Dark Currents

Dark Currents

A Story by Kate

A family goes scuba diving.


A little boy was sitting on the beach, banging a plastic yellow shovel against a water filled bucket and giggling when it would jump out. Little golden curls framed his pudgy face and his mouth was smothered in a red, sticky substance bearing resemblance to jelly. Just behind him a figure was approaching, face thrown into shadows by the bright morning sun of the Caribbean. Slowly he bent over, grabbing the boy mid-whack.

            “Gotcha!” he smiled, tickling him until he tipped over, red in the face, giggles bursting through his little mouth. Sand was flying over their faces, water whipping up the coast and surrounding their bodies as the small boy laughed. “Come on silly, it’s time for breakfast.” As the giggles subsided he stood up, balancing the boy on his hip and grabbing the shovel and bucket.

            The hotel was located on the beach, perfect for the typical tourist with sun-lust. Just inside the door stood a pretty woman, golden hair mirroring that of the child’s and brown eyes sparkling mischievously. “They’ve got donuts for breakfast.” Relieving the man of the boy, they walked down carpeted hallways into a large sunlit room, tastefully decorated with a variety of tables and paintings, along with the enchanting smell of food.

            “Wow,” he said as the child squirmed in his mother’s arms, “If this is how good breakfast is, imagine scuba diving later!”




            They were squeezed uncomfortably into wet-suits, heavy equipment resting on their backs. “You’ll watch him until we get back, won’t you?” the mother questioned nervously, tugging on her gloves. She watched as they led her baby off to a day-care facility, where he would wait for his parents to return.

            “They haven’t lost one yet,” her husband chided gently, nudging her towards the waiting motorboat. It rippled on the water as they stepped on, distorting the perfect reflection of the sun.




            He jumped, the water enveloping him fully, rushing in around his twisting form. There was a brief moment in which he was suspended in space, water bubbling slowly above him, before he broke surface. “It’s warm, come on!” he called to her, swimming up next to the boat and extending his hand. She took one look at the gloved fingers then leapt past him, leaving them grasping air.

            The ephemeral world spun below her, vivid colors sparkling in her imagination. Tilting her head upwards she watched the sky disappear behind blurry glass. A soft thump and she was on the ground, pacing among bright coral. Fish were swimming in the groves, flashing lights stimulating the dense atmosphere. In her private little air bubble all was silent, though the world was alive with hues of purple and yellow scales.

            The man touched down next to her, lifting his feet so as to avoid stepping on any coral. A brief crackling filled her head, then a distorted voice spoke. “It was a long way down, you could have waited for me.” His agitation didn’t translate through her thick helmet however, and she laughed silently to herself.




            A light beeping sound came through his helmet. “We should go up soon, I’m running out of oxygen.” A light purple jellyfish was bobbing before her eyes, tentacles waving freely in every direction. Eyes transfixed on its shimmering faces, she silently held up her index finger, wanting to prolong her visit to this rainbow of life. There was just too much to take in, too many sights demanding the attention of only one set of eyes. She couldn’t leave…

            Stealing her eyes from the jellyfish, she broke off a small piece of coral and grasped it firmly in her palm, thoughts of delighting her child sending a warm shiver through her body. It quickly became cold as she turned around. Her husband was grabbing at the water, searching for invisible handholds as his feet kicked towards the surface vainly. Through the microphone she became aware of his breathing, quick and shallow. Her eyes locked on his, a silent pleading look passing between the two of them, and she began to fight towards him, battling previously unknown currents that struggled against her. Their gloved hands touched and she pushed off the ground, sparing no time to think, no time to plan. All she knew was that they had to go up, had to reach the surface. His body went limp behind her, turned into deadweight as he fainted. There was not enough time, not enough air.

            She had not listened to him when he told her he had needed to go back to the surface, this was her fault… but she could fix it. She slowed her descent and brought his body level to hers, grasping the tube behind his helmet firmly. Her other hand snaked from his limp fingers to grab at her own tube, and with a sharp tug, both were loose. The hissed like serpents as they writhed through the water, air expelling from the tubes. She fumbled to place her tube in his helmet; water sucking its way into her own. Dark water began to tug at the corners of her lips, attempting to ease her mouth open. Spots began to fill her vision, already drowned by the ocean. She lost her grip on their only air supply, could feel his life slipping away. She swam.

            It didn’t matter the direction, up, down, left, or right. She had to keep moving, because as long as she could, there was still a chance. Her lungs screamed with the pressure, until suddenly the pain disappeared, her muscles relaxing as gravity pulled her towards the ocean floor. Slowly her palms came unclenched, relinquishing her grip on both her husband and a tiny piece of coral that drifted aimlessly downward along with them.

© 2010 Kate

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This is an extremely compelling essay. Your vivid descriptions of the world beneath sea level grips the readers attention. Good job.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on January 21, 2010
Last Updated on January 21, 2010
Tags: vacation, death, love, marriage



Norwalk, CT

Just a 16 year old girl writing in my spare time. more..

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