Invisible Shark Syndrome
When you look at the water
From the specific position of the diving board.
It stays still with the silence of god himself, unmoving despite the world continuing.
It was noon, and the lifeguard made a joke.
"Be careful, there's a shark in the water!"
I could see all the way down past the top of the water to the mid-blue circle spiral encompassing the 'deep bowl' of the pool.
I sensed no life.
"You're making it up!"
"Don't you know? The shark's invisible."
I was not a stupid child, I knew that a shark had no means of survival here.
But the water was too still, and no one was getting in.
A ripple would prove that either the red trunked teenager was telling the truth or lying, but I never got that. I just kept standing there on the edge of a narrow flexi-plank.
No one else wanted to be first.
It was a silence that made me scared.
All around me there was nothing but quiet bubbling that frothed around my head, with eyes closed still in a semi-fetal position that I could only imagine made me look like a baby with swimtrunks on.
I think there was just a pulse
And a flailing ten year old came to the surface of the water, and by then others had jumped in.
The water was rippling.
And the shark slipped under the dock.