A Burial at Sea

A Burial at Sea

A Story by Butterfly_Kid


A heavy iron foot thumped down hard on the ocean floor. It's near-silent force was perceptible only by the sudden plume of sand that filled the surrounding waters like swirling cirrus clouds. Several more cumbersome stomping feet followed behind, causing even more sand to jump into the air. It gave the infinitely slow funeral procession an even gloomier appearance. A school of colorful fish glided aimlessly into the graveyard. They were startled by the macabre human affair, and fluttered away urgently.

The muted, rhythmic thudding continued. The only other sound that could be heard was the monotonous, gurgling moan of the pallbearer's diving suits. A long and high trail of bubbles formed over their heads as they plodded ever forward. Before them stood a single mourner in a diving suit, their head and shoulders slumped. The weight of the suit giving their posture an especially grievous appearance. A few lonely bubbles rose from their helmet as the mourner looked forward now, watching as the procession neared.

The pallbearers finally reached the gravesite. A perfect, casket-sized hole was dug six feet into the sand and earth below. A lone crab climbed out from the grave and scurried away, avoiding the colossal metal boots that were bearing down on it. The procession came to a full stop. The pallbearers turned to face the riveted, grey casket and released their handles in unison.

The lone mourner stood at the head of the grave and watched sombrely as the casket lowered, floating slowing into its resting place. Methodically, the group of divers reached down and scooped up a glove-full of sand. Plumes danced and swirled as sand escaped through their raising fingers. They took turns pouring the sand onto the casket until the ritual was completed.

The group stood now and stared silently at the lone mourner, still posed at the head of the grave. They watched as the mourner raised gloved hands slowly to their helmet. The hands gripped and gave a quick, firm twist of the heavy iron sphere. A blast of bubbles shot out from around the suit's collar. The helmet was lifted and then lowered to chest level in front of the diving suit. The diver's identity was that of a solemn young woman. Her eyes and flushed complexion showed the signs of grieving. Tears streaked down her face. She wiped them away with the back of her free hand. 

After a long moment, she then spoke. "I think that will be enough, everyone." She said as her gaze lowered to the grave. "Thank you for being here. I know this is how he would have wanted it." She then crouched and dropped a tattered copy of a Jules Verne paperback onto the casket, it's title obscured and worn away by age. 

The other divers reached up and removed their helmets in turn. The same blasts of bubbles shot out around them. The group of men and women showed saddened expressions as well. One of the men turned toward the mourning woman and nodded. "It was the least we could do," he said as he raised his right wrist to his mouth. "Computer. End Burial At Sea simulation."

Instantly, the scene began to dematerialized. The illusion of water was the first to vanish in a cascade of pixels and digits, then the fish and other sea life flickered from sight. The plants vanished, and the diving suits vanished. Finally the sand under their feet disappeared. The group stood in an empty white room. A beautifully ornate and intricate coffin sat on the floor at their feet.

The room began to empty, until only two remained. The man who spoke earlier placed his hand on the shoulder of his mourning crewmate. "I'm so sorry," he said in a near-whisper. The woman blinked away tears and smiled. "I'll be alright. And thank you again for programming this for him. You know how much he loved this story--and the sea."

The two left the room, as two collector droids glided in and took the coffin to its final resting place.

© 2014 Butterfly_Kid

Author's Note

As always, all criticisms welcome. If you notice any grammatical issues, or you think it's crap, or if you actually like it, please let me know in the comments. And be sure to check out my other submissions, too!

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Do you write these based on pictures you find? Or do you make or have made the pictures for the story?The setting of this story captured me. You have a fantastic imagination and you write well. I could learn a thing or two from the way you write. I sort of study it a bit. I'm a lousy writer though so don't take it as much of a compliment.

Posted 6 Years Ago

This comment has been deleted by the poster.

6 Years Ago

Sometimes I'll find a picture and see a story in it, or I will write a story then seek out a picture.. read more
Well, I must say, that was exceedingly beautiful. It started off with a ghostly aura, leaving the reader to feel as if you're vicariously observing a deep sea haunt. As it progresses, you realize it's real, it's so much more than just spirits mourning spirits. Then, that pulsing sorrow you feel as you empathize with the divers stops as confusion grasps you- how is she breathing and speaking underwater?
I don't think the answer could have been better than it was; A computer simulation. That electrifies the pulse back into you, and leaves you wanting more.
Simply outstanding.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Very powerful writing here. It is a simple idea, but beautiful in its simplicity. I can't help buy wonder what the future is like now, is there a sea at all? Or are they just so far away that the ocean is but a memory for them. I like how Jules Verne still inspires men even in this age, being perhaps the most inspiring writer of all time in his scale (although not my favorite writer, his influence is undeniable); which by the way, was the only typo I noticed at a glance, don't forget the E at the end of his name. The imagery in your writing is particularly powerful here, a notch above most work, that is for sure. I have always struggled conjuring up such images, which is why I appreciate your ability to do so.

Posted 7 Years Ago

You need an opening paragraph that hooks - shows the challenge or something. Otherwise, very nice job. I am interested in your writings and will keep looking to see what else you have.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


4 Reviews
Added on September 29, 2013
Last Updated on January 12, 2014
Tags: Sea, Ocean, Diving, Funeral, Burial




Please read and review. All criticisms welcome! -- I write in my spare time. It's as fun a passtime as reading, really. So that's why I do it. As I continue to get feedback and reviews on the chapters.. more..

Fading Fading

A Story by Butterfly_Kid