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07 May 2007 @ 10:02 pm
HL50 Prompt - Deep  
Richie needs to put right something from his past, and to confront old fears.

Confronting the Dark

Richie stared into the murky black and involuntarily took a step backward. This was ridiculous, he wasn’t a child any more, he was Immortal now, there was nothing down there that could hurt him.
“Aw, baby Richie doesn’t want to jump! Look, little baby’s gonna cry. Come on baby, jump!”
Richie shook away the memory and took off his jacket, laying it over his sword, nestled in the custom scabbard he’d affixed to the bike, then picked up a rucksack and strapped it on. He walked back to the edge of the abandoned quarry and looked over the edge into the water. He took a step back, took a deep breath, closed his eyes and took a running jump into the deep.
The shock of hitting made him gasp, sucking in a lungful of stagnant water. He forced himself to open his eyes and take in his surroundings. He had sunk quite a way, and the sunlight above barely filtered through, so he could only see a few feet in any direction.
He allowed himself to sink further, letting the inky black swallow him. As he drifted down, he felt himself losing consciousness. A sudden panic rose in him as he considered what would happen after dying. When an Immortal came back there was usually an involuntary intake of breath, but here that would lead to him sucking in water again. He kicked out for the surface, but it was too late, and the blackness of death overcame him.
He awoke on the bottom of the quarry, but some sort of self-preservation in his sub-conscious prevented him from inhaling. He pulled a diver’s flashlight and a small tank of oxygen out of the bag. He stuck the respirator in his mouth and sucked on it once before putting the tank back in the bag. There was only about fifteen minutes of air in the tank, and he wasn’t sure how long this would take. Turning on the flashlight he began to search the floor.
He had been training for this for a long time, gradually increasing the amount of time he could hold his breath until he could do so for seven or eight minutes. Even so, he drowned three more times until he found what he had come for.
“Hey give that back!”
“You want it baby? You go get it.” The bully turned and hurled it into the water. It was all the eight year old Richie could do not to cry. “Now you have to jump baby.” But Richie couldn’t jump. He was scared of the water, scared of the dark, scared of dying.
The torchlight glinted on the gold and Richie kneeled to pick it up. It was a gold ring, with a chain threaded through it. As the dirt from the bed was washed from it the flash illuminated an inscription on the inside. Emily, My love always, Jack. Triumphantly Richie placed the ring in his bag and, having placed the respirator back in his mouth, he started his ascent back to the surface. Nobody could possibly tell in that water, but as he swam up from the depths, Richie was crying.
holde_maidholde_maid on May 8th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
awww, sweet story, brought to a nice, sound close. :-)