The Swimming Hole Story
This is the prologue for Fort Davis Rocks.
Water from the previous night’s rain trickled out of the cedar breaks through very thin soil on top of a continuous layer of limestone. It collected in a depression and ran down the gentle slope, finally cascading over rock smoothed by millennia of trickling water. The rock had been warmed by the August sunshine, and when it finally reached the swimming hole, it was noticeably warmer than the crystal clear water into which it cascaded, with irregular but consistent tinkling. At the edge of the hole an old live oak tree clung to the bank with half of its original root structure, the other half having disappeared when the soil beneath was scoured out by a succession of floods. One root still grasped a piece of limestone it had grown around, as if to defy the disappearance of the rest of the foundation the tree had once relied on.
At the edge of the pool, perhaps twenty feet by forty feet, long green leaves of bear grass dipped into the water, like so many Rastafarians with the heads bent toward the water. Above, a knotted rope hung from the upper reaches of the old tree, ready to deliver children into the four foot deep pool. The wind blew loudly through the upper branches of the trees, but at the surface of the water, the air barely moved. Two turkey vultures soared far above, and another swooped down for a closer look, then went on its way. The only sounds beyond the tinkling of the water dripping into the pool and the wind in the treetops were the sounds of wet kisses being shared by the young couple in the pool.
Tiny fish, many only a half inch long, searching for something to eat, finally investigated the hair on Maria’s arm. She pulled her arm out of the water. “They’re biting me!” Delbert, eager to continue kissing the girl, looked down into the water. He, too, had felt the tiny fish nibbling on the hairs on his legs, but he was far too engrossed in the girl to care. She put her mouth back on his, and tasted his tongue again, then abruptly pulled away and threw herself backwards into the water, causing a splash that scattered the fish.
Delbert sat still, watching her through the distortion of the water. Maria surfaced again, facing away from him, and wiggled a little, then turned to face him. She held her white bikini top in one hand, and the bottoms in the other. She had long, black hair, and skin the color of toasted marshmallow. Her young breasts sagged only slightly, and she grinned at him, then turned abruptly and climbed out of the far end of the pool. Delbert watched her supple loins, transfixed by the sight, the first girl he had ever seen unclothed. As she slipped on her sandals and began running up the trail, he swam to the shallow end, where he could climb out, but by the time he got his shoes on, she had disappeared.
The fifteen year old’s absence from the after lunch activities had been noted, and counselor’s spread out over the area looking for them. Maria almost ran into one of them, stark naked and laughing, and by morning she was on her way to a family compound in Mexico. Delbert’s parents couldn’t be reached immediately.