In Hidden Depths

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: The Digital Artist on Pixabay.

In Hidden Depths


Even the open, transparent lake has its unknown depths,

which no diver knows – Hans Christian Andersen.


Everyone knew that the only safe part of the mountain top was away from the edge. As far back as possible. There was a barrier that had been moved back each time a portion of the land split, crumbled and fell down into the lake below. There was no need for the danger sign; the constant retreat of that barrier said it all.

Yet for some reason I must have ignored the advice, otherwise it couldn’t have happened. Did I go up there on my own, or with company? If I could remember I might know if I went of my own free will or if I was forced up there right onto the edge.

Did I jump or was I pushed? It didn’t make much difference, not once I was airborne; there was only one way that things were going to end.

That question continued to turn around in my mind as I plummeted downwards. Right up until the collision with the water knocked all thoughts from my mind. It hurt as much as if I had hit a brick wall. The only difference was that I passed through the barrier of water and kept on going down... down... down.

The air that I had held in my lungs was knocked out by the impact. Any buoyancy I might have had went with it and, like a rock or a slab of concrete, I went deeper and deeper. We had all been told that the lake was deep – I never appreciated quite how deep before.

The light of the sun cannot penetrate the water for very long and once that is extinguished I’m not sure which way is up and which way is down. I could have fought back against the weight of water but the deeper I went the more pointless that became. Did I even want to get back up and fill my lungs? I couldn’t answer that as my head seemed to start imploding from the pressure.

I thought that I would be blind, without the light to see by; instead my eyes seemed to adjust to my surroundings. My empty lungs hurt. They demanded that I inhale, but I didn’t give in instantly. I needed to see what was sure to be my graveyard.

There was all kinds of debris, from the man-made to that of nature. Wheels lay vehicle-less, and in some places entire cars loomed out of the mud that lined the lake bottom. There was an entire tree that must have fallen when the land that it grew from collapsed, fell. A lot of it had rotted away from the constant water, but not all of it, and it was on one of its twiggy branches that my clothes became snagged.

There were living things down there too. Grotesque water life that had been warped and twisted by the heavy and relentless weight of the liquid. And there was something else down here with me too. Something that even in the darkness looked black.

Through eyes that barely stayed open I saw the tendrils reach out towards me until they coiled around my arms, my legs, my neck. It was strangling me, but it had no need to. I was already on the cusp of death if it just had the patience to wait.

I didn’t fight. My mind had long since given up any control over my limbs. Instead I let it pull me free of the tree and as it pulled me closer and prepared to consume me, I breathed in. My lungs flooded with no way of emptying, and it was good. I could finally find some peace.

Submitted: December 22, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Another sad but excellenter, Hull

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 7:08pm


Thanks for giving this a read, Mike.

Sun, December 27th, 2020 5:14am

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