Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Write ... Edit ... Publish ... Bloghop: In Too Deep ...



It is time once again for the Write ... Edit ... Publish - February Bloghop:  In too Deep ....



 They had talked about this hike for weeks ... now the day was here - was she ready?  She had no choice she'd committed herself.


The chitter-chatter with friends standing in the Wynberg, Cape Town drive-way making those early plans, she listened intently, worryingly at times, but asked one final question - after the others had left - that jump or dive into the canyon, as the river plunged down ... how far would that be?


She didn't much like swimming, even less jumping into water ... the answer didn't allay her worries ... 'about from the top of that tree - a huge ancient oak' - her heart sank ... that was some height - it can't be true can it ... now was the time to find out, the day had arrived.

Pick up at 6.00 am ... a light back-pack with lunch and drinks ready  ... and off they set.  There would be 25 or so ... a few cars all met up at the designated parking area in the Hottentot Hollands Mountains.


They drove up into Elgin, the apple centre of South Africa, a lush, verdant part of the Cape, surrounded by mountains. 



The beautiful sunny South African day ... clear sunshine, beautiful views, warm but not hot - ideal for walking - it augured well.  They all gathered, introduced themselves and set off ...


Across the low veld up into the higher reaches of the Nature Reserve ... she looked around her, at the new vistas and landscapes, the different grasses and bright wild-flowers ... just loving the feel of the area.



Out onto the plateau above ... where the babbling stream was gently easing its way across its rocky base ... peaceful quietude reigned, soaring birds of prey were pointed out ... the sun beat down, a cooling wind blew ... a lovely place for a picnic stop.



She could see just landscape with the gently sprawling river bed tingling its way along its own path ... nothing to interrupt the view.


 Lunch was over, back-packs on, to now potter down the stream-side ... the lower they went, the darker it was becoming ... suddenly the stream 'fell over' a small mossy, slimy waterfall ... about twelve feet - not far ... yet she realised there was no way back.



Onwards with more small gashes as the river had started to cut back ... the trees, that had only been apparent as a dark patch in the distance as she'd look out across the landscape, came ever closer.


 Down they clambered, chatting away ... she went along listening to the babble of water, as too the voices ... down and down into a cavern of trees - the river pushing forward, faster and faster as it tumbled along.


Suddenly all was distinctly darker ... the sun shone way above - it was colder ... there was an enormous black space ahead ... the trees continued on, yet the river disappeared ...



Everyone gathered, some just jumped, she watched as others chucked their back-packs over ... the group got smaller as people disappeared ... 



 Now she was worried - this was really the situation she'd been dreading ... she edged closer - but no ways was she going to jump - yet what choice did she have ...


She did see people swimming away along the long length of the canyon ... others treading water below, having made the jump - a few like her, were standing very dubiously on the edge - plucking up courage.


One after the other they leapt off ... she watched them, and saw them come up ... yet she had to jump - or be pushed ... could she summon up courage ... because that's what it would take.


Not to be recommended ... ours was straight down:
this pool, I gather c/o Philalephia Magazine,
is exceedingly dangerous and they were recording
serious incidents in the area known as Devil's Pool
c/o Philadelphia Magazine
Horrors of jumping ... and it was 'miles down' ... she was really worried - fear abounded, her heart pumped ...


People were patient - eventually, eventually after talking and worrying, she did go or that push would have happened ...



She'd been told to keep her legs together, she plunged ... splodge, splish, splash, the chilly water encased her ... down and down she went - her lungs weren't used to this ... she was still with it - she remembered they'd said she'd come up ... but this was too much ... down and down ... chest pains ... down and down ...hurting, bursting ... in too deep ...?


For other entries see below ... and please join us!

WEP entry via Denise Covey and co-hosts: Yolanda, Nila and Olga ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

67 comments:

Denise Covey said...

OMG, Hilary, I was on every step of this trek with you. I loved the exotic landscape (never been to Africa) and the challenge of the jump. I felt the fear, the trepidation. Uh oh, now we have her possibly having a heart attack. She was indeed In Too Deep.
Well done with your flash fiction! Like me, you took the literal route.

Thanks for joining the challenge!

Denise

Truedessa said...

Hilary, a wonderful story and photos. Good luck with the prompt. Sometimes, one just has to take the plunge.

Yolanda Renée said...

I could see myself there, false bravado at first, worry and fear taking over, and then just do it. But not enough oxygen... was not expecting that at all. Greatest fear!

Loved the descriptions and the pictures. What a lovely hike, but that jump -- no thank you!

Great entry. Thank you!

Melissa Sugar said...

Amazing piece of flash fiction, Hilary. What an excellent job of really placing the reader right there with you on the entire journey up the mountain to the plateau, lingering over the edge. I could feel her heart throbbing inside her chest, the actual thump... thump . Thumping. The foreboading that accompanied each thump. Could she — would she take that final ultimate plunge into the beautiful water in the canyon? Would she chicken out? Get pushed ? I’ve been in that situation before? It’s scary as hell. Your photos really added to the story. They are gorgeous. Your story was so vivid and real, it came alive on the page. I truly felt like I was there. I could see it, hear it, smell the scene , taste it and definitely feel it. You did an amazing job. You nailed this story. I loved it. Hope you’re doing well. Haven’t talked to you lately . Hope to soon.
Melissa @
Sugar Crime Scene

desk49 said...

Down to the deph of hell she sunk
no one is safe from fath.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Denise - oh thank you so much ... I'm glad I 'took you into Africa a tiny bit' ... the countryside is so like this ... but that fear of the jump ... and then what next. Just so glad it became somewhat real to you ...

@ Truedessa - yes this was one of those times ... what to write - yet go with one's thoughts ... i.e. take the plunge ...

@ Yolanda - it must have been very frightening ... how long it would take to turn and be propelled up ... if ever, alive

A good hike I guess ... yet the future was known = a jump ...

@ Melissa - gosh so good to see you again ... I miss the interaction from my twin (x number of years my junior!) ...

There was no choice ... jump or be pushed - being pushed she wouldn't be ready ... yet jumping she had some chance - to survive the outcome or not ... down down she went ..

Yes I'm here - now in Canada ... surprisingly ... but taking it all in ... that situation in South Africa feels surreal ... so I'm delighted to read you felt you were along the path with the group and me ... frightening to say the least ...

@ Desk 49 - thank you for coming by ... we are not safe if we jump ... into those depths ...

Thanks everyone - so glad you were able to relate to this story line ... and it came to life as such ... cheers Hilary

D.G. Hudson said...

I would have been dubious too, Hilary, I'm fond of looking at water, not so much jumping in deep water. . .I know that feeling since I'm not a good swimmer. Liked this story, and the way you gradually built the tension. Hope all is well with you and you're getting used to the Pacific Northwest.

Bob Scotney said...

Rather you than me - I'm too old now to try something like that. Great piece of writing, the tension carried you along with it - all the way to the water.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Cripes! I don't know about being too old now to try something like that; I wouldn't do it at any age. Call me a coward if you like. "You're a coward". Thank you.

Good bit of writing, Hilary!

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. A wonderful story, beautiful photos of our stunning Cape landscapes. Well done! I wouldn't have jumped, heights and deep water - not for me. It is very hot and dry here in Durban. We are not having our summer thunderstorms. Hope everything fine with you.

Adura Ojo said...

I was with her all the way until the unsettling end. Hopefully, she made it?
Well penned, Hilary. Loved the pics too.

Jo said...

Amazing what fear can do. You really conveyed it well Hilary. You'll be writing novels next.

Joanne said...

quite the story, all sunshine blue skies and then foreboding, a darker deeper well of fear. I held my breath too.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Great writing, Hillary. Each exciting sentence brought us closer to the inevitable. Jump or be pushed. Life is like that.

Out on the prairie said...

Once you do the jump it became easier. It made me think of a long hike in the desert where we ended at an oasis cutting through the mountains. Living in a world covered in ice today.

Jacqui Murray said...

Good story, Hilary! I felt all along that she'd find it was doable, fun, not so bad. And then the ending. Excellent!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ DG - good to see you ... yes I prefer watching water bubble its way along ... but jumping in - not for me. So glad you can feel the tension. Life here is much the same ... but I love being over here.

@ Bob - yes it wasn't the best day because of the jump. Delighted the writing carried you along with the story ...

@ Mike - well at that point there was no choice ... certainly couldn't go back. Not a coward ... just not a 'happy bunny' ... Thanks for the thumbs ups!

@ Kim - so glad the photos matched to the Cape landscape. I wouldn't have jumped either, sometimes there's no choice. So it's also hot and dry in Durban ... I hope the storms come and you don't suffer the same fate as Cape Town ...

@ Adura - thanks so much ... it's a will she or won't she come back up again.

@ Jo - so pleased you could feel the anxiety of the trip etc ... I don't think I'm in the market for writing books ...

@ Joanne - yes the scenery in the Cape can be like that ... just beautiful, but the gorge is never far away ...

@ Arleen - life is like this isn't it ... but preferably without the fear element ...

@ Steve - the jump had to happen ... but then the long swim was ahead. Where was your desert hike ... that it's now covered in ice?

@ Jacqui - I'm not sure it was doable, there was no choice ... and fun - not so sure either ... but I'm delighted you came along with the story to its depths of sinking ...

Thanks so much to you all - cheers for now - from a still freezing Vancouver Island ... Hilary

Pat Garcia said...

It was like a dare. Within her, she really didn't want to jump, but she did against her own conscience she persuaded herself to jump. I ask myself, how many people put themselves in danger because of the what others do or say. I sincerely hope she lived.
A chilling story.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Sandra Cox said...

Wow, Hilary. Talk about a cliffhanger. I trust she survives.

Liz A. said...

They'd push her in? Those aren't friends.

Anabel Marsh said...

My heart is still thumping … Still, it would never happen to me because i’d be too scared to go in the first place!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Pat - it could have been a dare couldn't it ... but once there on the edge she couldn't turn back. A group of friends having a day out - it seemed safe ... but that jump beggars belief.

@ Sandra - we shall see ... the cliff hanger it wasn't - she was over the edge and ... in too deep?

@ Liz ... there was no choice - she had to go ... but at least she could control her legs if she went of her own accord ...

@ Anabel - if you didn't know til you got there ... that would have been that ...

Thanks everyone - it's so lovely reading your comments and thoughts on 'the jump' ... cheers Hilary

Rhodesia said...

Brilliant and of course the South African back ground made it even more interesting to me. Hope all is well over there. Take care Diane

Deborah Drucker said...

I think I have had bad dreams about falling off a high cliff into deep water, feeling the fear that the water may not be deep enough, and then waiting what seems like forever to surface. And it is hard to back out even from dangerous activities with all the group pressure. You depicted it well.

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake said...

Great story and photos.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Talk about amazing

Olga Godim said...

Oh, no! Great suspense, but how did it end? I would never jump, I think. I would never go on such a hike either. I prefer bus trips, where I can safely gaze at the nature from the bus window.
Love the story and the photos.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - there are a few SA readers ... so I always feel reasonably safe to post on Africa ... just glad it resonated with you. Life is progressing here: thank you ...

@ Deborah - I think nightmares might be due after this ... but I usually just dream of falling ... to the never never end! I think she was a bit of an outsider ... so was going along to 'see the country' etc. Thank you for appreciating the tale.

@ Kelly - thanks ...

@ Jo-Anne - many thanks ...

@ Olga - there was no choice ... they couldn't return - it was jump or be pushed. They were young ... so not quite ready for a bus trip to see the country. But thanks re enjoying the story and accompanying photos.

Thanks so much everyone - it does sound like a nightmare scenario doesn't it ... cheers Hilary

L.G. Keltner said...

You perfectly captured the moments leading up to taking the plunge and the feelings of fear and uncertainty when you're not sure if you'll break the surface again! Well done! I also loved the photos.

Debby Gies said...

Wow! What an adventure Hilary and loved how you told the story in 3rd person. I thought I was reading the first chapter of a book! :)

dolorah said...

Such a beautiful landscape, would be awesome to take the hike. Someone would have to push me, I fear. Yep, the panic attack would get me in the end.

Beautifully written and paced Hilary. My heart is beating way fast now, lol.

Anonymous said...

Aah, first you took me to a similar place I visited a few years back. Then you made me either muster up the courage to learn swimming else I drown. Good, she will come up, I believe.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Totally loved the ending! So relate to this character, I hope she was okay after the dive.

Such beautiful images too! they added a different dimension to the narrative. Your WEP entries are always fascinating. Well done!

Kalpanaa M said...

This had me on edge - I really empathised with the trekker, swimmer, felt her dread at the thought of the jump, felt her fear of being pushed in - and all this despite the fact that I myself love water and adventure sports. Fabulous imagery. Such a wonderful read.

Misha Gericke said...

Interesting! This has to be close to where I live, but I was unaware of it. :-D

Linda said...

Great story and well told about a frightening situation. Jump or be pushed does not sound like friends I would want, though. The dangers of pushing scared people off a cliff into water...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ LG - thanks so much ... it was a worrying time: down and down ... glad the photos brought the 'journey' to life ...

@ Debby - thanks so much ... I don't think that book is going to be written - this was the last chapter in the story!!

@ Donna - it's a beautiful country. The decision is better that one takes it - at least there's some control (limited) I agree! Yet no way back ...

@ Nidhi - I'm glad I was able to remind you of something similar happening in your life ... I could/can swim ... but badly or poorly - but drowning or swimming not a good choice: life comes first though!

@ Nila - yay you can relate to the character ... excellent. I like to put the images in ... it sort of leads readers in the direction I want them to take - so thank you for that. I'm delighted the WEP entries appeal so much ...

@ Kalpanaa - good to see you ... and thank you ... I believe the experience was a shock to the system, something she wasn't used to doing ... and being a newbie in the area. Delighted that the post fulfilled the 'title's' take for a post ...

@ Misha - I would think you must be nearby ... the Uni students would know where they were going ...

@ Linda - thanks ... there wasn't a choice - jump or be pushed ... she had to get down somehow ... and at least people were around to help.

Thanks so much for joining with me as the anxious hiker jumped or needed to be pushed ... I'm chuffed the post resonated so well - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Her sense of adventure may exceed her desire to get wet. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to realize what your missing out on. A great story.

Carrie Ann Golden said...

The imagery and tone completely captivated me! If I didn't have fear of the water before I do now!

Sandra Cox said...

Great pictures for your wonderful story.
Have an excellent evening.
Hugs

Pat Hatt said...

Hopefully she kicks those legs and gets back up. Can be nerve racking jumping from upon high, but after going all that way, I'd have to do it, as long as someone else went first and didn't die lol

Nas said...

Hi Hilary!

This is so good. I was there with you looking through your eyes! Well done!

Toi Thomas said...

Whoa. What went wrong? Is she okay?
Beautiful description of the landscape and building of suspense. Good story.

Elizabeth said...

I like how we are taken along on her journey and I could feel her anxiety building as she got closer to the jump point. I like how the photos match up with the story.

Anonymous said...

You perfectly set the scene and took us into her mind. The outcome I guess is up to the reader! A great read as ever.

Elsie Amata said...

Oh no! Too deep?

You did a great job with this tale, Hilary. The buildup was fantastic and I enjoyed your descriptions alongside the pictures. I felt like I was on the journey with her and to be honest, I may have needed that push!

Have a beachy week!
Elsie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christopher - yes the desire to join in with other friends and to experience something new - this was a leap of faith as you say ...

@ Carrie Ann - thanks so much ... it's that jump ... but I'm still happier on the edge with some beach nearby ...

@ Sandra - glad you enjoyed the pictures going with the story line ...

@ Pat - do you know I didn't think about her kicking her legs ... more lost energy though. The problem was she couldn't go back ... that was impossible (in the normal course of events) ... and the gorge must have been known for them to have taken the walk, and the water depth must have been investigated and been seen to be safe ...

@ Nas - thanks so much ... just so happy you were with her as she trekked on her hike ...

@ Toi - well that's part of the story ... in too deep! Delighted to see you and to get your comment ...

@ Elizabeth - appreciate that ... it's good to know the anxiety came through in the story ... as too that the photos brought the story more to light ...

@ Keith - yes ... the reader can read whichever way the story would go ... thanks for being here ...

@ Elsie - Too deep: who knows? Thanks Elsie ... the push would have had to have come if she hadn't made the decision ... not an easy choice though ...

Thanks to you all ... and as I'm sitting in snow here ... the picnic and warm weather in the story sounds enticing! Cheers Hilary

Jeffrey Scott said...

I remember an incident I was in like this. Was at a lake and everyone was diving off the side of a boat into the lake. I hesitated far too long. Others began to notice I was participating in the 'fun'. It was a murky lake so I was apprehensive, but teased and prodded until I finally decided to 'show them'. I didn't dive so much as 'walk the plank'. I rushed into the water and went straight to the bottom. The lake floor was slimy and horrible and as I pushed up, it felt like it was taking far too long to break the surface. Eventually, I did so, lungs bursting for breath. I determined then and there I need to make my own decision when to join in on the 'fun' no matter how much others teased me.

Jeffrey Scott said...

PS - Love your inclusion to this.

Patsy said...

I'd like the hiking and swimming parts, but I'll give the jumping in from a great height a miss, thanks all the same!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Love your photographic illustrations!

Lynda Dietz said...

Not a strong swimmer + little bit of a fear of heights = I would struggle with jumping. This was great! I felt every pang of anxiety.

Rasma Raisters said...

Forget it I would be back at the car and just hanging out or driving off or whatever. I have a fear of heights and that would not be for me. Awww couldn't we find out if she bobs back up???

Sherry Ellis said...

Great story and pictures! There's no way I'd jump off a cliff into the water. Who knows what lurks beneath the surface!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jeffrey - yes ... I'm not too happy in a group scenario to doing things off the cuff, so to speak. Oh your lake jump sounds foul ... but probably a good thing you didn't go in head first. I think the right choice was made here in this story ... the others waited until they had all jumped and were safe in the water below. Thanks for your comment and thoughts ...

@ Patsy - I am really not happy with jumping in or diving in from great heights ... so join with you in this case ...

@ Monti - glad the 'images' matched the story line ...

@ Lynda - thank you ... so many of us don't like heights and especially jumping off them ...

@ Rasma - good to see you here ... she had walked quite a long way at that stage and also had clambered down the waterfalls so there was no turning back. I guess it's up to the reader whether she comes back up or not ...

@ Sherry - many thanks ... it looked like the canyon and jumping had been thoroughly checked out ... so the jump was safe as such ...

Thanks so much for coming by ... jumping doesn't seem to be something each of us enjoys ... cheers Hilary

Deborah Weber said...

Deliciously tension-inducing Hilary. And for the record, I would have needed a push.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

At the rather unearthly hour of getting close to two in the morning, I shall endeavour to type some semblance of a comment.

What an awesome story, Hilary. Superbly built up until one might just find they are in a tad too deep, perhaps. I can relate to such a plunge. I took the plunge in Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver, way back when.

Wishing you a wondrous weekend, my kind friend.

Gary

J Lenni Dorner said...

Great pictures.
What a fantastic adventure.
Thanks for sharing this. Excellent WEP entry!

Nick Wilford said...

That was captivating! You really built up the sense of anxiety and fear, with some vivid descriptions. In that situation, it's easy to see how you could be driven by peer pressure to do something you're not sure about. Hope she made it out.

Sally said...

I like the way you take us from the calm, still with some trepidation of what is to come, in to the most terrifying thing she can do and then - she does it but ..... great ending or is it the end?

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

What an adventure... Loved the use of the pics too! Always love a "cliffhanger" ending... Well done. Nice to read some of your flash fiction! I really enjoyed it!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hi-ya, Hilary. Nice job! Based on a personal experience?

I'd happily walk that countryside with you and I'd ooh and aah at the beautiful surroundings. I'd enjoy a picnic lunch with you beside the babbling water and admire the waterfall and cliff. But I would NOT jump. Knowing that was in store for me, I would've stayed home and read a book. :)

sage said...

Great story... we've all been there thinking should we jump.

DMS said...

You really painted the scene. I was right there int he story. I love to walk and hike- so that was a lovely part. Jumping into the water far below sounds scary to me- so I could feel the stress for sure. Bravo!

~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debby - thank you ... it felt tense ... and yes I suspect most people might have needed that push ...

@ Gary- it is a now civilised hour here ... so I can reply. I must look up Lynn canyon and check out where it is ... with the fissures here I'm not surprised to read about a canyon ... it's now gloriously sunny - well will be = the sun is still rising!

@ JL - thanks ... glad you enjoyed the pictures with the story ...

@ Nick - so pleased you felt you were with the storyteller ... she had to go along with things didn't she. Appreciate your comments ...

@ Sally - thank you ... the unknown always has a ring of trepidation about it ... and being left going down ... seems an anxious ending too ...

@ Michael - this was a cliff-hanger, except she did jump. I enjoy putting images/pics into my posts to enhance the situation I'm trying to portray ...

@ Susan - you guessed it ... yes. You'd have had no choice ... well I guess with a lot of hassle and extra challenges you could have gone back, but with a lot of difficulty and put a lot of people out ... I didn't believe them ... or rather couldn't believe that it would be so high or so deep!

@ Sage - yes ... but she had to jump, by then there wasn't a choice ...

@ Jess - thank you ... it is an incredibly beautiful area ... but jumping and swimming just added to the challenge of the day at the end. Stressful I'm sure it was ...

Thanks so much for all your comments and enjoying the hike and mini trek ... that jump was 'in too deep' ... cheers from a still cold, yet clear day as the sun starts to shine over the skyline ... Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Oh, this was grippingly told, Hilary! I was with you in every moment.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Juliet - good to see you ... and appreciate you stopping by - cheers Hilary