The Things to Live For Chapter 1

This story if written by my friend Kaitlin and she wanted me to post it on here. This was also for the Nanowrimo competition. So please enjoy!


Rock Poency is just a swimmer. That’s what he lives for. When he buys a ripoff Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 video game from a not-so-reliable-source, swimming is not all that he lives for. He now lives in the actual video game. Not only does he have to stay alive, he has to find the mastermind of the horror.

Chapter 1

Left, right, left, breathe.

Right, left, right, breathe.

Pull! Flip! Push! 1, flip over, 2, 3, 4. Don’t forget to kick, kick, kick.

Break out.

Left, right, left, breathe.

Right, left, right, breathe.

Repeat. Over and over again.

The throat starts to dry somehow, even with the saltwater pouring into it.

50 yards left!




Do. Not. Breathe.

Fast, fast, fast and touch underneath…

“Paaa,” I gasp. I grapple for that air I had been racing for.

Wait! My competitors. I look left and right. The person left to me just touches. Other than that everyone still has about ten yards left.

“Good job.” My voice is as raspy as a dog trying to speak. I give my hand out. I kind of expect a hi-five back, but I get a strong bro-hug instead.

“You too.”

I jump out after the next racer dives in. I ask the pretty woman for my time.

“56:93,” she answers quickly.

I groan. I need 56 seconds. Whyyyy? Always four-tenths a second off… For three months, I haven’t ever been able to push past that four-tenths a second wall.

I slink off towards my coach. When I get to him he’s watching the race intently. I look too. I see that Mitch is also swimming. Kind of short but still leads the race. How he does it, I’ll probably never know. He’s super good at kicking, maybe that’s why.

“Rock!” Chris claps me on the back. “How about that race?”

“The same,” I answer.

“And that means…?”


Chris gives a low whistle. He looks at me.

“What do you think you did wrong?” he says.

            I shrug.
“Well… You certainly are breathing off the walls; I saw that.”
“It’s a big difference, Rocky. I want you to work on that at practice, ‘kay? You have talent my man.”
I grunt and head off towards the cool-down/warm-up pool.

I put my KC Blazers shirt over my head and slip some basketball shorts over my blue speedo after the meet ended. I slip my flip-flops on and flip my backpack over my shoulder.
I walk out into the chilly air. I see my mom’s Honda a couple feet away.
“Rocky!” she yells like I can’t see her.
“How was the meet?” asks Mom when I sit down.
“Still four-tenths a second off…” I grumble. Today all I’ve been doing is grumble.
“Oh honey, don’t take it so seriously. Don’t turn into that kid who cries when they’re DQed.” I sigh. Parents just don’t understand, do they?
When I get home my brother Ze flings himself onto me.
“Let’s play baseball!”
“Tomorrow, okay? It’s too late now. Go to sleep.”
He whines and I race upstairs to shower.
After I finish, I creep downstairs wearing only some basketball shorts.
“I don’t know if we can continue on like this Emily.”
I stop.
“What do you mean ‘If we can continue on’?” Mom says accusingly to Dad.
“We just don’t have enough money to pay for Ze’s babysitter and his private school! We can’t pay for Rock’s swimming and we’re having a hard time just paying for the house and the food!” Dad exclaims.
“We can move Ze to a public school,” Mom answers.
“What about the swimming? It’s already costing us too much.”
“But that’s what Rock lives for.” Mom’s on the defensive side, but she doesn’t sound too defensive.
“Everything just costs too much!” Dad explodes. He’s literally yelling now and Mom gasps.
Dad puts out his hand his eyes squinted closed.

 All the while I’m standing frozen on the staircase watching them.

 When Dad opens his eyes he sees me and seems at a loss for words.
“Uhmm… Erm… Rock? What are you doing here?” he stutters.

“Nothing,” I stutter back and I race back up the stairs.

2 responses to “The Things to Live For Chapter 1

  1. This is a really interesting story so far… Except near the end of the story there’s an earlier section in it… Like a glitch or something….

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