Baptizing James

  • Round: Books: Page 1 Challenge

  • Genre:
    Fiction: Literary, General
  • Submitted: July 12, 2011


Status: Elevated to Round 2

  • Want it elevated: 49%
  • Publishing Pro Rating: Under review.
  • 4%


  • 11%


  • 36%


  • 39%


  • 10%


% want it elevated


Page 1 Challenge


All you need to know is that James loves to swim and he has a tendency to drown.

Page 1

One does not truly understand the full weight of grief until the day your son walks through the front door, water glistening off his hairless chest, and then that horrible day comes flooding back. This boy can't be real. He can't be. You buried him six years ago. But here I sit, as I have every year on August 7th, waiting for just this event. The first year it happened is hard to explain. He walked through the door, blue towel slung haphazardly over his left shoulder, and walked into the kitchen as if he had no idea he was dead. And me? Heh. You'd think I would scream in fear or joy or both. But no. I patted him on the head and started walking up the stairs. I had ascended five and a half steps before it really hit me.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Pardon me if I stray a bit, I'm waiting for him to walk through the door.

 Many believe I am totally mad. Bonkers. Finger twirled around the ear crazy. And to a degree, I suppose it is true. But I watched him drown. Do you know what helplessness feels like? It is crushing. Many of us think we know it, but very few ever really experience it. I challenge anyone to go through a real moment of helplessness and not come out of it just a little touched. But my poor boy, there was nothing I could do.

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