Short story: Night swim

No one had looked up when Margaret had said she was off out. However, instead of going to book group, she undressed on the beach and stood, naked, under the vast arc of an inky sky studded with stars. At her feet was the sea, lapping the concrete steps with its cold, black tongue.

Margaret lifted her arms above her head and dived. She swam underwater as far as her breath would take her, then when she surfaced, Margaret turned and trod water, looking back at the string of town lights behind the dunes. She had never felt so alive.


For those who don’t know how Friday Fictioneers works, this picture (this time supplied by Dawn Landau) is our inspiration for our weekly online writing group hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to read other people’s amazing stories or to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

47 thoughts on “Short story: Night swim

  1. i liked the feeling of liberation in this piece. and loved the descriptions. particularly “the sea, lapping the concrete steps with its cold, black tongue.” lovely writing 🙂


  2. I was so relieved she wasn’t killing herself. 🙂 Such a lovely vignette. I’m confused by this bit, though: “she was off out.” I feel it’s a typo but am not sure of what. Like your new gravatar, by the way.



    • That’s probably British idiom. If we’re going out, colloquially we might say ‘I’m off out now, bye!” But if it doesn’t read well in US English I’ll have a little think.
      And I was trying to lead readers up the path of whether she’s going to kill herself. I’m pleased you got that.
      And, I thought it was time a I had a ‘real’ face!


      • I like your real face. I read a lot of British authors but have never run across “off out.” Always fun to learn something new that isn’t off-color! 🙂 We’d probably say, “I’m off” or “I’m going out.”


  3. At first I thought she was after her own awakening.I like that she was only taking the release of a cleansing night swim. Happens to be my most favorite release. Also glad to read the explanation of “off out” This yankee was a little confused.


  4. I braced for a tale of death, but the death here was when she shed the worries of the dry world and immersed herself in the refreshing waters. I will wade and ride a raft in the ocean, but I am not confident enough in my swimming prowess to venture very far away from the beach.


  5. Pingback: Short story: Morning swim | W O R K S

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