by Andrew Z.

Down here the water is bone-chilling, bubbles grow scarce apart from the ones being blown out the rear of our old tin can of a submarine. The air is stale in the belly of this cold, steel beast. I've been down here for so many months I've lost count. I'm alone, apart from these words that bleed from my pen, a few old records, and the constant blinking and beeping of sonars and sensors which have become as natural to me as the rustling of leaves or crashing of waves upon a weathered shore are to you.

I had no idea when I battened the hatch for the last time that this would be my destiny. I never thought I'd be left searching, and for something I cannot even recall anymore. That doesn't end the exploration. If anything, for the longest time it motivated me, made it all the more exciting. That was another time though, one long lost and unrecoverable now.

I was never really alone. For the longest time I found all the company I needed wishing myself. Or maybe that's my memory playing tricks on me again. What changed? Could have been a sickness of the sea itself. Maybe I grew tired of living at her mercy, or enveloped in her inky black depths.

It's easy to get lost without constants such as the rocking of the waves or company of a school of fish desperately swimming from a relative terror, one that most likely isn't as long as the average sailor's grizzled beard. I've spent many moments envious of those men whose lives are spent sailing hundreds of miles above me. Often regretting the choice to remain. But it is now too late to abandon my journey. I've handed my fate to time and my God: the sea.

The portholes no longer intrigue me, for all that remains on the other side of several inches of pressurized steel and glass is an eerie darkness. It would not surprise me in the least if I was no longer surrounded by tons of water but black sludge that slowly swallows me and my hope as time goes on. But I've lost track of time. And it the weight of the loneliness caused by the loss of the Sun and Moon is one whose magnitude will crush the strongest man and destroy any weaker soul who is condemned to such a fate.

So this is where I pass my days and nights. Near the bottom of an endless sea, with a pen that's drying up sooner than the blood still feebly flowing through my blue veins. The only reminder of the clear sky that used to gleam brighter than the hull of this prison cell I call home.

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