• Memory • Tiny Bubbles

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Oram Mednix
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Tiny Bubbles

20 Ymiden 700

Oram gazed wonderingly at the colorful round stone, still dripping, as his brother held it aloft. ”Can I see it?” he asked breathelessly.

Osric smirked. ”Sure,” he said, waving the rock around over his head. ”See it?”

”You know what I mean!” Oram harumphed, and started to wade closer to where his older brother stood. The water was waste high on Osric, making it almost chest-high on the younger Mednix.

Osric’s smirk grew even smugger as he started to retreat, deeper into the pond. ”Come and get it!” he taunted, backing ever farther away. Oram followed until the water lapped his skinny shoulders, then halted.

”Stop going deeper!” he protested, bobbing up and down impatiently. ”Dad! Make Os stop going deeper!”

Oleg sat on a rock at water’s edge, whittling a try stick. He paused and peered up at Oram’s call. ”You could always swim after him,” he suggested.

”Or can’t swim,” rejoined Osric, still smirking. Oram glared at him, all the more resentful because it was true.

”You just wait!” the younger boy fumed. ”Some day dad’ll teach me how to swim, and then I’ll come after you and take all your stupid rocks.”

”No,” came the voice from shore. Startled, both boys turned to face their father. ”No, we will not ‘just wait’. Let’s teach Oram how to swim now.” The boys looked questioningly at each other. ”So, what do you say?” asked Oleg. ”Ready to learn how to swim, Or?”

Oram smiled and nodded. His father smiled back, then glanced over at his older son. ”Alright. Os, do you remember the first thing you learned when you learned how to swim?”

Os frowned in concentration. ”How to hold my breath?” he guessed.

”I already know how to do that!” Oram chimed in, and ostentatiously breathed in and puffed out his cheeks to demonstrate.

Their father made an encouraging gesture with his hand. ”Before that?” he prompted.

Os’ face brightened. ”Blow bubbles!” he exclaimed.

Oram blew out the breath he was holding, and he wrinkled his nose. ”Blow bubbles?" he exclaimed indignantly. "That’s kid stuff! I wanna swim!”

His older brother turned to him, suddenly all business. ”You’ll swim. Someday. Right now, you blow bubbles. Watch.”

Without waiting for his younger brother to respond, Osric bent forward and plunged face-down into the pond, only the very back bit of his head above the surface. A few trills later, bubbles started appearing on either side of his head. As they did, his body slowly sank below the surface. A few more trills passed, and then with a splash he resurfaced, puffing and dripping. Now you try it,” he told Oram, grinning wickedly. ”It should be easy; like you said, it’s ‘kid stuff’”
Last edited by Oram Mednix on Sat May 08, 2021 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 468
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Tiny Bubbles

An Or in the water

Oram peered uneasily at the surface of the pond. It was murky; he couldn’t see his reflection in it. Suddenly, sticking his face into that water didn’t seem so inviting. But a dare by an older brother was not something you disregarded lightly. Closing his eyes he bent forward. Slowly, slowly. Something wet and cold touched his nose and he pulled back.

”What’s wrong, Or?” came his brother’s voice from overhead. "Water smell bad or something?” Oram started to mumble some sort of excuse, but thought better of it and choked it off. He rallied tried again, although he again closed his eyes. He felt the cool water first touch the tip of his nose, then spread over his face. He started blowing bubbles.

”C’mon!” called Os, his voice clear because Oram hadn’t submerged as far as his ears. ”You can at least get your head all the way in." Oram ignored him and kept blowing bubbles. When he had run out of air, he straightened back up and looked defiantly at his older brother. Osric looked unimpressed.

”You didn’t even get your head half-way in! And I bet you kept your eyes closed, too.”

”So do you!” protested Oram. ”Everybody closes their eyes underwater! You can’t see down there!”

Osric laughed at this and so, more humiliatingly, did his father, although there was no mockery in Oleg’s laugh. ”You can’t swim with your eyes closed, son,” he called out. ”Try it again.”

Oram looked pleadingly at his father, but Oleg sat unmoved. Resigned, the boy tried again. Again, with his eyed closed, he felt the cold sensation spread over his face. He tried ducking his head a bit deeper, over the ears. Sounds changed suddenly, became duller, deeper. There was a thrumming all around him that was new. He blew bubbles, which produced a funny sound he hadn’t expected to hear. He felt something tickle across his face: the bubbles themselves. Unnerved by the sensation, he did two things: he opened his eyes and then he reared his head out of the water.

Water trickled down into the eyes and made him blink, and he was unable to see clearly for a trill or so as he sputtered and regained his breath. He didn’t even remember having had his eyes open, nor what if anything he saw in that instant. Osric was regarding him closely. ”How many fingers was I holding up?” he asked.

Oram looked back, baffled. ”Huh?”

Os rolled his eyes. ”You didn’t really open your eyes, did you?” he challenged.

”You didn’t say to open my eyes!” the younger boy protested.

”Why would you need somebody to tell you to open your eyes, Or?” Both boys turned again to their father, who had now put down his whittling, had risen, and was undressing. It looked like he was about to join them. ”You don’t walk with your eyes closed, right?” Oleg asked as he kicked off his boots. ”Why would you swim with your eyes closed?” Oram didn’t know an answer to that. He just looked back at his older brother.

”Try again,” Osric suggested. ”I’ll hold my hand under water in front of your face. Tell me how many fingers I’m holding up.”

Oram hesitated, then nodded half-heartedly. A few moments later he steeled himself and again ducked his face into the water. He sat there for a couple trills, eyes closed, blowing bubbles slowly. Then, he opened his eyes.

He could feel the water on his eyeballs; it was uncomfortable and odd, but not intensely so. Mostly, it just felt cold. Osric’s hand looked pale, almost white, against the slightly greenish water. He had a thumb held up. Oram was just about to emerge triumphantly with the news when Os extended his index finger as well. Oram jerked up out of the water, gasping: ”That’s not fair! You changed your fingers!” Holding a fist above the water, he imitated what Os had done.

His older brother smiled. ”I was checking to see if you were really looking. You were! Good! How are your eyes? How’d they feel?”

Oram wiped his eyes while he thought. ”Weird. Cold. But not too bad, I guess.”

”You’ll get used to it,” Os assured him. Oram looked questioningly over to his dad. Oleg had stripped, and now had his feet in the water, testing it before wading in deeper to join the two boys. He looked back at Oram and gave him a reassuring smile.

”People swim underwater with their eyes open every trial,” he said. ”And they don’t go suffer any ill from it. Do your eyes sting?”

Oram blinked thoughtfully, then shook his head.

”There you go, then,” Oleg concluded brightly. He waded a bit farther in, well up to his shins. Oram saw his dad wince slightly as he did, and the boy remembered how cold the water had felt when he had first stepped in. It was Ymiden, and promised to be a warm trial, yet it was early yet, and the pond was still chilly.

Osric fished something out of the cloth about his waist. He pulled up the smooth, colorful rock. ”Hey, Or, do you want this?” he asked. Or nodded and took a couple bobbing steps towards his older brother. Os grinned wickedly, then held his arm out to his side and let go. The rock vanished with a plop. ”Then go pick it up,” he said.
word count: 935
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Tiny Bubbles

Run Silent, Run Deep

Oram glared at his older brother with all the outrage his seven trials of life could muster. He turned in mute appeal to his dad, who now stood nearby, the water about thigh-deep on the tall man. Oleg looked at him blandly.

”The rock is right down there,” his father pointed out. ”You can go get it any time.”

Oram glared once more at Osric. ”Fine!” he fumed. He bobbed over to where Os had dropped the rock, lifting his chin to keep it out of the water, which was now nearly as deep as he was tall. Plunging his face under the surface, he looked for the rock. It was right there, practically at his feet, not hard to find at all. His earlier outrage gave way to satisfaction as he bent down to pick it up off the bottom -only to have his feet bob up from under him before he could reach it. Even before he righted himself and lifted his head out of the water, he could hear his brother laughing.

”You’ve got your lungs full, doofus!” Os exclaimed. ”You’ve got to let the air out. Why do you think I’ve been teaching you to blow bubbles?”

Oram looked mistrustfully at his older brother. ”You’re trying to get me drowned!” he accused, which brought a snort.

”I would never do that, Or!” he said, disgusted. ”And Dad’s standing right there; he wouldn’t let me even if I wanted to.” He bobbed closer to his younger brother. ”Look. Come here. Give me your hand. We’ll go down together.” He extended his hand towards Oram, who didn’t make an immediate move to take it. Osric snorted impatiently. ”Just give me your hand, Or! We’ll look each other in the eye the whole time. And you can keep the rock.”

Oram’s face brigthened at that. ”Promise?”

Osric nodded. ”Promise. Now, don’t try to bend at the waist like you did. Kneel. Then blow bubbles. Blow all the bubbles, let all the air out. Your knees will sink to the bottom, and you’ll be able to pick up the rock, no problem.”

Reluctantly, Oram took his older brother’s hand. ”Good. Now, on the count of three: One, two, THREE!”

Oram tried to kneel the way he would on land, but instead, his feet lifted off the lake floor and he only sank partway down. His head just below the surface, he looked across at Osric, who was blowing bubbles and gesturing towards his mouth with his other hand. Oram realized he was still holding his breath, and started blowing bubbles, too. He felt his body sink, and Osric’s sank with him. His lungs were out of air by the time his knees settled on the pond’s silty floor. He felt a surge of panic with his lungs out of air, but Os held onto his hand tightly to keep him from pushing up. Pointedly, he pointed at the floor. At the rock.

Fighting the panic, Oram looked down and saw it, realized he could reach it. He fumbled for just a trill with his free hand, the longest, scariest trill of his short life. And then, his fingers wrapped around the rock and he picked it up. His brother actually pushed up faster than he did.

Bursting into the air, Oram raised the rock triumphantly over his head. ”I got it!” he exclaimed. ”I go-” Suddenly his mouth filled with water and he found himself choking. He felt a hand -a much larger, stronger hand than Osric’s- take hold of his own and pull him gently into shallower water. He coughed and gasped and sputtered for several trills. He thought he was going to die.

Eventually, his breathing settled down, and his eyes cleared of tears. In his hand he clutched the beautiful, round pebble that Osric had shown him. It was his now.

”Good job, Or!” Osric called. He sounded almost proud, the way Oleg did sometimes. Oram looked over, disbelieving. Os was smiling at him. Not smirking, smiling. ”Keep it!” he said cheerfully. He need not have bothered, though; Oram was never going to let go of his rock. ”They’re all over the place. I can find more. And now so can you!”

Osric turned and swam off into deeper water while Oram stood next to his dad, basking in the glory of his rock, and the accomplishment it marked.
word count: 754
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Re: Tiny Bubbles

Your Review
Oram

Overview

A very interesting story. It does well teaching about basics of swimming but I really loved how it showed the interaction between his father and brother. It does an excellent job showing the ways Oram was taught and learned life’s lessons.

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XP: 10 can not be used for magic
Renown: 0

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None

Knowledge

Appropriate to level

[Discipline] Don’t panic when you run out of air.
[Swimming] Holding one’s breath and blowing bubbles underwater.
[Swimming] The air in your lungs affects buoyancy.
[Swimming] Temperature of water can take a while to get used to when first entering.
[Swimming] Everything looks and sounds different underwater.
[Teaching] Use tests that are hard to guess the answers for.



If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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