Water is one of the perfect dreams. Birth. Death. Travel. Rebirth.
It’s never warm or cold, just everywhere.
It brings you down with womb-echoes and promises of salvation. You fall in slow motion, trailing fingers.
The water will not let you go.
A siren song in your head tells you to stop fighting. Relax.
You want to resist.
But. No. You don’t care anymore and your mouth releases a cascade of air. Visible air that you watch as it leaves, your life in bubbles.
The eyes open, still dreaming, but open. The water is surrounding.
Death has not come.
The sea does not want you.
Electricity burns the skin.
The flesh seers to metal each time, pulling away, smoking.
The smell fills the room and everything starts to go dizzy.
“Just answer the fucking question.”
“I can’t take that smell anymore, man. I’m going to lose it…”
Vomit fills the mouth. Gagging and sputtering.
“Oh fuck, man. I think he just puked. I need to get out of here.”
“Stop being a little bitch.”
A heavy hand connects with the temple and all goes momentarily black.
Then a rush of water across the face.
“Just. Fucking. Talk.”
“Just tell us the answer and we’ll let you go.”
A smile from a broken mouth.
“Never seen you with a beard before.”
“You were off fighting your war. I grew up.”
“You ran away.”
“You left me alone.”
“You got me sent away.”
“You beat the shit out of me.”
“My brother was an asshole.”
“From what you’ve told me before it sounds like you weren’t much better.”
The moon lights her face and her body.
Words coming from the shadows.
“My childhood was spent in self-defense.”
“Is that why you went away?”
A search out the window for an answer, any answer to pacify the question.
“I felt like I was drowning there. He escaped. I wanted out too.”
“Your mother sent him to boot camp.”
“He had it easy.”
“Put his head under again.”
“He looks kind of purple.”
Water rushes over the head. A tight fist clenched in hair. Forcing. Holding steadfast.
Air flows out of the mouth, caressing the cheeks in panicked bubbles.
Eyes wide open, nothing seen, nothing sought. Panic slides into resignation.
A yank on the hair.
“Don’t make us bring back the battery.”
“Ever think that maybe he don’t know?”
“He has to know.”
“The girl might.”
The head goes back under. Voices muffled through waves.
Water swallowed and choked on.
“If you don’t talk, you’ll die.”
The head is forced back underwater.