Revamped: An Excerpt

By
Her body panicked and flailed; she was literally inside her own worst nightmare. Images of her childhood tragedy flashed in front of her; this time, there was no lifeguard to save her. Helplessness took hold as she swam to the surface, her lungs begging for air. And after one shriek, the water engulfed her for the last time; she couldn’t return to the surface.

It felt as if her mass increased astronomically, causing the Earth’s gravitational pull on her to increase immensely. She began to accelerate toward the ocean floor, the water rushing past her.

Looking up, the boat was no longer visible. The only thing she could see was pure blackness in every direction. She could physically feel that nothing had hold of her, yet she continued downward.

She had been kicking and punching the water for a long while, and didn’t stop despite every muscle in her body cramping with pain, until a force--most likely the same unknown force responsible for her downward acceleration--squeezed her body. She felt like she was wrapped in a giant blood-pressure cuff with some evil maniac squeezing the pump as if it were a stress ball. Her arms were forced to her sides, and her legs pressed together. “It” got what it wanted; she couldn’t move an inch.

The force then rotated her body, as if it wished her to see her destination as she approached it. However, she couldn’t see much of anything; the blinding speed at which she was traveling forced salt water to pound into her eyes, making them ignite with burning pain. If not for the force constricting her, she would have scratched at them until they had fallen out and floated to the surface, to where she so wished she could be.

But she didn’t want to give up. Not yet. She didn’t even know what was happening, or why. But she needed to find out. Pushing past the pain, she inched her eyes open, seeing nothing but blurriness and bubbles within the darkness.

Then, like hope springing from nothing, a point of light appeared on the black ocean floor.

This might have all been a dream, or an illusion. Maybe her body was still fast asleep, safe inside the cavity of the shiny speedboat. If she had use of her hands, she would have pinched herself for reassurance.

Regardless, the point of light slowly began to grow, which, she discovered, was because she was rapidly approaching it.

The force suddenly stopped her completely, causing her to feel like a speeding human bullet being stopped from hitting her target. Her brain slammed into the top of her skull, sending a pulse of pain through every nerve ending in her constricted body.

She wanted to cry. And perhaps she was, the untraceable, salty tears mixing with the ocean that surrounded her. Why…

She hovered there, still encased by the damned force, watching the light grow into a large, tunnel-looking hole. Water began to rapidly swirl around the circle of light, creating a vortex, which slowly began to rise towards her upside-down, half paralyzed body. She was just dangling there, a helpless worm being held over the mouth of a hungry bird. Confusion continued to shoot across her clouded mind. Am I breathing?…

If she was, she sure didn’t know how. Lately she hadn’t known much of anything. Then again, nothing really mattered anymore; she just wanted to get out of this--whatever this was--alive. But…why? What did she have to go “home” to? The truth was, she didn’t even have a home. “Home is where the heart is,” they always say. But she didn’t know where her heart was. Hell, she didn’t even know if it was even within her chest at this point. Perhaps James took it with him when he left, she thought. Maybe I gave it to him, and he never gave it back…

And as much as she wanted to come out of this predicament alive, she could not help but think why. She had no home. No family. No love; she had nothing. The entirety of her life revolved around her career. But that couldn’t provide her with unconditional love and support, which is what her heart so desperately ached for. The singular person who had provided those essentials was long gone, most likely because he realized that her career was a too formidable opponent in the fight for her time. “The classic story of the work-a-holic,” he always told her. But had he meant it?

Her depressing thoughts and memories didn’t help her resolve. At this point, she sort of wanted to die. But just as she released all hope, her eyes traced a dark figure in the middle of the ever-growing circle of light.

The vortex of water--which had the same circumference of the giant circle of light--was finally at her body’s level. Instead of continuing its current path, it went downward, dragging her once-still body with it. Blood compiled in her head as her body followed the retraction of the vortex.

This figure became clearer and clearer with every second, and soon, Scarlet realized that it was not just a shadow: it was the shadow of a woman.

But not an actual shadow, a woman’s shape colored in with eerie black; Scarlet imagined a ghost would have similar features; the sight sent a wave of chills through her spine.

The slender shape had long, wavy hair, which flowed over womanly curves. She remained completely motionless, a sense of tranquility and peace radiating from her.
These feelings the shadow-woman evoked endorsed Scarlet’s previous dreaming theory.

The never-ending chain of questions that incessantly plagued Scarlet’s shaken mind only left her deeper in bewilderment; but Scarlet knew that this figure was there for a reason, and was most likely the source of the entire situation.

Almost right on top of the shadow-woman, Scarlet pondered what would happen next. Who could know? Any balance and normalcy her life once had was completely drained, and a feeling of deep change settled in her soul.

Marking the culmination of many feelings, Scarlet passed right through the shadow-woman.

For a moment, everything subconsciously made perfect sense; the feeling of change that set in her soul was reaffirmed. This change coursed through her, making her more than she had ever been, and some of what she had tasted before.

Distorted feelings and memories flooded her completely, possibly more even than the water in which she was encased. Reminiscing would usually be considered normal during a situation as confusing and potentially life-threatening as this one. But this was the farthest thing from reminiscing: these feelings and memories were not her own.

The pressure on her body--exerted by the infamous mysterious force--completely faded, causing every nerve in her body to tingle with newfound freedom; her once-tightened limbs flopped around freely in the chilling water as she regained physical awareness.

As the mental flood raged on, Scarlet attempted to survey her current surroundings; there was no trace of the shadow-woman. In an instant, the white of the tunnel became more powerful even, forcing her eyelids shut. Consciousness left her, finally returning her to black.





Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

artofthedeath said...
Oct. 21, 2008 at 1:50 am
I liked it, and yes, it does somehow really portray a person drowning, You have great Description skills. Like you, writing and reading are my lovable passions that just spill out who I am. I mean, I can sometimes barely stand being my own boring self, when i can me someone else in my stories and my books. It just so happens that i am also a great author, like you. I hope to see your work again someday!!!
 
WannabeActress said...
Sept. 15, 2008 at 1:07 am
Wow,Good story
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback