by Kristina Swaim


My head plunged below the surface of the water. The water erupted in a tornado of movement. I dug my painted nails into the curved edge of the clawfoot tub as I tried to free myself from his grip.

I just love him so much. Why would he do this?

His rough hands pushed harder on my neck and shoulders, holding me under. My fingers lost their grip and I screamed. Fire erupted in my lungs and nose. Bubbles raced to the surface of the water, but I heard nothing. The water that splashed out of the tub just sounded like distant, muffled pounding.

The water stilled for just a moment and my hair parted away from my face. I gazed up at him. His skin glistened with sweat and water. His hair looked glazed, wet, the dark brown seemed to turn black.

He’s beautiful. Just like me. We’re perfect together. Why can’t he see that?

His square jaw tightened as he locked eyes with me. They softened as I watched and his hands stilled.

He can’t do this.



I can’t do this.

My hands lifted and she sprung upright with a gasp. Her rough coughing filled the room, punctured by the soft tap of water droplets hitting the floor.

I knelt there, next to the tub. My hands limp as they rested in the water. I was vaguely aware of my wet state. My shirt and jeans clung to my body, outlining my ragged breathing.

She’ll never stop.

I felt her hands caress my face. I just tried to kill her and she still wants me. The water lapped softly against the tub as she came closer. “We can be happy. I’m sorry about before. And this…We’ll forget this…” She carried on.

She’s sorry. She’s sorry. For what? For pushing my friend down the stairs because she was jealous? For me waking up to her gripping a knife in her hand? For the insanity that was now my life?

I can’t do this.

I felt detached as my hands came up to her shoulders. My fingers flexed, digging into her flesh. I could feel the sharp press of her collarbone against the heel of my hands. She cooed. I guess she saw this as a good sign…

My hands tightened on her shoulders and I shoved. She screamed as she hit the water again. A large wave of water splashed out of the tub and slammed into the wall. Droplets fell from everywhere it seemed, drenching the floor. My jaw clinched and my eyes widened as I shoved her to the bottom of the tub.

Why can’t she just disappear!

The water sloshed as she struggled. I lifted off my knees and on to my feet. How was she this strong? My feet slipped repeatedly as water continued to pool on the tiled floor.

The floor… My eyes lit on the pearl counters. I refurbished this house for her… with her. How did it get to this? How did I not see what she was before?

I let out a short scream as fire raced up my arm. I looked down to see her nails peeling the skin from my forearms. Dark red blood beaded on my arms as my grip loosened.

She bolted up again. Her hands gripped my shirt as she said, “I love you.”



I love you. I thought as he shoved me back into the water.

My lungs burned from the varies ups and downs. I held my breath this time, though I still don’t want to believe that this was it.

We have our whole future together. He just needs to understand…

I stopped struggling. The water stilled. I reached up to touch his face. I’ve always loved those green eyes…

He turned away and his hands became boulders. My chest tightened under the weight.

He turned away…



I turned away.

Her hand fell from my face, hitting the water with a soft splash.

I was numb. This just needed to end.

I can’t do it anymore.

I gazed down at the water and through it to her face. Shock caused her eyes to widen as her raven hair floated… floated among my blood…

The sound of my breath halted and my jaw clinched as I worked to hold her down. Water… or tears fell from my eyes and stained my cheeks. I felt my face heat.

I need to breath.



I need to breath.

Panic pulsed through me. The water soon became a death prison and not the bargaining chip I thought it would be.

I kicked. I screamed. I scratched.

The water flew everywhere in my struggle, but he stood there over me. The strength in his arms stunned me. His shoulders and arms bulged, outlining his muscles. I don’t remember him being that strong.

What happened?

My strength left me as the need to breath became overwhelming.

I pushed up on his arms. Nothing.

I can’t breathe. Darkness spotted my vision…

I can’t—



Her body went limp under my hands. I froze. My hands stayed over her as I gazed down.

Her eyes glazed over as they looked up at the ceiling. Her cheeks seemed swollen… though it was hard to tell passed her hair.

I jolted, my hands leaving the water.

What have I done?

But it’s over.

I stumbled back into the wall. My wet clothes weighed heavy on me, making it hard to breath. The silence was too much… too much…

My eyes lingered over her once more. She floated in the water, her arms drifting by her side. Her legs were spread as they laid over the side of the tub.

I turned away from her and walked into the bedroom. Shadows stretched in the corners, making the once bright room look dreary. The smiling pictures on the wall seemed to mock me. I walked toward the far side of the room, toward the black shape that rose to the ceiling. My hand pressed into the wall next to the gun cabinet and slipped.

I stared at the red stain it left on the wall… my eyes never left it as my fingers unlocked the cabinet, found the pistol, and thumbed off the safety.

It’s over.

What have I done?

I stuck the muzzle to my head and pulled the—


Possible murder-suicide in the prominent Glen View Valley neighborhood.

January 27, 2017 | By Jason Stevens

Police responded to shots fired late last night and were met by a grisly scene. It is said that Garrett and Marcie Williams were found dead in their 4,000-square foot home. Marcie was found in the upstairs bathtub and police are looking at her death as a possible murder. Garrett was found in the adjacent bedroom shot in the head. His death is viewed as a possible suicide but the police department let out a statement saying, “At this time we do not have a definitive answer for Mr. and Mrs. Williams’ circumstances of death.”

Garrett Williams worked at his family’s security company. His wife, Marcie, worked part time at the Williams’ security company as a secretary. Garrett and Marcie were beloved members of the community and will be missed. Marcie’s family refused to comment, but the Williams’ family offered this statement, “We just can’t believe this is happening. Garrett wouldn’t have done this. He is—was a kind and loving man. Marcie—Marcie—was just a sweet girl. We can’t believe it. They seemed so happy—so perfectly happy.”


Category: Fiction, Short Story, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing, SNHU Student