Coldwater Cottage – 4: The Descent

Previous instalments: 1 2 3


Coldwater CottageThe ripples solidified into bare boulders as he dropped closer to them. In a year they’d be covered in weed. Darting fish would be hunting weed-eating snails and dodging larger fish, but now the debris of the landslide was as barren as the surface of the moon.

One of the shapes below him had unnaturally straight lines. Straight lines belonged to artificial objects like wrecks, not to boulders. He heard his breathing quicken and felt the pressure in his chest as the regulator’s diaphragm refused to move far enough to give his body the air it demanded. It felt like the beginning of suffocation, and it could start a vicious cycle in which his demand for air would increase as he felt he wasn’t getting enough. The greater his demand, the less it would be satisfied. He forced himself to slow his breathing and to ignore the protest from his lungs. They would find relief if they would just wait for the airflow to catch up with what they thought they needed.

Which left his mind free to contemplate the block he was sinking toward. He let some air into his drysuit to slow his descent and put out his fingertips to touch the block. Hard sponginess through the gloves. Something grey thudded into his mask and he jerked his head back. He looked around to see what it was. It hit him again, knocking his regulator so a trickle of salt water stung his tongue. He worked his jaw to reposition the regulator. He threw a hand in front of his face as his assailant came back.

“What the hell?”

The words were a mumble in his regulator but he’d got a clear look at the fish before it batted into his hand.

Next week: The Wrasse


The full story is available from the Amazon Kindle store, and is part of the Steel in the Morning collection which is available in Kindle or paperback format.

Coldwater Cottage was originally published in Lamplight 1:2 and subsequently in the Lamplight Volume 1 annual.

Author notes

Goodreads

Cover by Manda Benson

Other stories by DJ Cockburn available online

Steel in the Morning

Newgate Jig

The Endocrine Tyranny

Peppermint Tea in Electronic Limbo

Foreclosure

Cassandra’s Cargo

Mars One

Advertisements
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Coldwater Cottage, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Cockburn's Eclectics on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 450 other followers

Goodreads
%d bloggers like this: