Monday August 18th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: diving.

Ugh, little kid goodbyes are the worst. At least Max is too young to fully understand what was happening, but he was certainly aware that his cousin Natalie was upset.

My parents arrived this afternoon, shortly after Max woke up from his nap. It didn't seem to take too long for him to remember who they were, and before they knew what was going on it was time to kick and bounce balls around the deck.

While Kat and I picked berries after dinner, my parents kept Max entertained. That will be their task again tomorrow morning as we continue our box harvest.


Bubbles floating in a sea of silence, lazily approaching the surface far above. Below the sea grows steadily darker, the floor hidden from view. A fish swims slowly by, keeping a close eye on my movements. I lift a finger to adjust my mask and it disappears in an instant.

Alone once more, I absorb the tranquility. My desk belongs to another planet while I'm down here. All those reports piling up on my desk as though they hope to reach the ceiling... someone else's problem.

Time stands still in this other place. Beyond the reach of the light of day, I could live forever...

If only my oxygen tank wasn't getting dangerously close to empty.


Greg said...

Glad to hear that your parent's have arrived safely and are busy picking up babysitting duty :-P As for little kid goodbyes, clearly the trick is to make sure that they forget all about the visit as you take them out to the car to leave. I think you can do this by lacing their food with roofies until breakfast on the morning of departure, but you may need to experiment to get it exactly right :)
That's a great description of time underwater scuba diving and takes me right back to when I used to do that! I guess you've done it yourself as well? And the punchline is a good one, though slightly scary. I have been there....

The strange, bifurcated hand presses down over Ilsa's face before she can make a sound. It is cool, too cool for a human hand, and it feels leathery. It moulds itself to her face, spreading out like someone is trying to wrap her head in parchment. She can feel her nose being covered, each turn being followed and then her eyes being covered as though the parchment is sinking down onto her skin. Maybe even into it. She tries to open her mouth, suck in breath and scream, but the hand flows inside, pressing against her teeth and tongue and down, down, down into her throat.
She is diving down into water; her eyes open again and she can see silvery bubbles of air rising around her as it flees her lungs. She tries to control it, hold her breath, so that it's not taken away from her leaving her to drown. Her arms and legs move slowly, struggling against the water as she tries to reverse the dive. Slowly she gains ground and starts to surface, and though her lungs feel like they're burning, she breaks through the water with a triumphant splash.
Bells are ringing somewhere in the distance, across the water where she can see a sandy shore. There are people standing on the shore, but they all look odd somehow, maybe wrong. She starts to swim towards them, puzzled as to why she's still short of breath. Was she under the water for that long? She stretches an arm out, performing the crawl, and as it descends--
--she sits upright in the bed. A dream. It was all just a horrible dream.
scritch, scritch
She doesn't want to turn her head, but how can that noise still be there? Didn't she dream it?
scritch, slither, slither, scritch
She turns, and her head feels wrong. Too light. And she can see too much, but she knows she's not seeing any more than before. She can see the thing on the ceiling, retreating, fleeing her. Only... only its head isn't smooth anymore, it has a nose.
She's at the mirror without even realising that she's left the bed, and even in this poor, silvery moonlight she can see that her nose is gone, only two slits remain in her face, and even they are healing over as she watches.

Marc said...

Greg - I will take that as a compliment, because no, I've never scuba dived.

And yes, I'm ignoring your roofies comment :P

Ugh, why am I reading this right before bed? I must hate myself. Or hate the idea of sleep.

One of the two.