Kerri over at Craft Junky has been working hard to organise a choose your own adventure blog hop. To catch the start of this story go here.
Do you still go?
The sea-slicked deck rattles noisily as an unseen force strikes the ship repeatedly. Balanced precariously against the rail you dig your nails into the siding desperately reconsidering the whole venture. The captain staggers wildly too stubborn to fall, glaring out at the ocean around him with blazing contempt.
Crewmen stumble about on deck desperate to know what is going on, they slip and tumble under the assault shaking the ship. You wince as one of the men collides with the railing before plummeting limply over the side. You can see spot where he hit the water bubble and roil but he doesn’t resurface. The remaining men give into panic as the ship starts noticeably titling towards your side. The dark sludgy water is a lot closer than it used to be.
Captain Contemptuous barks furious orders trying to bring his crew back under control. It looks to be working too. That is until the tentacles come smashing up through the deck like horrific mutant daisies. One by one, the greasy limbs drag the crew down through the floorboards, until all that remains is you and the captain. A tentacle gropes blindly at his leg looking to take him, without pausing, he removes a large knife from his belt and buries it deep into the creature’s flesh. The tentacle spasms beneath the blade, smearing bluish-black ichor across the remains of the deck as it retreat.
“You!” The captain screams swinging his blade in your direction. “You did this! You cost me my crew. I’m going to gut you where you sta-…”
A burst of water rockets up along the far side of the ship. The towering funnel continues upwards as if it were a dagger aimed for the heavens. A loud twisting roar of monstrous rage booms across the ship like thunder and for an instant the colossal wave stops moving entirely, and all you can see is the smouldering green eyes at its core, then that moment passes. The wave crashes down on the deck as though it were cement and not water suspended above you. The force sends you tumbling backwards over the railing.
You hit the icy water like a sledgehammer. Plunging down into its depths, your last glimpse of the ship is of a massive serpent entwining itself around the hull and Captain Contemptuous cursing angrily after you for bringing this beast down upon them. His rage maddened eyes glowing with the same luminous fury as the eldritch serpent consuming his ship.
The murky water presses in around you, crushing you with promises that something much worse than the serpent is waiting for you down here. Your world spins rapidly around you as you sink. You’re no longer sure which way is up anymore. Direction has no meaning in this oppressing black void.
You’re not sure how much oxygen you have left. If you don’t find your way back to the surface, you could die down here. Twisting around, you strain to see something in the darkness surrounding you. The icy blackness plays tricks with you. Is that area of black nothing ‘above’ you really lighter than that other patch of black nothing? Or is it your imagination? You struggle to push down your mounting fear as best you can, but nothing makes sense down here.
Suddenly an icy finger runs down your spine and you spin round to face this new threat. Floating there in front of you as clear as day is your beloved. Seemingly unaffected the cold depths, she smiles brightly at you. A luminous white glow surrounds her as she beckons you to follow her.
‘That’s not her.’ A weak voice issues from somewhere inside your head. ‘You need to get to the surface. Go up!’
She looks back at you, a look of concern spreading across her face as she drifts away from you. Her beckoning grows more frenzied the longer you remain frozen. Your indecision could wind up killing you. What do you do?