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

Above ground, the sounds of the waves fill the air.

But underwater, you can only hear your own heartbeat.

I’d wanted to see one my whole life.

Now was my chance to find them.

Through the reef we slowly dove.

Until we finally saw them.

Huge, distant moving shapes.

We stared, spellbound.

Colossal beauties.


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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