops of mud onto
the bare patches.
She stood up and walked towards her clothes, dripping mud leaving
a trail behind her.
She sat by her clothes, her elbows hanging loosely around her
knees. She was naked and yet clothed in mud, she could feel it
drying already. The sun was beating down, she stopped shivering.
She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her.
Several minutes later she opened her eyes and sat very still;
she looked at the river, it was just as it had been before. She
glanced from side to side without moving her head, everything was
as it had been. She listened acutely for sounds of feet breaking
branches or voices, she thought she had dosed off and was afraid
she might have been woken by someone approaching. She slowly
turned her head and looked around. There was no one in sight, she
could scarcely believe her good fortune. She felt that with each
passing minute the risk of discovery increased. She imagined what
people might say if word got around - it was no big deal really,
but she could come in for a lot of teasing at school. The sense
of danger increased her excitement.
She stood up and felt the mud cracking, she stretched and
chunks of dried mud dropped off. In her mind she shouted, 'come
on then, come and stare at me if you want! See if I care!' She
grinned, she was happy.
She jumped in the air and kicked out with her legs, then she
did it again. She jumped up and down flailing her arms and legs a
few times and stood panting. She leaned forward with her hands on
'What if the whole class came here and we were all naked
together?' she thought. She burst into a laugh at the thought of
it, she was luckier than some. Then she went a bit red, it would
be frought with its own problems.
Once again she looked around, she was beginning to feel like an
animal, constantly on the alert for danger.
She ran across the springy grass towards the waterfall. The
mud was making her back feel itchy. It held her in a scratchy
embrace all over, in some places it was pleasant, in others it was
Tanya picked her way along a narrow path that took her to a
ledge beside the waterfall, trying to avoid the tiny stones that
stabbed her feet. She edged her way along until she was a few
yards from the tumbling water, looked down and felt like changing
her mind. Her stomach knotted, the water seemed a long way away.
Her heart was pounding, she had never dived off a board before let
alone off the rocks but she could not allow herself to turn back.
She relaxed and stood erect, shaded her eyes with her hand and
looked down the river, she could see the mountains through the
haze in the distance. What if there were someone with a telescope
who had been watching her all the time? She decided it was not
Turning her attention back to the water she took a deep breath,
bent her knees and did a magnificent dive down into the bubbling
pool. The rush of the water, the sudden change in sound, the
coldness and wetness took her by surprise, she felt as if she had
just been woken. She wanted to gulp down a lungful of air but
there was water all around her. She swam deeper, her stomach
heaving as she strained for breath, she swam under the water until
she could not hold her breath for moment longer then fought her
way to the surface.
She exhaled loudly. All the mud had gone.
She held her head above the water by kicking furiously with her
feet and saw the stain of mud as it drifted below her.
She turned in time to see that she was about to be swept
through to the lower pool and only just prepared herself by
holding her breath and stretching out her hands. She shot between
the rocks and was momentarily submerged.
The river felt different second time around. This was to be
her last dip before drying in the sun and making her way home.
Tanya swam languidly to the shore, drifting into the bank and
allowing herself to be carried downstream until she became caught
under a grassy overhang. She pulled her way back upstream to the
beach of silt and left the river.
She walked towards her clothes shaking the water from her
hair. Tanya was enjoying herself in a way she had never enjoyed
herself before but it somehow seemed unfair that she should be
alone; and yet, if she were with company it would not be the same.
Her clothes were exactly as she had left them; it felt odd, as
if she had unconsciously been expecting her mother or someone to
have tidied them up for her.
Tanya wondered what she should do, she was still dripping wet.
She shielded her eyes with her hand and gazed at the edge of the
wood, she was looking for a hunter's hide. She saw a deer
watching her from the shadows.
The sound of birds flying made her look up, a flock of geese
flew cackling overhead towards the lake several miles upstream.
She was nearly dry.
Tanya ran fifty paces towards the waterfall then turned and ran
another fifty paces past her clothes. By the time she reached her
clothes again she was slightly out of breath and completely dry.
She was about to start dressing when she changed her mind; the
air was warm, the sun was shining and she had all the time in the
Tanya lay down on the comfortable moss and grass, put her hands
behind her head and closed her eyes. It was a blissful, quiet
In a few moments she was asleep.
The sun crossed the sky and began to descend behind the hills.
A breeze wafted over the grass from the river.
The birds were singing their evening songs, insects buzzed.
She could hear the waterfall.
She had a moment of disorientation, she looked anxiously for
her clothes. They lay as she had left them.
Her arms were stiff.
She shivered slightly.
She could smell the grass, the earth and the trees.
She lay quite still for several minutes; the sun had
disappeared from view but the sky was still very bright.
She got up, put on her clothes and went back the way she had
Future Views Magazine
FREEPOST @ futureviews co
© Future Views Magazine 2022