The thwack of the oar knocked James into the water. The last thing he saw before going under was Stewart, standing in the boat, smiling. James struggled to stay awake as water seeped into his nose. He couldn't help thinking back to when his father was teaching him to swim. He'd sucked in more water than a sponge before he finally got the hang of it.
Unfortunately, his father wasn't around right then to pull him up, and his body felt more like a rock than a sponge. He shook his head the best he could to clear it and tried to push toward the surface. Funny, he thought, I never knew you could cough under water.