Beneath the Deep

This was my non-entry for KLB’s August Caption the Picture: Extended Edition

Armani is the nephew of Zelda Mae who is in a relationship with Emilio Romero, Antonio’s brother.

I hate my job, Armani thought as he swam over to the half-sunken chest. He could hear his breath going in and out. Why was he even doing this? Oh right, he had bills.

When he’d answered the ad in the Daily Trident, he’d thought he’d be doing grunge work on a yacht. Instead, on his second day onboard, the diver had swum up raving about a sea monster and refusing to go back down. Like an idiot, he’d mentioned his past diving experience in his interview. The captain of the ship had cornered him after dinner that night and pressed him into agreeing to take the diver’s place.

Armani hadn’t dived in over five years, not since he’d had that terrible confrontation. Shaking his head he reached for a handle of the chest and tugged. Nothing. He tugged again, this time leaning back a little for extra leverage, which was like saying finding traction on the moon. He felt the chest move a little. This was supposed to be an easy extraction, but he’d been down here for thirty minutes already. Surrounded by trillions of gallons of sea water. Oh and let’s not forget the sea predators, like sharks.

Something brushed by his leg and he almost let go of the chest. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath before looking down. His sigh of relief was loud in the enclosed space of his diving helmet and he was glad he’d turned the microphone off of his intercom. It was just a school of fish curious at the intruder to their world. It only made sense that some of the inhabitants of the sea floor would come to see what was disturbing their environment. He just hoped that the only curious animals were the fish.

Last time he was in the ocean, he’d encountered a merman who had not been pleased with a human stealing from him. The merman had dragged him several yards deeper into the sea and the diving suit he’d been wearing had started to crack from the deepening pressure of the water. Fearing for his life, Armani had begun to struggle violently, using his heavy boots to kick at the fishman and gain his freedom. He had barely escaped with his life and had sworn off diving. Yet here he was.

He hated this job.

Finally, after several more tugs, the chest slid from its dirt pocket and he was able to reach the other side. Turning on the intercom, he said, “Dispatch, come in dispatch, this is Armani. Over”

Dispatch here. Did you find it? Over.

He rolled his eyes. Clearly, otherwise why else would he be calling? “Yeah. I got it. I’m attaching the cables to the handles now. You’ll feel a tug in three minutes. Over.”

He worked as he spoke, making sure the cables that would raise the chest up to the surface were secure. He worked fast, wanting to get out of this ocean as soon as possible. He gave the cords a sharp tug and watched as the cables tautened, before the chest started its slow ascent from the ocean floor.

With his attention no longer focused on the cable, he finally noticed the tentacle that had wrapped itself around his right ankle and was now tightening…

He REALLY hated his job.

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