(re-edited and reposted)
Christina looked out her second floor bedroom window and winced at what she saw. The windstorm from last night had knocked a bunch of branches down, strewing debris all over the backyard. What’s more, she could see the cover to the pool was jammed half open by a fallen limb. She could only imagine how much rubbish might be on the bottom of the pool.
The pool cover had been her responsibility and she’d left it open again last night. Sometime during the night there must have been a power surge, causing it to start to close and then jam open from a fallen tree branch. She was going to be in trouble again.
Right on cue she heard a familiar voice holler up at her from the main floor… “CHRISTINA??? YOUNG LADY GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!!”
“Bitch!” she muttered angrily. “I’ll show you!”
Snatching up her cell phone she deliberately headed downstairs in a partial state of nudity, wearing only her black, strapless bikini top and floral thong bottom. She knew she was going to get yelled at for her lack of clothes. But she was reaching the point where she just didn’t care anymore, especially since her father was out of town on business.
Ever since they’d first been introduced to each other, Christina and Lynnette had never gotten along. There were warning signs of trouble well before her dad had ultimately married the woman. Christina had tried to stop them, but despite her best efforts to derail her father’s nuptials the two adults had gotten married anyway.
On one occasion her dad had pulled her aside and had told her how much he loved Lynnette. He begged his daughter to see the good in the woman he’d married and to try to get along with her. But Christina would have none of it. She had been unable to get over the death of her mother to cancer several years ago. As far as she was concerned Lynnette was nothing more than a gold-digging interloper.
“CHRISTINA???” her stepmom yelled up at her again. “HAVE YOU SEEN THE FUCKING POOL?? HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO REMIND YOU TO CLOSE THE DAMN COVER WHEN YOU’RE NOT USING IT??”
“IT’S NOT MY FAULT!” Christina hollered back as she angrily stomped down the stairs. “I WAS STUDYING!!”
“YOU WERE TEXTING!!” Lynnette yelled back, “…TEXTING LIKE YOU ALWAYS ARE!!”
“CAN’T I HAVE MY OWN LIFE??”
“Not when you’re under MY roof you can’t, young lady!” her stepmother said to her when she rounded the corner and they abruptly came face to face. Lynnette angrily looked her up and down. “While you’re at it you can go back upstairs and put some CLOTHES on!”
“My dad should NEVER have married you!” Christina yelled angrily. “You’re nothing but a selfish WITCH!”
“And you’re nothing but a spoiled little BRAT!” Lynnette countered. Then she pointed at the backyard. “The pool cover is YOUR responsibility, young lady! Now get your ass out there and get that crap out of the water!” Her stepdaughter ignored her as she walked over to the rack on the wall with all the car keys.
“I’ll do it when I get back!” Christina retorted angrily, pulling the keys to her car off from her hook. “I’m going to the mall to meet with my friends! I’ll do it LATER!”
“Like HELL, you will!” her stepmom responded, snatching the keys out of her hands.
“HEY! You can’t do that!”
“The hell I can’t! You’re not going ANYWHERE until you get that pool cleaned up, young lady! UNDERSTAND??”
“I HATE YOU – I HATE YOU!”
“What else is new??!! Now get your ass out there and CLEAN UP THAT FUCKING POOL! Then go get some clothes on!”
“NO! YOU’RE NOT MY DAD! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”
“Like hell I can’t!! You want your keys back? You want to go to the mall to meet your friends? FINE!! Get the pool cleaned up and you can have your keys back!!”
“FUCK YOU!” and Christina hefted her cell phone. “Now I gotta text my friends and tell them I won’t be – HEY!!” Her stepmom instantly snatched the cell phone out of her hand as well, and she started to protest…
“YOU GIVE THAT BACK! THAT’S MINE!!!”
“You wanna talk to ‘em? Then GET YOUR ASS OUTSIDE AND CLEAN UP THE FUCKING POOL!”
“I HATE YOU!” Christina screamed and she stormed off.
“Don’t we all?” Lynnette retorted angrily at the departing teen’s backside. “Just get it done!” The response was the slamming of the sliding glass door as her stepdaughter went out into the back yard.
Lynnette sighed, looking up at the heavens and shaking her head. Had she known how bad it was going to be with Christina, she might have rethought her decision to marry the girl’s father…
Christina fumed as she looked out at the carnage in the backyard wrought by last night’s storm. Her dad was away on business; she couldn’t even turn to him for support! She walked up to the pool and looked down, wincing at what she saw.
There were branches everywhere, along with a couple of patio chairs in the water. The cover was halfway across the top of the pool, a large branch jammed into the tracks and apparently stopping it cold. If only she would’ve closed it last night like she was supposed to!
She had no idea why it was jammed half open. Apparently there’d been a power surge sometime during the night, causing it to start to close on its own. Then the branch must’ve fallen, wedging itself in the track and jamming the pool cover half-open.
Damn! With a little more luck the cover might have closed all the way on its own and she would’ve escaped most of this mess! Her stepmom would not have seen the open cover or would have known about all the debris at the bottom of the pool until later. Why had life conspired against her like this??!!
“I’ll show her!” she muttered. She defiantly removed her top, allowing her double D’s to hang freely. Her stepmom would REALLY be pissed if she went topless! Then she found a relatively clear section of the pool and dove head first into the water with a splash.
The water was bracingly cool and it hardened her nipples right up. It almost took her breath away but she was used to diving into water that was somewhat chilly. She swam down to the deep end to deal with some of the debris down there, air trickling out of her nose as her hair streamed behind her.
She swam along the bottom, scooping up smaller branches. But she felt it in her lungs and she had to surface prematurely. It was nothing to be upset about; it usually took her a few dives before she eventually adjusted to holding her breath for greater lengths of time.
She surfaced, tossed a handful of debris onto the patio and dove back down. She would get the crap out of the pool like she’d been ordered by Ms. Hitler. But no one said anything about cleaning up the patio! After all, it wasn’t HER fault there were so many trees lining the back yard!
Christina swam back down, scooped up more of the twigs and debris, and then hauled it up in both arms, casually tossing it anywhere. Then she dove down to chase after one of the patio chairs. It looked like it had gotten hung up in a branch and might prove to be a bit of a headache.
The water felt better now; she was beginning to adjust to the temperature of the pool. Already she was starting to feel more comfortable in the water, even though her nipples were still hard. That was probably due to the natural excitement of being topless underwater.
Of all the things she hated about her living situation, the one thing she truly liked was the backyard pool. It was her sanctuary and she spent many hours in it. Having her own room helped, but it was the pool that was her solace whenever she wanted to forget that Lynnette was her stepmother.
Christina knelt and fought with the entangled patio chair, trying to free it from the stupid tree branch. She jerked on it but it wouldn’t come free. It irritated her when she couldn’t work it loose right away. Then her lungs started to burn. She was forced to rise to the surface in annoyance while streaming a trickle of air out of her nose.
She popped up for a breath, inhaled sharply and then dove back down, determined to separate the two objects. She knelt once again as she tugged on it. The chair finally came free, and as it sank the rest of the way to the bottom the branch slowly floated to the surface.
The 18 year old came up for a breath and then started manhandling the tree branch. She managed to roll it up out of the pool, figuring someone else could now deal with it. Then she went back down for the chair.
She fumbled with it, working it over to a nearby wall and then up the side of the pool. It never occurred to her to open the cover and drag it out of the shallow end. Besides, the branch jammed into the track looked wicked; she was saving that for last!
She got the patio chair up and rolled it out over the edge of the pool, cursing it under her breath. She was getting tired. Besides, the water was still just a tad chilly from her exertions, causing her nipples to remain hardened. But she stuck with it, wanting to get everything done so she could get her keys and cell phone and get the hell out of the house for a few hours!
There was a metal garbage can in the shallow end under the cover, along with the other patio chair. For a moment she struggled with the branch wedged into the jammed pool cover but it refused to budge. Deciding she would have to do it the hard way she filled her lungs and submerged.
She knew she could hold her breath long enough to swim under to the end of the pool and back. But this would be the first time she had done it with the cover partly closed. Still, she’d done it numerous times before and she never gave it a second thought. It wasn’t long until she was directly under the cover, pulling with her arms toward the garbage can as her hair streamed behind her head.
She reached the can and started to pull on one of the handles. That just made it harder… as though she was scooping up all of the pool water with it. Christina bubbled an obscenity as she struggled with it, fighting to pull it back out from underneath the cover.
It took longer than she expected, her legs scissor-kicking as she tried to pull it out from underneath. She could feel her lungs straining and for a moment she thought she might have to abandon it. But she was a stubborn young woman, and she managed to reach the slope to the deep end before having to let go and kick up to the surface.
She gasped for breath, frustrated that she’d had to give up on it. But it was out from underneath the cover now. She filled her lungs and dove down after it, snagging it and dragging it to a wall before pulling it up to the surface. She finally managed to push it up out of the water before hanging onto the edge of the pool, panting heavily for air.
‘Damn garbage can!’ she thought as she paused to get her breath back. But she’d gotten it out from underneath. That left the other patio chair.
She took a deep breath and dove back down kicking herself back under the cover. The damn patio chair must’ve been pushed into the shallow end by the wind! She got to it, grabbed it and started to pull it back out from underneath.
It took a little longer to get it out than she expected, and she felt her lungs start to burn again. She was under the cover pushing the chair toward the slope when she began to get a little concerned. Pushing her limits, she shoved the chair until it caught the slope and started to slide down into the deep end out from underneath the maddening cover. Then she shot over to the edge, air billowing out of her nose and mouth until she burst up gasping.
Damn; that took longer than expected! She’d definitely learned her lesson! She wasn’t ever going to forget to close the damn cover again, even if the sky WAS clear and there was no forecast for bad weather! This was a royal pain… and she still had some smaller bits of debris and other pieces of twigs and branches to deal with, some floating and some on the bottom
Christina took a deep breath and went down after the wayward patio chair, air trickling out of her nose as she swam down. She came up to it, got a good grip on it and then began pushing it up the wall of the pool. It was just like the other one – not all that heavy. But she was getting a little winded, and she suddenly lost her grip on it.
She cried out with a burble as it slipped away. She frantically snagged a leg and struggled to work it back up. She got it part way of it out of the water, but she had to go below and push up underneath it, pushing her breath-holding limits again. But she finally got it up out of the water, relieved as it tumbled onto the cement surrounding the pool. Then she clung to the edge, panting heavily.
The pool looked much cleaner now that the bigger crap was out of it. But there was still a mess of twigs and such in the shallow end under the cover, just like there was a lot of smaller material on the pool floor in the deep end. Deciding she wanted to get the job done as quickly as possible she took another deep breath and dove under, pulling with her arms.
She ducked under the cover again, snatching up most of the larger items. Then she easily swam them back out from under the material to the side of the pool. She tossed them onto the patio, not caring where they landed.
Christina looked around down below and saw it was mostly small material now – mostly twigs and leaves. It would take forever to swim around and gather it all up one piece at a time. It would take a little less than forever if she used the pool skimmer, but she didn’t want to do that either. Either way she wasn’t going to the mall anytime soon.
There was still that wicked looking branch jammed into the track of the cover’s wheels, and Christina paused to consider the matter. If she got that branch out and closed the cover maybe she could lie her way out of cleaning up the rest of the pool for awhile. Maybe she could tell the Wicked Witch of the West that the task was completed. Then she could get her car keys and get away before her stepmom uncovered the lie and discovered the mess still remaining at the bottom of the pool. It was a chance worth taking.
Christina smiled inwardly as she swam over to the branch, loving the idea of pissing off Lynnette just one more time. She grabbed onto it and pulled hard, but the damn thing was wedged in good and tight. She slipped under the surface with a burble, pulling with all her might.
The branch suddenly gave way and she bubbled triumphantly. But her triumph instantly turned to alarm as the cover suddenly started to close over her. ‘SHIT, IT’S STILL TURNED ON!’ she thought, grunting in dismay.
The first thing she thought of was that frustrating branch. She had to get it out of the pool or it might jam itself into the track again! As the cover pushed the limb forward –half of it in the water and half of it OUT of the water – Christina struggled to push it up and out of the pool.
It was a major battle and she had to move along with the cover as it slowly pushed forward. She grunted and bubbled as she fought with the branch the whole time, not wanting to get it wedged in again. She had to do something fast!
The edge of the cover was several feet from the side of the pool when the teenager gathered all her strength and gave it a mighty heave. The branch pushed up out of the water and clattered onto the edge of the pool, less than a foot away from the wheels rolling in their track. But there was still a section of limb hanging in the water, a section dangerously close to the track! Damn; it could still get hung up again!
Christina bubbled as she gave that last section of limb a frantic push. It flopped up and away, well clear of the metal wheels rolling in their track. She smiled triumphantly for a job well done; that is, until she was suddenly immersed in shadow as the cover continued to close over the top of her…
…AND SHE WAS STILL UNDERNEATH IT!!! HOLY CRAP!!!
The young woman cried out in horror, swimming frantically for the edge of the moving cover. She caught up to it and tried to pull on it in a desperate effort to get it to stop. Then she jerked her hands away moments before they would have gotten wedged between the cover and the side of the pool. The cover came to a complete stop, and Christina suddenly found herself trapped underneath in murky darkness!!
For a moment she simply couldn’t believe it! Of all the stupid things to have happened to her; this was the most ridiculous!! But then she became painfully aware of how exhausted she was from gathering all that stuff and tossing it out of the pool! She was really tired now… and most certainly out of breath!
Instinctively she shot upward and pushed up against the material with her hands as though trying to feel her way out. It bulged upward a little but not nearly enough to create a decent air pocket… and certainly not enough to alert someone that she was trapped underneath! At that moment she realized how desperate her situation had become… and there was only one other person on the property capable of coming to her aid at that very moment!
“LYNNETTE!!” she screamed in a froth of bubbles, pounding frantically on the cover. “I’M TRAPPED UNDER THE COVER!! DON’T YOU SEE ME DOWN HERE???!!! HELP ME, MOM! HELP MEEE!!” Frantic, she pushed up on the pool cover, for the first time fully acknowledging Lynnette as a mother figure.
Christina pushed up with her hands as panic filled her. But the cover refused to give, considering it was tightly stretched out across the surface of the pool. But she kept pushing up in desperation, twisting around and around as though that would somehow help her find a section of the cover that would open up for her. But the material stubbornly refused to give way. She couldn’t even rip a hole in it to get to air!!
In her panic it didn’t occur to her to try swimming over to the edge of the pool. The cover might have been loose enough over there to allow her to get her head up for a breath, especially along near the tracks where the wheels slid back and forth. But she was too terrified to think straight, too frightened to do anything other than instinctively push upward. All she knew was that the air she so desperately needed was on the other side of the material that was now blocking her escape.
Her lungs began to burn as she kicked with her legs, trying to stay near the surface. Her stomach convulsed from her growing need for air, and her cheeks began to bulge. She grunted in horror, frantically patting upward as though desperate to break out or desperate to get someone’s attention.
Her chest heaved and she bubbled anxiously, her lungs feeling like they were on fire. She tried to release a little air out of her nose to help ease the pressure, but it simply did no good. Then she coughed, getting a little water down her throat. Instinctively she sniffed water in through her nose, although she tried to stop herself.
Christina coughed again, her body instantly reacting to water flowing down her windpipe. She desperately needed air and her lungs heaved painfully. Then she coughed hard, got more water down her throat… coughed again until her lungs finally gave way and opened up.
The young woman grunted and gurgled as she reflexively gulped water in an attempt to breathe. She coughed and spasmed, her fists flailing weakly at the pool cover. Then she coughed again, her body doubling over in agony.
Christina was utterly terrified, her mind screaming for her stepmom as her body reacted to the fluid in her lungs. She floated face up against the pool cover, each cough causing her body to double over as she convulsed painfully. Then she began mentally screaming for her deceased mother to come save her as she grunted and gurgled, little bubbles of air slipping out of her mouth to dribble up against the underside of the pool cover.
Her eyes flashed open wide in horror as she coughed painfully and then coughed again. She tried to scream but all that came out was a gurgle as water continued flowing down her windpipe into her lungs. Then her body finally lost its buoyancy, beginning a slow descent to the pool floor below her. Tiny bubbles slipped out past her parted lips in a steady stream as though having received the signal to evacuate her lungs.
Christina came to rest on her back on the bottom of the pool, shadowy darkness all around her. There were glimmers of light along the edges of the pool, but for the most part she was bathed in the gloom of the covered pool. All she could do was stare up in shock and horror, her eyes unblinking.
She tried to lift her arms up to reach for the surface, but they wouldn’t function. Christina felt violated, as though water had penetrated every orifice. She shuddered as her internal organs fought to keep functioning, even as her heartbeat started to slow. Then her eyes glazed over as unconsciousness settled in, solitary bubbles slipping out of her gaping mouth to scurry to the surface…
Her stepmom came out 20 minutes later to check on her progress, only to discover the cover closed and the teen missing. She never really noticed the discarded bikini top, perhaps assuming it was part of the debris from the night before. Her first thought was that the obstinate young woman had done a little cleaning and then had snuck off to hitch a ride to meet up with her friends at the mall.
Several calls using the teen’s cell phone proved fruitless. Apparently Christina wasn’t at the mall and no one had seen her. That’s when she became more than a little alarmed. Purely on instinct she went back out into the backyard, searching for her stepdaughter.
Her eyes settled upon Christina’s discarded bikini top that she’d seen her wearing earlier that morning. Then she looked at the covered pool and stared in growing horror. Lynnette was suddenly gripped with a terrible dread.
Fighting off panic she went over and opened the pool cover, hoping the troublesome youth hadn’t done something foolish… like getting herself trapped underneath. That’s when she found the topless body of the drowned teen lying in the deep end on the pool floor. Her shrieks of horror got the attention of her neighbors as she jumped in and pulled the girl’s lifeless body out of the pool.
She tried CPR until the paramedics arrived, but it was much too late. Even as they carted her off to the hospital Lynnette knew Christina was gone. She was numb all over as she called her husband with the horrible news. Then she spent the rest of the day second-guessing herself over making her step-daughter go out and clean the pool.
Since it was acknowledged there was some bitterness and animosity between Christina and her stepmother Lynnette, an investigation was officially launched. The power to the pool cover was tested and retested to see if foul play might have been involved. But there was not enough evidence to indicate that the stepmom had anything to do with Christina’s drowning.
The circumstances were indeed suspicious, and there was an additional concern that the teen might have deliberately killed herself. There were also rumors that married life might have been better for Lynette if the girl would have ended up dead, rumors that could not be fully substantiated. Ultimately it was classified as an accident, just another tragic backyard pool accident. But the trauma was too much to save the marriage, and Christina’s father eventually ended up divorcing Lynnette…
(written for jqpublic Nov 21 ’10 by riwa)
(Some pictures are from www.christinamodel.com and are for illustration purposes only.)