A number of things happened simultaneously, and just as they do in movies; in slow motion.  First, on either side of the boat were two Jet Skis vying for position on the wakes-one fire engine red and the other fluorescent green.  The wakes propelled them through the air, crossing them over my tow line, nerve-rackingly close to my tube.  I saw the skier’s whip back around, barreling straight towards me-the driver on my right looking away.  I tried to yell, but the sound was trapped in my throat.

Then it came.  Just as it has every other time-the ringing that drowns out the world, the crippling pain that renders me nearly disabled, and then, nothing.  I thought.  At first, I didn’t think the vision would come as it always had before.  I shot off the tube behind the boat just as I heard an indiscernible scream-then a snap, thud and distinct crunching of plastic.

My body stopped tumbling across the water, but before I could catch my breath, I was jerked under.  Disoriented and riddled with throbbing pain from my crash landing, I couldn’t tell what had a hold on me, but something locked my ankle in a steely, vice grip.  I struggled, desperately trying to free myself, and through the murk I swore I saw a shadow of a figure beneath me.  A human figure.

Dread washed over me as I realized that it was the figure’s clenching hand that dragged me further into the fearsome darkness.  For a moment I thought that the vision had come after all, and I could just wait it out and wake to be safely floating on the water’s surface.  But the reality was, the depth’s pressure was taking it’s toll-painfully squeezing my head and ears.  It simply hurt too bad to just be in my mind.

Kicking and thrashing with every impulse to live. I struck at the figure until I could not longer tell which way was up-a blur of chaos and fear.  A wisp brushed across my face-hair maybe.  I grasped at it, but came up empty.  I was simply defeated.

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