Jack Allsopp

Darkness doesn’t quite describe it. Eerie dark blue surrounds me in all directions. I feel nothing but my heartbeat, beating fast and heavy, in this endless abyss.

Bubbles float up in front of me creating that familiar sound reminding me I’m alive.

I’m floating, unaware of all sense of direction. I know I am not alone, but the thought of being alone is equally as scary.

The constant unshakable grip of fear has me entranced. In the depths of this otherworldly place, I am not the dominant species.  Humbled with fear, the realization that I am prey starts to consume me.

Bubbles rise again.

“Come in James! Anyone? Please?” I call out into the radio with desperation. I pause, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds.


“Please, anyone, I need to get back to her. Oh Jen, tell her I love her, tell her I’m coming back, tell her our wedding it going to be beautiful, just how she wants it.  Just one day I told her, one fucking day out on the boat.” Tears roll down my cheek puddling at the bottom of my goggles.


I take another breath. Bubbles float up towards the invisible surface.


           No one ever tells you what it’s like to feel complete fear. Fear that grips the whole of your mind and body. Fear that won’t let your mind free of its grasp. I now fear what I have always taken for granted. I’m scared, for once in my life I’m truly scared of losing what I hold so dearly. I’m scared, like a child, of losing all I’ve ever worked for, of never again waking up next to Jenny, of never seeing her beautiful smile again.

I don’t remember if I told her I loved her this morning.  


           My mother always told me that there was no reason to fear the dark as darkness cannot hurt you she would say. I believed that all my life, until now.  I realize that we, as humans, fear the unknown and darkness is the mask it wears.


A change in the motion in the water interrupts my thoughts. Even in the dark, shadows toy with my mind, putting me on edge. The worst part is I can feel it. Its presence. The way the water around me swirls and dances, playing with my fear and anxiety. I’m being watched. My bones tingle. Closer. Closer. The endless darkness seems to rush at me, throwing illusions at my mind in the dark. The shape of a colossal fish seems to shimmer off the distance. Taunting me. I turn on my flashlight, with what battery is left. It flickers a few times and illuminates that water, putting on a show of dancing particles. I soon come to realize, in a place where everything looks the same, light seems useless.


I check my depthometer. I am deep, deeper than I’ve ever been, at 50 meters I am shivering uncontrollably.  The difference in pressure will kill me if I ascend fast. I’ll get the bends, too many nitrogen bubbles in my brain will kill me.  I am still making my slow ascent to the surface. My flashlight is nearly dead, but it’s not like I have much to see anyways so I keep it off.  My air is starting to get low. 10 minutes. 10 minutes to save myself, or die tryi-

It swoops by me. Fast. Faster than I am able to comprehend. I turn around, my eyes scanning in all directions. I do this but it feels useless. Darkness still consumes my vision, that haunting darkness of the deep,  leaving me blind to my predator.


I kick my legs a little faster, motivated by my growing terror.


The water swirls around me. It’s coming. Terror takes over my body in a wave that creeps down my spine. I hear it now too, a low pitched sort of growl, sending shivers down my spine.


Faster I kick, but I know I have to stop, I can’t ascend too fast. No point of getting away from it if I dead before the surface anyways.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. More bubbles. Less air.

Pain rips into my ankle. Teeth tear at my flesh, bloodying the water.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I kick at the source of the pain with my other leg but I feel myself being dragged deeper. The sting of colder water shocks me as I descend further into the monster’s domain.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Bubbles float to the surface.

The speed at which i’m being pulled and the pain disorients me,  I am screaming to the void. Pain strangles my thoughts and suffocates my body. There is no light to grasp, or hope to hold on too. Only sinking terror. 8 minutes. Images of Jen flash through my mind, us holding hands, her laughing on the beach, her voice saying, “I love you Cameron, always.”

Deeper I’m being dragged, I keep trying to kick at the source of the pain but whatever has me is not letting up.

I tilt my head back to equalize the pressure. The pain is now unbearable as I feel the razor sharp teeth dig deeper into my ankle. Still I cannot see the creature that controls my fate.

I kick as hard as I can with my free leg, trying to aim where I the eye might be and mustering all the strength I have left. After one final kick its jaws open and I’m momentarily free.

I scream out to no one in anguish and hopelessness. Then drift and soak in the pain that pulses from the torn flesh on my lower leg.

“Jen….JEN… Jen, I’m so sorry, I love you, I’m gonna be there tomorrow, I promise you, standing at the altar, wearing that bow tie you love so much,” I choke out in misery. Sharp pain pulses from my ankle as torn flesh seeps more blood into the water.  


I need to see her again, I need to get back to her. I can’t do that to her, die before I watch her walk down the aisle, wearing the gorgeous wedding dress she refused to show me, wanting to it be a surprise. I need to live, not for me, but for her. I need to live for the children we will have, for all the Thanksgivings and Christmas’s, for all the birthdays, and so I can tell her I love her each and every single day. All that seems so far away now, drifting aimlessly now in darkness and suffering, my consuming fear has taken over. 7 minutes.

I don’t have any idea where to swim to. There is no familiarity down here, nothing to coordinate myself with. My only hope is to find the wreckage and return to the air pocket. The sunken wreck of our ship was where James and I  had spent the past couple hours trying survive in the air pocket that had been created in the lower decks of yacht.


The next few minutes are spent in  complete silence apart from my decreasing breaths trying to calm myself down. I feel lifeless, just floating in a void. I check my air again, I have about 5 minutes left. I never wondered what it would feel like to know exactly when your going to die. 5 minutes seems like an awfully short time. My last 5 minutes, instead of saying goodbye to all my loved ones and my beautiful fiance, will be spent here, floating, in the constant state of paranoia. 5 minutes to contemplate all the mistakes of my life. I wish I had listened to my grandparents tell more stories, I wish I had made Jen breakfast the day of our 3 year anniversary. I wish I had gone to more of my sister’s soccer games. “I’m sorry” I sigh, watching the bubbles carry that message to the surface.


My sense of humor appears to not be lost though or maybe it’s the nitrogen bubbles finally snaking themselves into my brain. I give myself a small chuckle at the thought of being an astronaut, floating through space, a space pirate, though pretty shitty one at that.  My humor is then silenced by that familiar change in the current.

A light appears. 4 minutes.


The little glimmer of hope shined towards me.

I swim towards it, the pain from my leg becoming unbearable.

I yell over the radio, “HEY HEYYY, IM HERE, IM OVER HERE, PLEASE,” the words leave my mouth with heavy desperation. 3 minutes.


It swoops by me again. My worst fear is a reality again as it must have come back to finish the job. I kick as fast as I can towards the light. Razor sharp teeth plunge into the wound again. I am pulled violently in different directions, whipped around like a rag doll. I feel an excruciating tear and I’m released. Pain shoots up my body. I reach down and it’s what I don’t feel that terrifies me more. My leg; it’s gone. 2 minutes.


The light grows closer and blood streams from my gaping wound. My adrenaline seems to be my saving grace as I turn pain into strength, kicking as much as I can with my one leg, leaving a train of blood in the water. I can see it. The light it grows closer as my will grows weaker. I’m almost there. 1 minute.

The light gives me hope. Hope means getting back to Jen, but the fear, pain, and exhaustion make me reluctantly start to accept me fate. I make slow movements toward the light in my last minute. I think back on my life. All my happiest moments. All my mistakes. What does it matter now? I’m alone, at the bottom of the ocean, bleeding out with only one leg. The light becomes closer. Now illuminating my body. I float there in it’s gaze, unable to muster anymore strength. I feel the lack of air suffocating my last moments. I reach out and grasp the light. I’m finally there. She’s there, in the light, I can see her. Dancing in the water, her cute little smile appears on her face. She’s right there, I could practically touch her. She whispers, “don’t leave me Cameron, don’t ever leave me, I love you”.

“I’m….coming darling… I’m almost- I love…y-”