Jason barely heard Katie scream. He barely heard Maggie scream as well; he’d already jumped over the rope-rail. He was already falling toward the river before either sound registered in his ears, along with the splash of Katie hitting the water. Then the river was swallowing him up as well.
He managed to resurface quickly, fighting the current to get his bearings. It took him a minute to find Katie, clinging to an outcropping of rocks where the current was stronger. The current built toward a large cleft in the mountain’s face, worn into a waterfall by the river’s constant pressure.
“Hang on, Katie!” He swam as hard as he could, powering his way toward the rocks, and let the force of the river slam him against one of the largest stones. Two giant boulders away from Katie. Great.
“Jason!” was all Katie to scream over the waves of river water lapping against the rocks around her and splashing across her face. He saw her struggle to tighten her grip on the boulder too close to the river’s drop, water slipping all over hands and coating the rock’s face, even as she tried to keep her head in the free air. She was losing the battle.
Jason repositioned himself and let the force of the river carry him forward onto the next boulder. One more rock away. The stones smoothed out to the edge of the forest off to his left. If he could just grab Katie and climb toward that bank. But she was too far out, stuck in the path of the river tumbling against itself and over the side of the mountain’s cleft. If he could just reach her…