Under Pressure

            The craft descended through blackness, displacing the thick atmosphere of the abyss.  Dr. Nathan Harpur stared through a small circular window, its thickness warring with the pressure outside the craft, while another man served as pilot.

            Virginia Harpur saw this, more so she knew it without having to see it, as if she floated beside the descending ship, intruding where water permeated and crushed all.

            Outside, visible to Virginia now through the eyes of her husband, swam the impossible.  Living lights moved through the weight of the darkness as they passed over alien creatures that needed no oxygen to live, impossible animals that thrived on hydrogen sulfide that plumed up like black smoke from vents that seemed to open up from a Hell that lay just beneath the crust of the Earth.

            Lights outside the craft flashed and went out like an old light bulb.  The once welcomed darkness took on an ominous importance and the dread inside the small craft was nearly palpable.  No longer under their control, the darkness took on the same maliciousness as the vast quantities of water that tried to crush the ship beneath its weight.

            Then there was light.  A rosy hue that seemed to emanate from the darkness itself before it collected in front of that thick window.  It formed a vague outline that clarified into a horrible smiling face.  It was that of Evil itself, amused by this intrusion into its domain fathoms deeper than the rays of the Sun dared to venture.

            Then the mouth opened as if to swallow the craft whole or let out a boisterous laugh.  The window, thick Lucite called unbreakable, cracked down the center.  The crack spread, past the window and through the steel that was inches thick, circumnavigating the entire craft like a doomed explorer.

            The two halves of the craft separated, as if blown apart by an explosion.  For a moment the water was held at bay by some unseen force, the two men, one Virginia’s husband, were exposed to the abyss, cocooned by a small bubble of air. 

            Then it gave up its hold.  The water crashed in from all sides, pounding on them and through them, crushing them until they were one with the ocean and nothing of them remained.  

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