Take a breath. Close the door behind you.
One Second. Your eyes adjust to the half-blind empty space. Your heart beats faster, beats louder, cradled in upside down descent.
Ten Seconds. Watch the sky fallout underneath you. The nothing is consuming you in darkness, silently stroking, pulling on your chest. The blue distance is all that you have left.
Thirty Seconds. She echoes all around you, audible pangs nearly imperceptible, implacable in origin, but she’s getting closer. The waves below you cease their muted kneading at the sky. You are alone. This is an irrevocable truth.
One Minute. It’s getting colder and your body shivers with no reply. The weight of the world is sharing its burden with you as your listless lungs light your chest like kindling. Your fingertips begin to tingle the way half-awake dream make you feel in control.
One Minute, Thirty Seconds. A burning snake creeps up your throat, wriggling for freedom, and you are tempted to indulge him. Air seeps out of your nose in pea-sized bubbles spinning dizzily down to the light. You give in, and release your cares into the ocean’s arms.
Two Minutes. The darkness stops its stroking, or is it just the numbness of your body knowing what’s been done. Quivers rock your stomach – fear from the core of you as everything screams “take a breath!” but water is heavier than air. You convulse in one smooth unified shiver, it’s no longer your choice. The vice grips squeezing your head suddenly stop as you suck in thick, salty water, and everything is serene. There is no pain, no throbbing, no screaming, no sound, no weight, no pressure – Just you. It’s just you.
This was the result of a prompt for my Creative Writing: Fiction course. Mostly we've focused on the flash fiction and sudden fiction genres (yes there is a difference). We were instructed to pick a subject from which we could capture a definite frame of time. For instance, the time it takes to eat an apple, there is a beginning and an end, therefore it can be framed in terms of time. Why did i choose drowning as my subject? How very studious of you to ask, so I will tell you. Little known fact about Joseph number #1: I am deathly afraid of the ocean - and I love it. I have been since I almost drowned when I was 6 or 7. That's another story though, and perhaps a sudden non-fiction piece.