Steph adored oceans, rivers and even ponds. Apparently, water loved her back. That was probably why she was able to become a competent marathon swimmer. Starting with the English Channel, she was able to conquer the toughest of straits. Steph was called the ‘Queen of Channels’ until she encountered the Red straits.
Nobody had conquered ‘The Red’(as it was called) until then and the only teenage champion who attempted died mid-way in 1929. Surprisingly, her separated parents and old school friends came to see her off. Steph understood her enormous responsibility to her country and the hopeful crowd, as she dived into ‘The Red’ with a prayer.
After swimming for 18 hours, Steph was felt invigorated, instead of exhausted. She plunged on, with renewed energy, as she reached the middle of the straits. There were remnants of a wrecked ship. Steph ignored it and swam ahead, her goal in mind. All of a sudden, someone pulled her down. Seaweeds or sharks? Steph felt scared for the first time. As hard as she tried to rise above, she found herself going deep inside. There were further wreckages deep down- parts of an aeroplane. The last image she saw was that of a young man, wearing an outdated blue swimsuit. ‘The sea always claims its own.’ he said, shivering at the memory of 85 years.
This was written for Alastair Photo Fiction.