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Short Story
Unseen Depths
Writer Perci Snickedy
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
53 Reads

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Unseen Depths
A - A - A
Perci Snickedy
Sep 17, 2017
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!GGI9UdRycFETVA2gZa6lposted on PENANA

Brilliant light blinds me, then my eyes adjust. We're in some kind of airlock, a pressure-sealed door in front of me. The hatch above closes, leaving only the lights strips that line the sides of the ceiling. They cast a warm glow upon the gray walls and make Luric's hair appear almost burgundy. There's nothing in here except the hovercraft.copyright protection4PENANADQVzflTRv1

Luric shoves the orb controller down and it retracts into the floor.copyright protection4PENANA6cIPmD2dbe

I don't feel the restraints anymore, so I shoot to my feet, my heart pounding. Must be on an adrenaline rush. "Where and what is this place?"copyright protection4PENANATQ7Ora5qkb

He stands and steps towards me, but I jump out of the craft and ready myself to fight—not that I know how to defend myself—and back up against the wall.copyright protection4PENANAMX1Iwh3q9z

"You don't need to fear me, Pen." Luric gives his head a shake. "Although, I guess I can understand your apprehension."copyright protection4PENANAsgMa58N7lZ

"You think?" I fold my arms. "How 'bout you tell me what's going on?"copyright protection4PENANAleQt3hD8IY

He points to the door. "That's home. My family is in there."copyright protection4PENANAkuWldtDgTM

"Your family?" What kind of family lives under the water in an airlock?copyright protection4PENANAQl2Cw7Kkf6

"We come from an . . . interesting culture." It's as if he reads my mind. "Come in with me, and you can take a shower and then have something to eat."copyright protection4PENANAkBka5orJwa

Before I can answer, the door hisses and swings open. A man similar in appearance to—but much older than—Luric rushes in and yells something in a language my ears don't recognize. The man's chest heaves and he takes a look at me, like I'm the most ugly thing he's seen in his entire life.copyright protection4PENANAHQFDcS7P90

Luric takes a step back, and though I don't understand his words, his voice is pleading. He stands behind me and puts his hands on my shoulders. I think to shrug him off, but my gut screams to let him do what he needs to do. I have a strong feeling my life depends on it. So I try to look pleasant and fold my hands in front of me.copyright protection4PENANACZmEBSMlc2

The old man's face softens, but he folds his arms and looks me in the eye. "You are hungry?" His accent is even thicker than Luric's.copyright protection4PENANArwDMGIb8rH

My stomach rumbles on cue, and I nod and rub my arms.copyright protection4PENANAj9yYNLRUA0

He sighs and motions for me to go through the door. "Your name?"copyright protection4PENANAVdZhSB9EXm

"Pen." I step into a small, almost identical room filled with what I guess to be high-tech diving equipment.copyright protection4PENANAHpSlcz4nIv

There are four suits in separate cases, each a different color, and they're sleek in design. I bet they cost a fortune. But anyone who can afford their own submarine would be rich, I guess. They sound Middle Eastern, so maybe they have an oil field, or something. I have so many questions, but wonder if I am allowed to speak.copyright protection4PENANA51FD0soRnZ

We come to another pressurized door, and Luric waves his hand across a black sensor near it. It opens, and they both wait for me to go through it. Well, if I have to get shanghaied in a freaky sub, at least I'm surrounded by gentlemen.copyright protection4PENANARicRz4sJJp

I step into what seems to be a dining room, it long but not wide. Everything is the same drab gray—they must have something against accent colors. There's a steel table at the end of a short hallway with matching benches at its sides, and a small kitchen sits at my right. There's a stove and what I think is a microwave, although they're way nicer than the ones I have in my apartment. There are no windows, only lighting panels in the ceiling.copyright protection4PENANA5rPYM1xQof

The old man, whom I've decided is Luric's father, gestures for me to sit at the table. I slide into one of the benches and Luric sits down at the one across from me.copyright protection4PENANAmuh17huw8R

"Wait here." His dad walks away down a narrow hallway.copyright protection4PENANAvZ9IQJNjtx

"Was that your father?" I rest my elbows on the cold, metal table. My stomach churns, and I'm certain it's so empty it's starting to eat itself. copyright protection4PENANAJyYywKz4AY

"Yes." Luric holds his head in his hands. "He isn't happy with me."copyright protection4PENANAkXsBYASt60

"I could tell. What's his problem?"copyright protection4PENANAkC0ulQe89H

"I am not supposed to bring anyone back here. Ever." He gives his purple hair a ruffle, and looks me in the eye, that green almost mesmerizing. I could get lost in them. "He had very sternly instructed me to not rescue you."copyright protection4PENANAFTgDrNo1RZ

Wait . . . they knew I was stuck on that horrid island, and they weren't going to rescue me? Those green eyes aren't so appealing, all of a sudden. "Pardon?"copyright protection4PENANAZbWsMU2Fo9

"We don't have dealings with the Terrans." He glances away, his lips a flat line.copyright protection4PENANAFIMFd7wrgG

The 'Terrans?' Seriously? The people of Earth? Am I in a B-Movie, now? I laugh. "So you don't even have dealings with each other?"copyright protection4PENANA9Vzpz0cX24

He scoffs. "You would be wise to avoid making jokes like that around my parents. You'll be fortunate if they don't wipe your memory and stick you right back on that island."copyright protection4PENANAW1fSu2NxHb

Memory wipe? "Oh, so ya'll're the MIB?"copyright protection4PENANAGnUt38AzAQ

He squints. "The what . . .?"copyright protection4PENANAgJMP9mQmjS

I shake my head. Who's never heard of The Men in Black? Purple-haired people who live under the ocean, that's who. "Never mind." I think I must be in the most elaborate practical joke in the history of ever.copyright protection4PENANAqgUF9pIXWp

Luric's father returns, but a woman now holds onto his arm. She's older, too, in a long dress and her navy blue hair is piled on her head in a funky sort-of beehive. Yup, definitely a B-Movie.copyright protection4PENANA9DN46QcHpM

She steps closer and looks me over with narrowed eyes, then says something in that weird language of theirs.copyright protection4PENANAyFwkvFGl10

Luric whines at her. Wow, somehow didn't take him for the whiny type. He looks at me and smiles. It's that goofy kind of smile boys get when they're about to ask you out, and I grimace. No, no. I am not into guys who still live with their parents on a weird submarine and think they're not of this world. Where's the exit?copyright protection4PENANAerh97qyPou

But his mother gives my shoulder a pat and tilts her head. "You do not like my son?"copyright protection4PENANAfx72BeSOVi

My mouth drops open and I'm too shaky to close it. They seem to hear my thoughts. "Uh . . . um . . ."copyright protection4PENANAAtX6OtLvPN

The father leans against the wall. "We should put her back. Her people may come looking for her."copyright protection4PENANAv3eNcmeLbC

Luric sighs. "But what if they do not? We can't just let her die."copyright protection4PENANAfrantMBmAx

They all start arguing in their language and I shake my head. "Hey, aliens."copyright protection4PENANAEa1ChP53kV

They stop and look at me.copyright protection4PENANAQQY5DbrRWD

I try not to sink into my seat, and hold my head high. "Don't I get a say in this?"copyright protection4PENANAuc5EAzqcV1

The mother shrugs. "What do you have to say?"copyright protection4PENANAJAbLdtAiwV

What, indeed? "Um, I'm sure Luric is nice and all, but I don't know anything about him and I'm not big on blind dates." How do I convince them to take me home? "But I really appreciate your hospitality. Is there any way you could take me to the nearest tourist destination? I can find my way home from there."copyright protection4PENANAenMctpoVhl

The father raises his eyebrows. "We cannot go anywhere near a place infested with Terrans."copyright protection4PENANAyMyEq8dRk8

'Infested?' That's rude. "Then give me a boat and some food and I'll get myself to one."copyright protection4PENANAS4J4PWyqf5

"We don't have a boat," says the mother.copyright protection4PENANAmts8GVy4QP

"Why am I not surprised?" My head starts to pound, and I rest my head in my hands. I start to wonder if the gnawing in my stomach is truly hunger, or if it's something more sinister. That stagnant pond is the first thing that pops into my head. I shouldn't have drank out of it.copyright protection4PENANAqpBY427hUs

Someone touches my shoulder. I look, and it's Luric. He's slid in next to me. I push his hand off. It's creepy that he brought me here with ulterior motives, obviously to make me his girlfriend. His parents wander into the kitchen and have a heated discussion I can't understand. I just want out of this place, away from all of them.copyright protection4PENANAqNw9Rm5qNk

"I did not bring you here to make you my mate," he whispers into my ear.copyright protection4PENANAv9NXhtTPyK

Another time he seems to read my mind. Are they really aliens? This is the Bermuda Triangle, so is it really all that far-fetched?copyright protection4PENANAFZahYej6ve

He touches my arm. "However, they're thinking that I want you is the only reason they have not thrown you back into the ocean like a fish that's too small. I would suggest you play along, at least until I can sneak you out and return you to your people."copyright protection4PENANAyV154Ssaif

I look into those forest-y eyes, and I see kindness. Maybe I had Luric wrong. "You don't have anyone here?"copyright protection4PENANAuNoiLGMEvl

"No, I have grown up here, all alone with my parents." He rests his hands on the table.copyright protection4PENANApbkzsjNMpj

"And they're okay with you wanting to be with a Terran?" I let out a laugh, and my head throbs. "They don't seem to like my kind."copyright protection4PENANA0Ye13jUvtd

"They know there are no other options. We crashed here when I was a child, with no way back. They said long ago I would probably have to take a human girl someday." He touches my hand. "But, don't worry, I will take you home. I'll probably be alone forever, as I don't think it would be fair to make any girl live down here."copyright protection4PENANAKY19gMP2rl

I hold my aching stomach and scoot closer. "Why don't you just go live amongst the humans?" Hey, why not play along?copyright protection4PENANAoQwIqY2eLr

"I would not fit in, and I'd rather stay here."copyright protection4PENANAxLpMNt6HYz

I nod, and a sharp pain shoots up my neck, spots appearing in my vision.copyright protection4PENANAVJyWSOJIRa

Luric grasps my hand. "Are you all right?"copyright protection4PENANA3f1zYsy0Gj

Bile rises in my throat and I cough hard. "No."copyright protection4PENANAse4S0Sl6zk

He helps me up but I can barely stand, so he supports me and leads me towards the hallway. I hesitate and try to stay put. Why should I trust him?copyright protection4PENANAGu3erW3aEV

"We're just going to the infirmary," he says. I trip, and Luric puts his arm around my waist, gently holding me up. I hate to admit it, but it makes my heart beat a little faster. "Maybe the equipment can figure out what's wrong with you."8Please respect copyright.PENANA8DKdvK5RRF
copyright protection4PENANAlHbnh9PPaw

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