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Drowning

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The interior of the massive steel chamber was cold and desolate with a chilling factor of isolation… it had the overwhelming capacity of thousands of gallons of water, and one particularly unfortunate individual had somehow been concealed within this seamless prison of misery.

With every cry… every movement… even every breath, there was a helpless echo of sound waves ricocheting from the smooth surface within his mysterious captivation. He appeared to be located within a perfectly spherical structure — not a single rivet or line of welding… there was only a grated drain at the base’s center.

But it did not drain… there was nothing to drain, for the chamber contained absolutely nothing with the exception of its prisoner and his deteriorating sanity. He suddenly had no memory of his pre-imprisonment time, no estimation of how long he had been isolated, and no logical explanation of how the hell this had happened. His name was Austin… Austin… he could not even remember his last name.

“Hello?” Good, he can still talk.

“Is anybody there?” Progress — he appears to have a recollection of the English language. But every word and every scream would only remain enclosed within this mysterious chamber. Austin was wasting his breath.

Austin pressed his lips against the grated drain, “Somebody, please heeelp!” but only received his own answer as a reply whilst hearing the multiplying heeelps echo down the drain. His screaming had brought his throat additional pain as it accompanied the unquenched feeling of dryness within the back of his tongue. Austin’s malnutritious imprisonment had caused him to develop an extremely overpowering desire for water.

And then a rushing sound of flowing liquid had become apparent — it came from the drain and Austin was confronted with a fountain of water as the grating was doused with the substance that began to fill the chamber. The geyser of water was a yard in length as the vertical structure pelted Austin in his face — he was uncertain as to whether his thoughts were of relief or trepidation.

But Austin’s mind had soon become apparent of his current situation: stranded within an enclosed chamber of which contained no lines of communication or means of a possible escape, rapidly filling with water. He now began to panic — the sweat from his ravenous nervousness was matched only by the icy water of which soaked his head with its spouting as it brought chills and shivers with the liquid culprit already occupying its freezing ripples a few inches above his ankles.

Austin desperately looked around as he gasped “No-no-no-no fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck!” Superior to thinking that somehow he may survive this torturous swimming pool, his mentality was primarily recalling what is considered the worst way to die… drown—

No. Shut the fuck up, and for one minuscule segment of time, Austin felt a brief feeling of redemption as he believed in hope and faith and all of that bullshit.

There was absolutely nothing of which may have revealed an escape… except for the drain… the grilled gateway of the water and its flowing impact of freezing misery. Austin obeyed his instincts and intuition as he strategically knelt with his face in avoidance of the water and gripped the metal grill of the drain.

But Austin neglected to actually think — the grill was bolted to the steel and reinforced with a taunting mock of captivity… it was perhaps thirty-six square inches, and his waistline alone was thirty-two. And the water — it still continued to pump into the chamber, probably with enough force to refrain any possibility to journey in its opposing direction.

But if he had successfully detached the grill… if he had managed to force his physicality into the drain of damnation… if he had a miraculous alliance with gravity to progress down the drain and against the water…

His wishful thinking could only migrate through the skies of hope and faith for so long. Logically, the entire drain would have already been filled with the water, and Austin would be forced into a stationary confinement as the narrowed drain disallowed his chest of expansion. But it’s not like he needed to breathe — he would have already drowned.

Austin was thinking too far ahead — he hadn’t even removed the fucking grill. He neglected to actually think… if he had thought the situation through with a mere morsel of common sense of which a fraction of his brain had acquired over the years… if he actually stopped to think…he would have realized that, no matter what, he was fucked.

Austin encased the metal grill within his slippery palms and wrapped his fingers around the circumference of the bars — his hands were excessively soaked and doused within the elevating water as he pulled. He strained his arms and used his legs to lever himself against the grill’s force of concealment as his hands began to freeze within the water.

The flesh and muscle in existence down from his knees and elbows were stinging with a chronic prickle of pain… it was miraculous that the water was not frozen solid. He literally could not feel anything — he was too cold… he only knew that the grill was within his grasp due to his vision. Although his vision was blurred from the splashing in addition to the two feet of water that rippled and bubbled above the drain, he could still recognize his two hands. They were pathetically attempting to pry off the grill.

And inches beneath the drain of the grill, there were several blades of emerging sharpness as the edges mechanically revolved around threatening rotaries. They had perhaps revealed themselves from outside the walls of the drain; perhaps an elaborate system of electronics allowed their operation; perhaps there was more within this chamber than just a drain.

But Austin was unaware of these possibilities and was unaware when his fingers began to be ravaged by these blades. The robotic actions situated its medieval weaponry against the grill and upon Austin’s tightly clutched hands. The water was a hindrance, but the rotations remained forceful and aerodynamic enough to slash through the thin and wrinkled flesh of his fingers.

The awkward positioning of his hands resulted in uneven cuts and gashes amongst multiple degrees — a knuckle was gashed and scraped with a revealing of blood… a finger was bent sideways with a crack of bone… a fingernail was ripped from its anatomical adhesiveness but Austin didn’t feel a damn thing. His hands were frozen with unresponsive nerves, and the realization only became apparent when he witnessed an expanding cloud of red emerging in unison with the flowing water.

Austin released the grill immediately — he stumbled back and became submerged into the freezing water as he splashed with panic and confusion. There was blood spewing from his hands and leaving twirling threads of red within the rushing water. Austin was still unable to feel the damage upon his hands, and he did not want to look.

And then he saw something — it appeared to be blue and pink and drenched in blood as it floated in the water. It looked like a sausage… like a finger… and now Austin forced himself to observe his hands with horror.


“Oh my God, no!” and Austin revealed his hands above the surface of the water and examined a clusterfuck of mangled flesh with bones revealing themselves from the rips within his delicate joints. The hinges of nearly all of his fingers were twisted and disjointed in a visually painful sighting of vulgarity. And most disturbing of all, his index finger was entirely removed… severed by the drain and its fucking grill. The blood was dripping down his forearms and settled once it reached the surface of the elevating water.

And now he felt the pain. It was an instant conversion of ice to fire as the blood represented molten magma boiling within his wounds… he wanted to claw and scratch at the itching pain but his hands were now useless. He felt the increasingly rapid pulses of his heart throb within his wrists as the blood became uncirculated and spilled from his broken fingers.

Austin attempted to scream… but as his mouth opened the screams of sheer pain and terror were terminated with a sickening mouthful of bloody water. The water forcefully submerged itself down his throat as a brief feeling of suffocation unleashed a series of coughs that desperately struggled to remain above the water.

Austin kicked himself to bob upon the waves of water and realized the significant increase of volume… the chamber was already half full with the water’s depth perhaps six inches above his scalp. He kicked his legs and sloshed with his bloody arms in a desperate and pathetic attempt to remain afloat and savor his last few minutes of precious oxygen.

Austin began a hyperventilation of deepening breaths of pain beneath his chest with every expansion. The coldness had only worsened as it consumed his entire body with the air being thin and chilled and supplying Austin with only mere gasps of exasperation. His teeth chattered “Ohhh f-f-f-fuck,” as his face resembled a hue of pale blue with a feeling of burning ice.

Austin was far from the bottom of the chamber as the water level continued to rise… he remained within an everlasting struggle of breathing and swimming as he watched the ceiling approach his tearful eyes of terror. And all because of that drain, ironically performing the opposite task of draining.

There were perhaps twelve inches of oxygen left. It was only Austin’s natural instinct of survival of which motivated him to continue kicking the water and remain afloat. But either way, he would drown. He knew the truth, and no perseverance of denial or wishful thinking could overpower the reality of—

And now there were only six inches. Austin suddenly felt the pain within his hands reside as he began to accumulate his last thoughts… he still had no memory of his last name, and if he was unable to remember his surname than he was unaware of his previous life… perhaps he had a wife and children, and now the family would be absent of a loving husband and father.

And now it was his time. There was less than an inch that separated the steel ceiling and the surface of the water. Austin made a final repel above the water and inhaled his last breath of air, simultaneously becoming submerged within the water as every cubic inch of oxygen had been obliterated and became nonexistent. He tried to think about his last thoughts… but he couldn’t remember. He did not desire to know how he had become involved in this situation; instead, he wanted information of what life he was now required to undeservedly dismiss.

Austin was sealed underwater for less than a minute before the bright lights within the back of his eyes began to develop. He thought it could have been Heaven… but then he remembered that Heaven isn’t supposed to hurt so fucking much. It was a painful deprivation of oxygen as his brain pounded the walls of his skull.

His vision continued to convert itself into blooming and swirling stars of sparkling white and then he took a breath. It was the deepest breath that he had ever taken… but it was a breath of pure water. The last of his bubbles had evacuated his body as the water began to enter through his final scream of pain. His chest began to choke as his lungs began to fill with the water… and he was suddenly even colder than before… colder than he had ever been.

The stars had consumed his entire field of vision and it was as if his chest was attempting to explode. The water had entirely occupied his cardiovascular system and the pressure was brutal and violent as a final convulsion made a failing effort to obtain one… last… breath.

… but Austin’s throat had only become occupied with the water as he felt the feeling of drowning.

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