Horseshoes heaved through the yard. Burgers and sausage on the grill. American Light beer out of cans so cold the hands got numb.
It was the height of summer and the sky was blue enough to cure the color blind.
“Cannon ball!” One of the kid’s screamed, slamming down into the water- washing it over the walls of the above ground pool.
The adults looked up from their lawn chairs, all shaking their heads in disapproval.
“We’d have never gotten away with that when we were kids.”
“We wouldn’t of. No way.” A beer can crushed in a big hand.
Alright. So, that was that. “ADULT SWIM!”
“No!” The kids pleaded.“No!”
“Come on, ALL THE KIDS OUT OF THE POOL! LET’S GO! OUT!”
Just like that. 10 large adults in the water. No kids- banished to the house they were.
They floated around, paddled back and forth towards each other, away from each other, chest hair bobbing in the chlorinated water.
They talked about approaching summer mega blockbusters and stock car races. Weighed the pros and cons of deli mustard vs. regular yellow mustard.
Also, chiefly, how their kids got to do all the things that they had wanted to do as children but hadn’t been able to because they had been raised by hard asses who had barely survived the great depression.
“We’re adults now.”
“We’re in charge.”
“Uh huh. Our show. For sure.”
“We can do what we want now.”
“Let’s make a whirl pool.”
“Yeah, right on…”
They began to whip around the outside perimeter of the pool. They clung to the edge and flung themselves forwards. Smiling drunkingly. By the third lap around the oval, a current had really picked up. The adults were running and pulling themselves along, taunting each other.
“Lapped you again, Charlie!”
Around and around. The water getting faster and faster. Some of them thought about how hypocritical it was. This is the same junk we tell our kids they can’t do, because it will blow out the walls of the pool.
Come on. We’re not engineers, and this isn’t gonna blow out the walls of the pool.
A vortex appeared in the center of the pool and now they were all fixated on it. Look at that! This only made them propel their bodies with more abandon.
The water began to boil.
The vortex got bigger.
The first of the dark tentacles came up from the center of the whirlpool. Came out like a whip. Snapping. The adults didn’t notice, they were too caught up in their own game. Their own inertia.
The whirl pool quickened, the vortex widened. More tentacles came whipping out, this time the tentacles found their direction and each one wrapped up one of the adults and pulled them all down together into the vortex as the teeth of the creature revealed themselves below.
A stray scream escaped from Charlie, the others disappeared beneath the water, with nothing more than a gluggggggg.
The kids came out of the house later, bored from the videogame and cold from the air conditioning.
They sat down at the picnic table and shooed the flies off of the remaining hamburgers and hot dogs- ate quietly. Drinking grape and orange store brand soda.
The braver ones went back up onto the pool deck and seeing that it was safe and no adults were around- they went into the cool clear water.