A little piece of subsea horror micro-fiction I wrote a little while ago for an online magazine. It's short, it's dark, and I kinda like it...
by Stacey Dighton
I wake up to a watery silence. Nothing. Just the hum of the generator. I wipe the crust of a recurring dream from my eyes, my brother’s face pressed against my own. I push the image away. I’ve been underwater now for seventy-eight days. 688 class submarine. I crave daylight.
I look at the other bunks. They’re empty. I’ve overslept. I hastily throw on my uniform and head for the crews' mess. I step in something. I look down at the pool of congealing blood. The dead officer’s glassy eye peers up at me. I check for a pulse.
“McCallister?” I yell through the open doorway, but McCallister’s gone too. I find his torso, ripped open at the sternum.
The silence confounds me. It’s alien to me, as alien as the scent of death. The mess is littered with dead friends. I go from one to the other, desperately looking for signs of life.
Suddenly there’s darkness.
“What the hell’s going on here?” I scream into the gloom.
A grunt, footsteps on hard steel. I head for the ladder that leads to the control room. There must be someone else alive. They can’t all be—
Something grabs my leg.
“There you are,” the thing says.
“Get away from me!” I holler, kicking out. I haul myself upwards and slam the hatch shut behind me.
There’s a flicker of light. My mother’s dead face is inches from my own. I blink and she’s gone.
Something closes around my throat. I can’t breathe. Brilliant white stars, a nebula of colors. I thrust backwards and thrash my arms, trying to strike something, anything.
I remember the flashlight in my pocket.
“You took something from me, Cain.” A man’s voice, so familiar.
“Who the hell are you?” I scream, but I already know. I’ve always known.
I drop the flashlight. The white beam whirls and spins like the hyperactive light from a carousel. I catch a glimpse of a face, bloodied teeth, wild eyes.
I gasp, breathless. I fall to the ground, expecting his hands on me. My fingers close around the flashlight. I point it towards him. I wince as the bright beam reflects back into my own eyes.
With the flashlight dimmed, I glare at the mirror. My brother’s face stares back at me. My twin brother. Dead in the womb, but forever by my side.