He took a slow, ponderous step, and the earth churned and rose around the impact crater of his bootprint, coiling like smoke in that heavy, treacle-thick atmosphere. The swirling blackness engulfed him. Left him surrounded, alone with the sound of his laboured breath and the jackhammer beat of his heart.
He moved forward into the murk, and an umbilical cord stretched behind, his breathing tube twisting and pray-to-the-gods not kinking behind him as he explored this vast, confined world. A brown, chemical sky panned out overhead as he strode forward, and brief phosphorescences winked staccato messages in the gloaming. The River bucked and buffeted his every footstep, as though it despised his incursion into its realm, as though it sought to keep him from the fairy-light dancing of his quarry – Turnket’s Squid, and their never-before-witnessed mating rituals.
There, ahead in the gloom!
A trio of squid, entangled, entwined in the joy of their reproduction.
He laughed and stood, stuck, enraptured by their twisting, curling embrace.
He laughed, even as he felt the water seep through the seals in his suit, and the heavy weight of the River press down upon him, an unwelcome guest in its domain. He felt his breathing-tube shudder and collapse somewhere in the eternal dusk, and responded by sitting slowly into the oozing mud.
The River carried him onward, into the dance.
Written for one of Terry Whidborne’s Sunday Sketches – if you’re on Twitter and like photo-prompts, copy and paste this handle: @Tezzabold . I also squeezed in (as always) a BeKindRewrite prompt: stuck.
Comments and criticism always welcome.