The Passed Note Issue 4 June 2017 - Page 46

gulp of ocean took away my last breath.

There was no beauty. Just darkness.

A dreadful peace enveloped me, and I felt her then. The Siren. I felt her taloned claws pulling at me, a fierce shaking as if my soul was being stripped away from my body. There was screaming, and coarse scales across my skin. A pounding pain again and again at my chest. A wailing cry, my cry—lost in the ocean. She was taking me. She was taking my heart, my lungs, my breath. I opened my eyes, one last look at life before it ebbed away, and there was only emptiness, darkness, and the nothingness that was death.

Death. So close, and so final. With my body relaxing into its fate, I looked upwards. The sun's light lay fractured across the surface of the water. It flickered in and out of view with the turning tides like a beacon from a lighthouse. A sailor’s grace. My grace. And I fought then, reaching for the light with both hands; reaching for it despite the callous cry from the deep.

I can die, I thought, or I can die trying.

And try I did, splashing towards the surface as though swimming through oil and treacle.

My fingertips felt the air, the freedom from her clutches, yet something else grabbed at me. But this time, the grasping pulled me upwards. I gasped as the cold air brushed against my face and filled my lungs. The sun shone in my eyes, and I dared to hope—like Summer—that I could survive…

~

“That's it boy, get it out,” a rough voice demanded, pushing me to my side. I coughed again, and again, spewing murky sea water and feeling my lungs ache with each painful breath inhaled.