Three Beneath the Waves
He could hear the wind in the grass. He could hear the click click clicking of a child playing on the broken pavement somewhere nearby. He could hear her heartbeat, thumping soundly in her little chest. It made him think of meat. And thinking of raw meat made him think of what he’d wanted to say to his lover.
“... every tear would turn a mill, Johnny’s gone for a soldier.”
It was a bit from the song he’d been singing to a small, carefree audience of young, vibrant faces before he’d made the decision to come here. Without that man’s knowledge. That man had left, a long, long time ago. A year, to them that believed in Time. Thinking of meat made him feel the hunger that was gnawing at his gut. He felt as though he were going to starve without something... someone with a pure enough bioelectrical signature to provide a proper meal. That, now, that too made him wonder. What would that little blonde child, playing there so happily in her yellow dress, think if she knew what was in his mind? She was practically an appetizer to him, in his state. Her psychic envelope was a field of butterflies, painted in rainbows and sprinkled with silvery beams. As the sun slipped further down its starry path, its waning light would reflect her colours just so. But it was almost dark. What was a child doing out so late? Alone among the crinkled weeds creeping up from the cracks in the cement parkways. He sighed. -She- was an obvious trap, placed in his path by the reluctant nemesis, to gauge him.
Amazing how acute some senses became, when nature belied her savage intent to your body and it obeyed, despite your best efforts to civilize its baser whims. He hadn’t sung much, till now. How long, he wondered. How long would it take before he was once more consumed by what was slumbering inside him? It had nearly surfaced many times since the day it first awoke after far too short a sleep. Some small part of him still wished it would have slept forever. But, that part of him was getting smaller, less vocal, with every passing hour. Absently, he fingered the old mark coin in his hand, his long fingers breathing in the ridges, the bumps and rises, the worn, dented places buffed smooth by touching. The psychic impressions it held...ah...just a fractured hint of every handler, every space it had ever dropped to, every drawer it had clinked in. It was one of the ones he’d been looking for. At once it was like something broke, some inner dam, and those rich, delicious place memories became a rising tide in his mind, flooding him, carrying him down, to the depths. To the Him he’d hidden away. He could almost see the creamy foam of his own mental demise coming to claim him as his reality faded into Darkness. In fact, the only thing he could see was water, now. Water was everywhere, rising over his head. Blinking didn’t help. He stumbled, catching his foot on something sharp as his bare skin hit wood. He could smell sea air. Had he wandered onto a dock? Why couldn’t he see? A stab ached through his Achilles tendon, straight through from the bottom flat of his naked heel. He’d stabbed himself on a nail. Probably a rusted hob from some beggar’s boot, or the iron spike from one of the shipyard dock posts. He blinked again. Still didn’t help. He had lived too long to give in to the terror of dying; besides, couldn’t he hold his breath longer than anyone? He’d always been longwinded, leastways.
One last step, and he felt he had fallen, was falling. His youthful flesh smacked something wet and cold and dark, sinking fast, and fluid filled his mouth. Was it to be like before? He couldn’t remember...so dark... getting darker... No time to breathe, no time to hold one’s breath as the real water filled him, sucking out his air from ample lungs. Agony had befallen him many times before, but never like this. Death by drowning. So soon? Well, perhaps it was deserved. Then he closed his eyes, and disappeared beneath the waters of the bay. No more running. Though, the small gaggle of locals and tourists who saw him fall did quite a lot of running. They made phone calls, screamed, looked on without the slightest bit of compassionate interest. To each their own, for no amount of coffee or denial could prepare them for the column of gold that exploded from the point where the waters had swallowed and chewed.