Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Death From The Deeps

Melchior scanned the floor of the seabed with the cyclopean faceplate of his diving helm. The sturdily designed suit kept the waters at bay so he could do his job, but the whole rig did a number on his peripheral vision. He always had a tickling suspicion in the back of his mind that someone or something was alway just behind him. Some days it was worse than others. Today was a particularly bad one.

None of those fears could keep him from his work, though. The Captain was as mad as the maddest hatter. There was no room for those who didn’t carry their weight. Whether the need was food, treasure, or collecting unique sea life to fill the banks of aquariums - his will was absolute.  

He was about to turn around and head back, when he saw the tentacle flicker on the right edge of his vision. There was no denying his feelings this time.

His hand went to the thick blade secured at his waist. Clumsy gloves kept him from any fine manipulation, but all he had to do was get his fingers through the loop of metal. Then he could close his hand and magnetic clamps would engage. It would make the knife difficult for anyone to rip away. Once free from its scabbard, he turned as quickly as he could. That was no easy feet, dressed as he was and at the present depth.

Yellow lights, surrounding his porthole view, tracked from the sea floor and up into the water which swirled around him. His own breathing echoed in his ears as panic threatened to take hold of him. An experienced diver of many years, he knew that would kill him before this creature, whatever it was. His quickest movement was slowed by the water's death grip.

One of the thicker tentacles wrapped around his waist. Even through the layers of canvas and leather, he could feel the crushing grip.

That the tentacle was so close to his knife belt may have saved him from death by constriction. He brought the knife down towards the grasping arm. A dark haze filled the water around him, reducing visibility even further. The pressure around his middle slackened. With his left hand, he tugged on the rope and hose, his only link to the ship. Three tugs meant "pull me the hell in, now".

Arms moving, his body kept spinning. Once the motion began, it was hard to shift. When he saw the eye, he wanted to do nothing else but unsee it. A swirl of fiery colors made it stand out from the surrounding blue green. The thing's blood did little to cloud the hellish light of that immense orb.

Breathing came hard and fast now, but more from panic than exertion. They had to pull him back from here. The third tug found the rope and hose rapidly slackening. Water began bubbling into his air hose. His left hand went to a valve he couldn't see. It turned off the feed of what would soon be nothing but sea water. The part of his brain still operating on survival instinct knew he only had three minutes of sweet air, before he began breathing his own exhalations.

He screamed when he saw the massive maw, not a beak but a vortex of gnashing bone splinters. Nothing in nature bore this thing to term.

His knife hand slashed frantically at incoming tentacles, while his left hand continued to work at his only salvation. It ripped the cord free from his waist, loosening the weights at his feet. He kicked like a dervish, struggling for a ship that seemed like it waited in the next galaxy.

A tentacle grabbed at his foot, well beyond the reach of his knife. It had him and began to draw him towards the nightmare mouth.

His breathing became more and more ragged. The edges of his vision began to cloud. Frantic, his left hand beat at the glass eye separating him from the cold embrace of the sea. The pane shattered and shards pierced his skin. Frigid, salty water screamed into his wounds and he opened his mouth to suck in the death giving liquid. It would be merciful compared to what awaited below. The last thing he felt was tearing as the creature bit through his knee.

#horror, #ScottRoche, #Cthulu, #Nemo, #19thCentury, #SciFi, #Verne, #Lovecraft

Art Source: Into the Depths by preilly at Deviant Art
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche


Post a Comment