When I sleep, I dream. In my dreams, I can't drown.
For some reason, in all the dreams I've ever had, I never drowned because I could breathe underwater.
Breathing would be slow, heavy, but it was always enough to sustain me.
I would float in the warm water, darkness around me, and just open my mouth and ever so carefully breathe.
The water would fill my mouth, then my throat, all the way down to my lungs. It never hurt; it even felt nice.
I'd get enough oxygen to sustain me, not much more. It was too hard to move with the little bit of air my strange feat of unknown biology could muster.
But, I only needed enough to survive.
To not drown.
Yet, this is not a dream.
This is real.
The taste of salt on my tongue tells me so, for in none of my dreams did I ever taste that.
I hold my breath as the current pulls me down. The water is cold, strong.
Nothing like my dreams.
Struggling would deplete my oxygen supply faster, so I stay as still and calm as possible—I know I can't fight my way back to the surface. Not with just my arms.
At least I'm not in the wheelchair; that would've dragged me down even faster.
I look up at where the ship's hull blocks the sunlight.
It doesn't seem to be stopping.
Help does not seem to be coming.
No-one is jumping in after me.
Did she not tell anyone?
She was there when I tumbled over the railing.
She was the one supposed to support me, yet she let me slip.
Or did she push? It happened so fast, I'm not quite sure now.
The current tugs at my clothes and pulls me deeper and further away.
Well, I suppose it doesn't matter if nobody comes to help me.
I try to recall what she had said before she had helped me out of my chair. She hummed something when she guided me to the railing, that I do remember—just not what.
The cold water makes it so hard to focus. The lack of air makes it hard to focus.
My lungs burn; too little oxygen in them and too much carbon dioxide.
I let out a small bubble and it eases my chest ever so slightly.
The surface is moving further and further away. The pressure against my ears increases, but what can I do?
I never learnt how to swim, just how to float—and I've failed horribly at that so far.
But, maybe I can pretend this is a dream.
I part my lips and let the cold seawater fill my mouth—but only my mouth.
I watch the bubbles that escaped float up to the faraway surface.
The light of the sun seems so distant. The water around me grows darker with every beat of my heart.
There is nothing.
No reef, no fish, no bottom I can see.
Just a big, black abyss that's pulling me in.
My ears stop hurting from the pressure now that my head is filled with the salty water, yet it stings.
YOU ARE READING
Midnight Dreams & Nightmares ~ A short story collectionHorror
Horror // Paranormal // Thriller // Scifi // Short stories ~ A short story collection consisting of either tales inspired by dreams & nightmares, or retellings thereof.