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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
116 Reads

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Unseen Depths
A - A - A
Perci Snickedy
Sep 17, 2017
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!fMoeV6y9bGCdJgRVGfbGposted 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 protection8PENANAEMI4GW1KYj

Luric shoves the orb controller down and it retracts into the floor.copyright protection8PENANAfd5Ds1K1bW

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 protection8PENANAHN9r31mKgx

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 protection8PENANArVj90Z61K5

"You don't need to fear me, Pen." Luric gives his head a shake. "Although, I guess I can understand your apprehension."copyright protection8PENANAlZjrDMsoND

"You think?" I fold my arms. "How 'bout you tell me what's going on?"copyright protection8PENANAkvrtWuvjfL

He points to the door. "That's home. My family is in there."copyright protection8PENANAQGHaQHaXJV

"Your family?" What kind of family lives under the water in an airlock?copyright protection8PENANA25Vmwy8ZWV

"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 protection8PENANADhr4KozfHO

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 protection8PENANA1yvIImqSk9

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 protection8PENANAOmeJILiRKe

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 protection8PENANAMnvergC1wj

My stomach rumbles on cue, and I nod and rub my arms.copyright protection8PENANAPyRlhAHHt2

He sighs and motions for me to go through the door. "Your name?"copyright protection8PENANARho607SiYC

"Pen." I step into a small, almost identical room filled with what I guess to be high-tech diving equipment.copyright protection8PENANAxL03ZskCtQ

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 protection8PENANAVjoNEGnmoQ

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 protection8PENANAof7Nm8VerU

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 protection8PENANARYFR1FjlhN

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 protection8PENANAcd6B0Kho7F

"Wait here." His dad walks away down a narrow hallway.copyright protection8PENANAevVmiiudwV

"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 protection8PENANA8nUNfVtzhL

"Yes." Luric holds his head in his hands. "He isn't happy with me."copyright protection8PENANAmtZs5Zdmnk

"I could tell. What's his problem?"copyright protection8PENANA2CQYY8gtmM

"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 protection8PENANApuajipfMYx

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 protection8PENANAyl1xO6w2tU

"We don't have dealings with the Terrans." He glances away, his lips a flat line.copyright protection8PENANAmwwduvmKZJ

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 protection8PENANAxodHIw7Yj6

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 protection8PENANAvRsxogEVi7

Memory wipe? "Oh, so ya'll're the MIB?"copyright protection8PENANAPFEmS8SeTR

He squints. "The what . . .?"copyright protection8PENANAXqgb8ZIfY1

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 protection8PENANAmtTO1h4Fdn

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 protection8PENANAN32rpUzi9s

She steps closer and looks me over with narrowed eyes, then says something in that weird language of theirs.copyright protection8PENANAa6Tri1q0ho

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 protection8PENANA2DSVrTdwzq

But his mother gives my shoulder a pat and tilts her head. "You do not like my son?"copyright protection8PENANATmtVNTQnb0

My mouth drops open and I'm too shaky to close it. They seem to hear my thoughts. "Uh . . . um . . ."copyright protection8PENANAPm7INpKdq1

The father leans against the wall. "We should put her back. Her people may come looking for her."copyright protection8PENANACsEvo6pBCY

Luric sighs. "But what if they do not? We can't just let her die."copyright protection8PENANA1wlus8njvz

They all start arguing in their language and I shake my head. "Hey, aliens."copyright protection8PENANAjlVq4IQOWg

They stop and look at me.copyright protection8PENANAQzJv47BuIe

I try not to sink into my seat, and hold my head high. "Don't I get a say in this?"copyright protection8PENANAsJLNedWCwr

The mother shrugs. "What do you have to say?"copyright protection8PENANAbQN6gSP6GL

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 protection8PENANAnxl62pdETW

The father raises his eyebrows. "We cannot go anywhere near a place infested with Terrans."copyright protection8PENANASmGEaUR6wo

'Infested?' That's rude. "Then give me a boat and some food and I'll get myself to one."copyright protection8PENANAyIelPvdECU

"We don't have a boat," says the mother.copyright protection8PENANAqZrL6ubk84

"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 protection8PENANAh1rXFBSwHp

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 protection8PENANAVf7aBWFPBi

"I did not bring you here to make you my mate," he whispers into my ear.copyright protection8PENANAJ1ibNoFYJO

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 protection8PENANA30PuXu5Q1N

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 protection8PENANAfW3m7EjMtU

I look into those forest-y eyes, and I see kindness. Maybe I had Luric wrong. "You don't have anyone here?"copyright protection8PENANA5dWnpJL5Hv

"No, I have grown up here, all alone with my parents." He rests his hands on the table.copyright protection8PENANATKvJetdkjf

"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 protection8PENANA7ycaVjPf5i

"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 protection8PENANA9aw6yVPk1x

I hold my aching stomach and scoot closer. "Why don't you just go live amongst the humans?" Hey, why not play along?copyright protection8PENANAPVhkEwORQ7

"I would not fit in, and I'd rather stay here."copyright protection8PENANA7YGj9CCYRI

I nod, and a sharp pain shoots up my neck, spots appearing in my vision.copyright protection8PENANAh1TN7rJXLK

Luric grasps my hand. "Are you all right?"copyright protection8PENANAuAFMVkiJb9

Bile rises in my throat and I cough hard. "No."copyright protection8PENANARi8yChaef1

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 protection8PENANAWw3Pkah372

"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."12Please respect copyright.PENANARajZJVgTaw
copyright protection8PENANAOCDuozOHj0

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