2018 Prompt 01

I thought it would be fun to start writing session with a somewhat random prompt, so you can expect a lot of this throughout the year.

My first prompt is: You’re enjoying making sand castles at the beach, when the ocean waves wash up a message in a bottle.  You pull out the message: What does it say?


This is not a plea for help.  It’s a confession.  I don’t think I’ll survive, but if I do, then I don’t want anyone to know.  Maybe if it’s anonymous, you just won’t believe me.  If I’m dead, I need you to believe me.  If I’m alive, I hope you think this is a joke.

It happened in a hot summer, when days are longest.  When nights are short, but shadows long.

Maybe it won’t surprise, but it happened on a boat.  Just out with some friends watching for whales.  When we didn’t see any, we decided to go ahead and check under the water.  I put on my dive gear and leap into the icy water, my

It doesn’t matter now.

We didn’t expect to find anything.  Hoped for a whale or dolphins, maybe some nice fish, but that’s it.  It’s hard to image that no one else has ever been here.  Hard to image that we’re it.

Then again, the ocean is vast.  The last frontier.  Still more to it than we can imagine.  That’s why I liked diving.

I didn’t realize how outside my imagination it would really be.  Or maybe, not so much outside my imagination as outside my reality.

A little hole.  My dive buddy signaled he wanted to go in.  You don’t see things like that in the middle of the ocean, but he wanted down.  I stayed outside.

Five minutes he signaled.  Tops.

When the others came by, I gestured to them that he had gone down.  He did stupid stuff all the time.

Even going down a hole for longer than he had said.  I went down after him.

Gotta keep it short. Gotta tell you everything.

He wasn’t stuck.  Something drug him down.  I found his tank at the bottom, bit of wet suit clinging to the straps.

A tunnel.  Circular but not.  A circle not at 360 degrees.  I don’t know how else to describe it, but that’s what it felt like.

Something moving in the gloom.  So little light.

Grab the tank.  Try to swim up.  A clawed, webbed, hand reaches around me.

Rips regulator and part of my lips off my face.  I barely manage not to gasp.

The salt in the wound still hurts.

I spun in the water.  Not a good look.  Enough.  My friend stared back at me with bulging eyes and sharp teeth.  Gills under the dive suit.

I kicked him and swam.  Grab emergency regulator and just go up.  Don’t care about the sickness.  Just up.

Fins ripped to shreds.  Dive suit torn open.  Blood on my lips, down my legs.

Grab my arms.  Stomach clenching, lungs want to pop.

A bit.  Shark teeth in a human mouth.  Reach for the light.

Break the surface screaming.  Their screaming stopped.

Sitting in the decompression chamber, and their screaming stopped.  Tossed me in, started screaming soon after.

Sound of gnashing teeth.

Just gonna make a break.  Get this out.  There’s something in the water.  And there’s more than one.  Something here.

It’s knocking on the door.


Author’s Note:  Okay, so I was ready to end that.  I’ve been thinking for a while how Lovecraft’s impossible angles would work though, and my thought was simply a world where the rules of mathematics are either different or, more terrifying, constantly changing.  I feel like our brains would try to translate it into something we know, but the feeling of not quite right would linger.  Like, how are those angles all obtuse?  A circle would probably be the least changed since it’s a loop, but I’m not enough of a topologist to know for sure.





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