Chapter Ten

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The seconds after the splash rolled by in complete silence.

Birds fell silent in the trees, even the sound of rushing water faded away and was replaced by a deafening silence. For several seconds I heard nothing but that silence. However, as quickly as it vanished, the noise returned. The birds started tweeting again, the rushing water came into focus. In amongst the noises of the natural, small shrieks and screams echoed through. Moving as fast as possible, I made my way through the trees and towards the stream, noticing the small ball just beyond the trees in front of me.

Quickening my pace, I stumbled out into the clearing. The sound of running water heightened and the small stream I had seen from the window was more of a river. Water flowed rapidly through the winding rocks, pulled sticks and leaves along the never-ending snake of water. I glanced further down the river, trying to cite the source of the scream from early on. Amongst the collection of sticks and leaves that were pulled down the river, I spotted the source of the scream.

A small tuft of hair was pulled down the river at tremendous force, splashes of water were sent up into the air, followed by a small arm. I glanced back in the direction of the house, knowing I didn't have enough time to make it all the way back to get someone who would be able to help. Watching Zachariah struggle against the rushing water, I pulled off my boots and without a second thought stepped into the rushing water.

The water was ice cold against my skin, splashing up against my back and pushed against me with such force that my knees almost buckled. I fought against the rushing water to keep my head above, battling against the current as it tried to force me further down the river. Grabbing onto whatever I could find, I pulled myself along the river. My head occasionally slipped beneath the waves for a few seconds and came back up gasping and spluttering. I don't know how much water I swallowed, but it was an awful lot more then I would have liked.

I followed the direction of the river, pulling myself against the current and towards Zachariah. As I pulled myself along, I kept my eyes fixated on the small tuft of hair poking out of the water watching as it bobbed up and down, sometimes disappearing completely. With time running low, I sped up my efforts to reach him amongst the cold, aggressive river. Grabbing hold of a tree root stuck out the side of the bank, I pulled myself forward, reaching down and grabbing hold of Zachariah's arm to keep him above the water.

"I've got you," I said, fighting against the water whilst simultaneously trying to keep myself and Zachariah above the water.

"Get me out!" Zachariah spluttered, his free arm splashing against the water.

"I'm going to, but I'll need your help, buddy."

"Okay."

Fighting against the water, I tightened my grip on Zachariah's arm to make sure he wasn't pulled any further downstream. I readjusted my position, turning my back to the strong current, the water pushing against my back as I placed my left arm on Zachariah's leg to try and lift him out of the water. Bending my knees, I held my breath and dipped down beneath the water using all my strength to push Zachariah upwards and onto the grass. Zachariah grabbed onto a tree root and together we managed to get him out of the river and up onto dry land where he coughed and spluttered the water he had swallowed.

With Zachariah up on the bank, I groped around on the grass to find something, anything to grab onto to hoist myself up and out of the water. The water continued to crash against my body, knocking me sideways as I struggled to find something to grab onto to get myself out and back on dry land. I jumped up and tried to grab onto the same branch that Zachariah had used to get himself up. My hand grabbed around at the branch, grabbing it slightly before I lost grip and splashed back into the water. Falling backwards, I lost my footing against the rocky river bed and plunged backwards, the current catching me almost immediately.

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