A Thousand Meters Below

Trigger warning: Thalassophobia

Scuba+diving+in+deep+sea+with+rocks%2C+free+public+domain+CC0+photo.

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Scuba diving in deep sea with rocks, free public domain CC0 photo.

Parker Bradford, Editor of Global

A windless night above the sea,

The moonlit sky reflects a soft, white glow,

Warm waves ripple under the cool air,

And yet here I sit, watching the black depths expand,

A thousand meters below.

 

The monitor blinks for each fish around,

Three in front, two behind, five on the sides.

With each flicker of light, a soft chime

Calls to keep my attention,

A thousand meters below.

 

A creak from the metal

Under pressure from the descent.

As the seacraft tilts down

The monitor chimes less and less,

A thousand more meters below.

 

With a flick, the headlights shine

To cut through the dark expanse,

A faded glow to calm my nerves

While the inky blackness presses in

Two thousand meters below.

 

The monitor’s blinking light picked up

More fish swarming in around,

“A school,” I thought, as their tiny shapes

Crossed my headlight’s beams,

Two thousand meters below.

 

As I stared at the growing mob

I couldn’t help but smile.

“The job is nerve-wracking,” I thought,

“But the view is just spectacular,”

Two thousand meters below.

 

Before long, I reached the point

I doubtless had been dreading.

The furthest I had yet pushed

Was barely further than

Two thousand meters below.

 

I sighed in resignation and pushed the knob forth,

The metal groaned around me as the pressure weighed heavy.

My heartbeat quickened, my eyes darted,

Yet the sea got darker still,

A thousand more meters below.

 

The loneliness of the craft did not escape me

As the flickering lights had all but disappeared,

And in seconds, my smile had faded

And turned to tense anxiety,

Three thousand meters below.

 

A noise unlike any I had heard before

Pierced the empty abyss,

And my headlights did nothing to illuminate

The depths that spanned before me,

Three thousand meters below.

 

The lights I saw ebbed away

Growing more and more distant.

In seconds, the monitor was blank

And I was left in panic,

Three thousand meters below.

 

I pulled back the knob, the craft tilted up,

The hull grumbled as the pressure shifted.

I pushed the button to start the engines

But the craft refused to rise, trapped

Three thousand meters below.

 

I pushed again and again, until the noise from below me grew louder,

I panicked as the monitor flashed a new light blinking closer

And through the dark, the headlights barely illuminated the

The massive, jagged-toothed maw that closed over the viewport

Forevermore three thousand meters below.