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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
387 Reads

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Unseen Depths
A - A - A
Perci Snickedy
Sep 17, 2017
8 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!sDztpgoibtHMbxBC4jrvposted 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 protection37PENANAPs5ILr4uGb

Luric shoves the orb controller down and it retracts into the floor.copyright protection37PENANAO8OnCeE0wQ

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 protection37PENANAueCGLeiQxK

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 protection37PENANAlncr5XTasz

"You don't need to fear me, Pen." Luric gives his head a shake. "Although, I guess I can understand your apprehension."copyright protection37PENANAlgHaEjoikV

"You think?" I fold my arms. "How 'bout you tell me what's going on?"copyright protection37PENANA8P9LvUZOKx

He points to the door. "That's home. My family is in there."copyright protection37PENANAy6VKx0Iqaa

"Your family?" What kind of family lives under the water in an airlock?copyright protection37PENANAZwqGG404nl

"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 protection37PENANAZvb8hG3huN

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 protection37PENANAO2TKNrKvRV

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 protection37PENANAGQs6x8bydy

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 protection37PENANAUc45lmLoDg

My stomach rumbles on cue, and I nod and rub my arms.copyright protection37PENANAcsi6c5xXBo

He sighs and motions for me to go through the door. "Your name?"copyright protection37PENANAThfloMuzlH

"Pen." I step into a small, almost identical room filled with what I guess to be high-tech diving equipment.copyright protection37PENANA8gTdlfz7Dc

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 protection37PENANAnQEFWRLtOn

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 protection37PENANASIE742UyCg

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 protection37PENANAfLw9YRoxZ2

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 protection37PENANAKmSp2OgNi5

"Wait here." His dad walks away down a narrow hallway.copyright protection37PENANAbbOPjSSdqv

"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 protection37PENANAuGg0PfSdNR

"Yes." Luric holds his head in his hands. "He isn't happy with me."copyright protection37PENANAgxd8XfXe3g

"I could tell. What's his problem?"copyright protection37PENANAkfr84K1XYr

"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 protection37PENANAts7KtXZlbN

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 protection37PENANAdrlrziHxwK

"We don't have dealings with the Terrans." He glances away, his lips a flat line.copyright protection37PENANANQZeZ4Z02X

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 protection37PENANArwqzgUxgfI

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 protection37PENANA3t9pUJHBgd

Memory wipe? "Oh, so ya'll're the MIB?"copyright protection37PENANAm34mi3rh3u

He squints. "The what . . .?"copyright protection37PENANAfv0G4hACyQ

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 protection37PENANAkCjt1ecIPs

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 protection37PENANAWcw0yO3Z66

She steps closer and looks me over with narrowed eyes, then says something in that weird language of theirs.copyright protection37PENANAulBu2GMCik

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 protection37PENANAsDWM7X0jFQ

But his mother gives my shoulder a pat and tilts her head. "You do not like my son?"copyright protection37PENANAMB2jCB7FBd

My mouth drops open and I'm too shaky to close it. They seem to hear my thoughts. "Uh . . . um . . ."copyright protection37PENANAM5znAB4men

The father leans against the wall. "We should put her back. Her people may come looking for her."copyright protection37PENANAGH0Cu7Aurg

Luric sighs. "But what if they do not? We can't just let her die."copyright protection37PENANAleSnxuZF9A

They all start arguing in their language and I shake my head. "Hey, aliens."copyright protection37PENANATVFsjf4oBi

They stop and look at me.copyright protection37PENANAMi0MVuUvZm

I try not to sink into my seat, and hold my head high. "Don't I get a say in this?"copyright protection37PENANALkBDI97HOh

The mother shrugs. "What do you have to say?"copyright protection37PENANAhIcXawcfUO

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 protection37PENANAyH6yu12px2

The father raises his eyebrows. "We cannot go anywhere near a place infested with Terrans."copyright protection37PENANALimnW4w4Ll

'Infested?' That's rude. "Then give me a boat and some food and I'll get myself to one."copyright protection37PENANAl33y0e5du0

"We don't have a boat," says the mother.copyright protection37PENANA12H8BbaEAH

"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 protection37PENANAGm02JX7g1T

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 protection37PENANABnWFVXU1ao

"I did not bring you here to make you my mate," he whispers into my ear.copyright protection37PENANA1crIk2TvHt

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 protection37PENANAdnPeqzbxPd

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 protection37PENANArrAo7wl1xw

I look into those forest-y eyes, and I see kindness. Maybe I had Luric wrong. "You don't have anyone here?"copyright protection37PENANAqyIRh3UazB

"No, I have grown up here, all alone with my parents." He rests his hands on the table.copyright protection37PENANAEMZu0p3cXS

"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 protection37PENANAppk0Nrx9t4

"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 protection37PENANAFTDoKUsE52

I hold my aching stomach and scoot closer. "Why don't you just go live amongst the humans?" Hey, why not play along?copyright protection37PENANAgJOfdPFh2D

"I would not fit in, and I'd rather stay here."copyright protection37PENANA9r2usPVZYo

I nod, and a sharp pain shoots up my neck, spots appearing in my vision.copyright protection37PENANA4EiI32DwHI

Luric grasps my hand. "Are you all right?"copyright protection37PENANAyYsndGcTXf

Bile rises in my throat and I cough hard. "No."copyright protection37PENANAw7GyC9nx9m

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 protection37PENANAWd1eW4hzAZ

"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."41Please respect copyright.PENANAXAxE99OxHX
copyright protection37PENANAi8XLvbrI4p

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