(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

Sharon was the first to spot him in the water.

No one else noticed the little boy was drowning.

But the lifeguard had him out in seconds.

She gave him CPR on the beach.

The crowd watched with bated breath…

Then the boy’s mother cried.

His chest was moving.

The people cheered.

Sharon smiled.


This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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