Two days later, we headed to the canal for the Rez Games, dressed in suitably ratty clothes in case we wanted to participate. None of us were particularly keen based on the agenda posted on our floor, but it was hard to be sure. So, here we were, watching people belly flop off the docks into the canal. I was flanked by Lark, Tricia and Jill, whose voice, it turned out, really was that shrill in person. Every time she opened her mouth, a tiny piece of my soul died. It was pretty terrible.
"What's that smell?" Jill asked. Cue my soul dying.
"The canal." Tricia scrunched up her nose. "And all the people who've already been jumping in it."
She was right. I looked around properly for the first time since we arrived and noticed all the people who were already soaking wet. Their white Frosh Week shirts were a yellowish brown colour and I wondered if there was literally shit in the canal. There were a lot of Canada Geese around here, bound to be a lot of goose poop. I shuddered.
On the other side of the canal, there was a DJ playing music. It was supposed to get people pumped up as they stood on the top, ready to flop face first into the disgusting, dark water. There was even a scoreboard with the residence names and floor numbers. After a brief scan, I couldn't tell who was actually judging the insanity. Lanark, our residence, wasn't on the board yet. Not surprising. Anyone with any sense wouldn't willingly put themselves into that stinky mess.
"Alright, Ladies?" Tom came up behind us and slung his arms around Lark and Jill. "You up for a dip?"
Jill looked over her shoulder at Tom and batted her eyes. "Liz is a swimmer; I'm sure she'd love a chance to show off her belly flop."
I gaped at her. "Ah, no. I swim, Jill, I don't belly flop."
"Oh, come on," Jill's eyes were full of mischief as she looked at me. She turned back to Tom. "Where's Rob?"
"He's coming." He jutted his chin in the direction of the canal. "We're going to give this a go."
Tricia laughed. "Give it a go? It's seriously disgusting in there."
Tom grinned. "You only live once."
"Ready, mate?" Rob jogged up behind us, dressed in the same white shirt as everyone else, but he'd used a black marker to write Second Lanark anywhere he could. "Gotta represent." He pulled his shirt away from his body to admire his handiwork.
"You're seriously going in that water?" I asked.
"Do you have plugs for all your orifices?" Lark looked them over. "Any of that shitty water gets in and you're both goners."
Rob waved her off. "It's gonna be brilliant. Just you wait." He motioned to Tom and the two of them headed off to register. Along the way, they picked up Josh who was on the football team and was the king of disgusting stories on our residence floor. It wasn't surprising that he was also up for jumping into a river of poop. There was no way this was going to end well.
The four of us stood waiting while they made their way closer to the top of the canal. There wasn't a big distance between the top of the canal and the water below, so the jump itself wouldn't be bad. Every once in a while we saw a piece of garbage bob to the top of the water and it made me want to vomit. Of course, if I did have to vomit, as least I'd be safe doing it into the canal.
"There are probably dead bodies in there." Tricia moved closer to the edge, and we all followed to get a better view of them as they jumped.
"There are definitely dead things in there. And garbage. And poop." Lark crossed her arms and looked down.
And vomit, I added silently. The longer I looked at the water the more I wanted to contribute to the mess below. I forced myself to look up at the guys as they neared the edge. Music I didn't recognize blared from the speakers as the three of them stood on the edge, looking down at the dark, murky water.
YOU ARE READING
Second LanarkTeen Fiction
Drama. It was the one thing Elizabeth wanted nothing to do with during her first year of university. She'd had enough of that in high school. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a smooth year: she liked her roommates; the varsity swim team...