"Gin? Is that you?"
"You need to wake up now."
"But I'm so tired."
"You need to look after our son."
"Benny's fine. Gin, I – "
"He can't swim."
Ray's eyes flew open and he launched from the bed. Heart lobbing, he didn't waste time searching the room but went straight to the window and jerked the drapes open.
The motel wrapped around a small swimming pool. In the middle of the pool, a pirate wearing a three-pointed black hat straddled an air mattress and swung a plastic sword at two boys maybe a couple years younger than him. The boys treaded water around the air mattress and took turns lunging and grabbing. Each swing of the sword tipped the pirate drunkenly.
Benny waved and yelled, "Hi!" when he saw his dad come out of the motel room.
He forgot to hold on, forgot about the game with the boys trying to take his ship. One of the boy's grabbed his leg and pulled him into the water. Benny swung his sword but missed. Water went up his nose and burned. He put his feet down to stand but couldn't feel the bottom. He opened his mouth to yell for help but the water choked him. Too late he remembered Daddy telling him not to breathe under water. He always remembered too late. The water went inside him and wouldn't let go. His arms and legs didn't want to move.
Bubbles came out of his mouth and he watched them float past his nose. The sun started going out.
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