The Canal

Every summer the canal ran full of dark brown water rushing through the center of town on the way to farms. I stood on the bridges and watched it with fascination. One morning I got off my bike, climbed down the bank, and went for a swim. It took about 30 seconds before my knee slammed into a cinderblock on the bottom and began to bleed. I decided to get out and found I couldn’t climb back up the bank . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “the canal.”

Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

5 thoughts on “The Canal”

  1. Her jeans were so low-slung I could see the canal…her birth canal, that is. “And you call yourself a lady,” I sighed at her, “you’re not even fifteen,” I said, “put on a decent pair of pants for Christs’ sake, or a skirt, or anything but that.” My neighbor’s daughter, she didn’t listen to me, she turned her back on me & in the low-slung jeans she had on I immediately saw the OTHER canal, that of her ass crack. “Jesus!” I muttered. Then I told myself, “It’s not my circus, not my monkey,” but I never listen to the things I tell myself. “No, goddamn it,” I grabbed her before she was all the way down her front steps, “just no. I’m not your mother, but I’m not letting you go out in public in these jeans.” I dragged her, as she cursed me and attempted to slap me, back inside to try and force her into something less revealing.

  2. Ah Venice. Something about the canal streets is utterly romantic. Try not to think of all the garbage in the mud below. I have always wanted to be here since I first saw them in a cartoon. You might have seen it Sylvester was chasing Tweety and keeps getting beat to a pulp.

  3. I can remember sitting with you when we were kids, at night we’d sneak out and meet up at the docks, some nights the water was so calm we imagined a giant mirror had been laid down. The lights reflecting from the refinery dimly lit our faces, enough to watch our mouths awkwardly touch for the first time.

  4. The police had found the body of a woman in the canal near South West 8th Street near the Florida Turnpike. The medical examiner was inspecting it when Detective Danny Steele approached.

    “Whatta we got, Doc?” he inquired.

    “I suspect foul play, Danny. Look at the blunt blow to the back of the head,” he said as he turned the body on its side.

    Danny squatted in order to see better. “It could be the body of the missing woman that was reported last week.”

    “What a shame…So young to end up like this,” the coroner said, shaking his head.

    “Well, Doc,” Danny said, standing, “I guess we both have our work cut out for us.”

  5. It had been raining last night, and had not let up even now . The sky was steel gray, it drizzled relentlessly, raindrops , sharp watery pin points hitting your face and arms . The canal was in spate , churning , frothy , muddy, angry.
    Every day we would watch trees, bushes and other strange shapes being swept away , in its vengeful ,annual, monsoon swelling.
    That day , Rani came in excitedly. Catching me by my arm. she thrust me into the rain, screaming , “Dekho, Dekho”(See, see!!)
    She was besides herself,panting and all round-eyed .I couldn’t see anything.All I could see was the raging waters , and that I had been unceremoniously allowed myself to be thrust into the morning rain .
    “Kyaa?” (What?)
    I countered, thoroughly bugged.
    “Thik se dekho , woh, woh”(See carefully) She pointed.
    What seemed like a brown coloured mud heap , was actually a brown coloured T-shirt, Ohmigod , with a stiff brown shiny, swollen arm sticking out of it, almost looking like a branch.Thankfully , the face was not visible from my wet rooftop…

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