Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3-11-15 Wednesday Warm-up
7:45 AM

3-11-15 Wednesday Warm-up

Artwork © Kezrek, All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”
We delved too deep.

Water threatened to crush us in its Olympian jaws. We had passed thousands of meters into the Abyssal region of the sea. We were alone in an ever-blinding dark. I expected the Ferryman to come and ask how we had strayed so far from the land of the living. Only ghosts lived here.

Or so we thought.

Flickers and sudden swirls of light danced before our eyes. We had dared to kill the external lamps and behold the wonders etching life in a dead realm. The specters haunted the hull of our ship, darting closer and then blinking out of existence. How many countless gossamer tentacles stroked our vessel ponderously. The image of encircling suction cups gripped my heart as it did our phantom ship, adrift in my imagination. I shook my head. We only had meters until we reached the labyrinth of fissures and tunnels that lead into the crust. Perhaps the gates would be open and we would be the first living eyes to peer into the underworld.

The ghostly chorus of bioluminescence struck a grand finale and then vanished. Our pale floodlights groped through silty ichor. We felt truly alone once more. The barren teeth of the first stone fixture pierced the gloom before our viewport. I noted the temperature gauge for external "atmosphere" started to climb. We neared the basin. Amid the bony spurs, a wide, oval waterfront opened before us. The curved depression held a milky surface. Wide, flat, and mysterious, these submarine lakes marked our real target. The long fins of our vessel dipped into the opal waters, bouncing as ripples cascaded in front of our lens. The hull lifted as the dense waves cradled her husk. Our calculations had been correct. The unterseemeer* had been deep enough. Our Lady of Lozenor took her maiden voyage into a brine pool.

Black gave way to white. The liquid crusted and filmed whatever came into its touch. Soon the glass appeared to be no more than the exterior of a milk glass. I feared crashing, but our pilot continued forward. The sonar began its disembodied piping. We proceeded to its tune, confident only that we would not run aground so long as the fluted sounds rung true. Two seas below the surface of the world and we might find it at last.

Lost Lozenor.

The pings pulsed through our vessel like a terrible toothache. My skull screamed with each passing wave. I was sure the pearly water churned with each blast of the invisible organ. I wondered if the venture was a mistake. It couldn't be. Our Lady had been the perfection of knowledge, drawn from the hidden wisdom of our realms. The beautiful fusion of science and secrets. The maps, once stitched together, immaculate. The guiding light burned clear. So did our lamps. The murky depths disappeared into dazzling clarity. Valleys unfolded between rhythmic hills. Towers dwelled amid the roots of the aforeseen mountains. The pool receded down into a long, ever deeper tunnel. Wide libraries of forgotten secrets huddled further ahead, in life far more vivid and inviting than in picture. So much lost knowledge would be ours! I nearly threw open the hatch in my excitement, like a man who rises to the crow's nest upon seeing land.


The captain made a ritual maneuver. He sounded the depths to begin mapping. The cacophony echoed from the mountains, across the hills, through the towers, down into the tunnel, and within my skull. The pealing ripped at the roots of my teeth. Oh, if only such ghastly ruckus was unneeded! The jackal screams dwindled into pianissimo and then beyond all human recognition. The cartographer scribed faithfully as if the sound persisted. My mental pain did persist. We made to embark toward the first outcroppings. The gates so clearly sealed and the windows sightless. How long had they sat gaping into the sea with no candle to warm them? How they blushed at our phantasmagorical illumination! I stared into them and they into me. Thin script whorled and spun before my eyes. The scrolls called from their sunken tomb.

Lozenor would see light once more.

Then, from the depths of the tube, came a keening. As if in answer to our song the grave sang. First a whisper, waxing then waning. Then a proper roar un-restraining. The vessel shook! Our Lady cried at the audible molestation! The very molecules of air and water howled in horror. My mind enflamed with hellish fifes and drums complaining. A crewman had to peel my hands from wrestling open the door.

Lozenor mocked our coming.

The mountains lifted from their bed. The captain swiftly pushed the vessel's prow toward the milky ceiling. Our escape. We plunged into the whitewash with sudden fury. The thrash of shrieks and constant pinging kept my brain ringing. Banging. Screaming. I cursed the lot who left long-lost Lozenor. They strapped me in my chair, eyes locked to the viewport before me. The basin pool spat us out in rage, fleeing long lost Lozenor. The tendrils of the ghost lights claimed us, grasped us, maimed us. Soon the Abyss would blind my gaze, stealing away all vision of Lozenor. I longed to see one last glimpse of lovely city beneath two seas. I tore at my restraints and twisted until my eye strained to stern's bubbled glass. What I saw made cold seep into my soul.

I saw the Lord of Lozenor.

Mountain-mawed, valley-gummed, abyss-throated, daemon-shouting God of yore. My mind un-lidded, and I cried unbidden in the tongue of Lozenor, and then spoke no more.

Ia! Ia! Loze-Shinithor!

*Literally "Undersea Lake"


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