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All the Way Down

Amanda C. Davis is an environmental professional living in central Pennsylvania. She's an enthusiastic amateur baker, gardener, and horror-movie-watcher, with side hobbies in book cover design and various kinds of crafting. Her short stories have appeared in Pseudopod, Cemetery Dance, Year's Best Weird Fiction, and others, including Chilling Ghost Short Stories and Swords & Steam from Flame Tree Publishing. She tweets as @davisac1. You can find out more about her and read more of her work at amandacdavis.com.

The water isn't clear until you're all the way down, but by then it's too late. You sink slowly, seeing murk. A gross brown mist, a fog, refracting what's left of the sunlight with thick particles of filth. Tastes good though. Rich salt. You drink it in and soon you are sinking faster.
The sinking is the dying.
They'll catch you soon, in threes and fours, tugging your limbs down to the black depths and into the crannies where they hide from cameras and divers and aquatic vehicles. It's not so hard to hide from the surface folk, it turns out. They have so much trouble seeing. You are surface folk--were--but you didn't find your way here. You never could. You were brought.
They stretch you out--you're quite dead now, astonished at how limp and light you feel--and they strip your surface clothes. A dagger flashes in the mild bioluminescence and then it plunges into your neck--one side, then the other. It doesn't hurt, of course, since you're dead. They squeeze you front and back. The seawater in your lungs surges out of your new gills along with a gout of blood that you taste, and then: no longer dead.
You breathe the sea. Your vision clears. They are so beautiful. They laugh, making ripples instead of sound. The water is clear as sky, you're all the way down, and instead of sinking, you rise.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Author Comments

Just a little sensory experiment where I tried to achieve a persistent sense of motion. Also, mermaids.

- Amanda C. Davis
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