Been too nice and earnest and sincere in recent weeks – back to a good old fashioned horror vignette to blacken the mood.
Water / Light
Only in the light will we drown.
She slips out into the cool water, diving under the rolling waves and letting the swirl of the tide roll her gently over into the drink.
It is a warm night, and the beach is empty. Meg’s clothes are back on the sand, twisted up and discarded in haste, sweaty and old from the long day. Here, out in the water, the quiet is encompassing, and she is content just to sway. Her eyes drink in moonlight.
She feels the water wrap around her body, and a tingling bursting quietly in the back of her neck. Back on the shore, she’s left behind more than her clothes. Here, in the open, she can forget a lot about the land and what occupies it. She smiles and sinks her bare shoulders, her tingling neck, and her eyes below the surface of the water.
Blackness confronts her. The waves are calming, and the deep water is starting to slow. Meg floats for a while, and then eases upwards with her arms to come out for air.
She sucks in oxygen. Her eyes fill again with moonlight. She looks back to the shore, now distant, but still familiar. Below, something shifted in her, and she enjoys the re-emergence. It’s important to Meg, and she’s glad to be back here, finally, after all that’s happened. She treads water, holds her position, and then takes a deep breath, prepares for another calming submergence.
The air catches in her throat as she feels something slick brush past her thigh.
Meg ignores it at first. Maybe a fish, or seaweed, or her imagination – the trickling endorphins from her neck bleeding into her leg.
The night remains quiet and still. Lights blink on the shore, dim and meaningless.
Again, Meg sucks in air, and prepares to sink.
Before she can close her mouth, she is ripped down, hard and fast, into the water. Her lungs fill with water and she splutters in the once quiet black.
She sinks, sinks, sinks, and longs for her clothes on the shore.
Whatever gripped her leg finally lets her go, and she thrashes her legs into the traitorous sea, fighting for the surface.
Her eyes soar through a breaking wave into the rapidly cooling night. They sting, her lower leg stings from contact with the enemy, her neck stings, the fanciful tingle now turning on her. Meg turns for the shore, and wishes now that she had never left it. Can imagine sand on the pads of her toes, a fleeting memory of a sensation that begins to evade her as she starts to kick.
She drifts quickly over splashing water.
The splashing turns in on itself. The water starts to rumble below her, a foreign, alien frequency, far removed from the formerly steady calm of the lapping tide.
Meg thrashes harder, the shore still seeming terrible and removed. Those lights continue to fade.
Her legs seize.
Meg’s breathing is a sharp shackle in her throat.
She tries to roll over in the water, pull her feet free, and as she kicks up into the moonlight, she catches glimpses of thick, black tendrils of pockmarked flesh wrapping around her limbs.
She cannot understand what she sees. The shackles on her legs and on her throat continue to twist and tighten.
The tendrils spin and grow, limitless, and Meg feels her bones start to break.
On the shore, her clothes are slowly getting wet in the approaching tide.
The water around Meg starts to warm. Unnatural, burning warmth flicking up under her ears as she starts to descend, involuntarily this time. She forgets to take a breath, and instead disappears under the surface of the ocean for the final time.
Her screaming is muffled by the boiling sea water.
And the comfortable darkness is getting brighter.
Below her, deep in the ocean, a shape becomes clearer, writhing and massive, those limitless limbs swirling around glinting, sharp shards of awful metal.
The ocean is filling with terrible light, and in the light, Meg begins to drown.
A booming sound, a voice somehow less muffled than her own, reaches out to her from below.
Only here. In the light.