Legs and arms pulling her higher on a limb and above the water, she rode the buoyancy of the bough, the girl finally able to fully catch her breath. Now far downstream, following the curve of the swiftly moving creek, Heather saw the banks begin to narrow. As the current seethed below, the cluster of branches began to slowly rotate, sweeping her closer toward shore.
Approaching a spate of boulders near the Dairy Street Bridge, Heather straightened and timed her leap for the largest, landing, sliding, then scampering to gain traction and pull herself up the sloping granite face. Crouched upon the rock, stripping the sodden hair from her face, she took a moment to witness the lifesaving branches slam and wrap a stone upright of the bridge before violently being sucked under.
All systems alive, Heather swelled with sudden euphoria, with revitalized strength and a keenness of mind replacing the lethargy that had so gripped her spirit. Cloud cover breaking, she rose to stand tall in the night, her triumphant form framed against the large luminous circle of a resurgent moon.