Still Breathing

The world darkened swiftly after his head smashed sideways against the console.

As he awoke the darkness remained. He knew the position of all of his controls by feel, so began fumbling for emergency power, needing to get some air circulating. Lights blinked on and redness lit his world. The CO2 scrubbers finally kicked in and the sweet oxygen tasted like a mountain breeze.

His vessel had been struck and spun into nearby rock. The damage readouts looked bad, and he frantically attempted to establish where he’d drifted while unconscious.

Blood stuck to his fingers as he worked the buttons; evidence of where his head had landed. He wiped his fingers on his shirt, trying not to look at the cracked cockpit glass.

He was moving; he could feel it, even though his instruments said otherwise. Beyond the glass was nothing. Pitch black stillness and nothing.

He had been moving into new territory, and as far as anyone knew, he should be the first human here. Yet someone had beaten them. He wished he could see where they were.

He tinkered under the consol, reconnected a loose wire, and the lights burst on as his instruments activated.

He then wished for the stillness to return.

He was dropping into the abyssal chasm faster than he had realised. He could see now that he had not been struck by a rival submarine. Not even the breaking of glass could tear his gaze from the giant eye he was falling past.

Constructive criticism welcome. © 2008 Damian Herde

Still Breathing

Damian

Toowoomba, Australia

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Artist's Description

For the Twisted Tales comp on the theme of Still

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