It’s almost a tautology to use Paul Kelly’s song Deeper Water for this exercise. Every song he writes is a narrative, this one in particular. Nevertheless, I have loved this song as much as my favourite novel because of the images it evokes. This is my version.
The waves broke and sprayed. A seagull swooped and disappeared under the water.
‘Mum! Dad! Watch this!’ Justin ran against the waves and threw his fine muscular body into the surf. Seconds later, he emerged, tossing his hair. ‘Did you see that? Frickin’ awesome!’ he yelled.
Megan and Andrew sat close to the shore, under a red striped umbrella, which fought against the wind. Megan waved and smiled, but her sunglasses concealed her eyes. The familiar ache began in her chest and spread across her shoulders, down her back and up her neck, clasping her throat. My beautiful boy, she thought. That is all he will ever be to me. And then the sob began to rise until it reached the dam wall, which was her throat. It stuck there until, in one swallow, it was gone. Don’t cry, she told herself. The doctors had given her a year, and she couldn’t waste it crying.
‘You ok honey?’ Andrew put his warm, rough hand on her knee.
‘Uh-hum,’ she smiled at him, and leaned against his shoulder.