“Why be fascinated with outer space?” Gerry was once asked. “It’s mostly empty, impossible to reach, and utterly lifeless! We have unexplored territory right here on earth.”
“Where?” the boy asked.
“The oceans,” his uncle said, smiling. “Nobody knows for sure what is down there.”
Twenty-five years later, and Gerry was finding out what was down there.
Nearly a hundred times he’d dived deep into the ocean. Every time he learned more, saw more types of life he’d never thought could exist. His training was put to good use.
On the hundredth dive, though, he ignored all of that. “I want to go deeper,” he thought. “Deeper and deeper and deeper.” He pushed past fish into the heavy pressured depths of the ocean, deeper and deeper still.
Surely, no man had been this deep. Only machines. Perhaps it was the pressure on his head, but the thought invigorated him. Gerry continued past the point of no return. He would not have enough oxygen to make it to the surface, and the pressure was making his vision dim.
His mind only thought one thing, in his predicatment.
Deeper, deeper, deeper.
A current caught Gerry, a current moving downward. He no longer had to push, which was apt, for his strength had left him.
And then he was falling, and his consciousness was entirely lost.
“Wake,” a voice said.
Gerry obeyed. He opened his eyes to see a blue-skinned man with a grey beard, hunched over his prone body.
“Hi,” he said.
The old man smiled. “Gerry, did your uncle send you down here?”
Had he? Gerry thought for a moment, and realized that his uncle knew. That spark had been lit inside him, enough for him to throw his life away. Why?
“Who are you?” Gerry asked.
“The oldest of the men of the sea. And the last, since your uncle left.”
“Men of the Sea?” Gerry pondered for a moment, then looked up. Water cascaded down around the plain that he lay on, forming a moving horizon. It was so big, an entirely new world, down here in the depths. He couldn’t even fathom how it had not been found.
“Mm,” the old man said, looking up to the new sky. “Strange to see it for the first time. I remember.”
“What–” Gerry had to fight to find his voice. “What do the Men of the Sea do?”
The old man smiled. “Come and see.”
Today I am hard at work on a novelette that excites me, but I took the time to put this together. I didn’t have much inspiration for this story beyond the awe of the sea and its vastness, but if it were to continue, I would probably flesh out the Men of the Sea. Make it so that they protect and guide the waters, taming the unknown beasts of the depths so that man can traverse the waters.
I’ve got like five other stories to flesh out, though, so this is what it is.
See you around,