A Deeper Truth
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A contextual image.

You seem to be sinking. Although, oddly enough, you feel perfectly fine about this—and quite frankly, you aren't even making the faintest attempts to surface.

Against what you've always believed, you feel nothing of what you'd expect in such a situation. The feeling of being crushed, suffocated, or even panicked are all inexplicably absent; replaced by a sense of tranquility as the bright light from above flutters around you. As your involuntary descent continues, the seafloor begins to come into view.

There, an extravagant array of different corals, mollusks, and other colorful creatures lay before you, going about their lives. Their behaviors aren't unlike those of the people you met during your visit to Sydney with your dearly departed grandfather in the summer of 1998. Watching them, their nodding movements suggest that they're greeting each other as they pass by. Some seem to be moving at a quickened pace similar to the business workers you saw in the city, while others swim leisurely along without a care in the world.

With this, you recall some of the keen details of the trip, and how you begged your grandfather to take you scuba diving as it was your dream to see the beauty of what the waters had to offer. But alas, you couldn't, due to a pneumothorax you suffered from after a car accident on your 9th birthday.

Continuing through the crystal clear water, you notice a wrecked car half-submerged in the sand below you. With that, another memory surfaces: your grandfather rescuing you from the fire which resulted from the crash, and you falling in and out of consciousness. You recall waking sometime later in a hospital, the smell of seawater staining your memory, which you attribute to an air freshener; though you're uncertain.

Drifting further through the fantastical seascape, the coral seems to dance in your presence; enhanced by the rays of light reflecting off of them and bringing joy to your hungry eyes. A force stronger than gravity seizes you, beginning to drag you beneath all of the oceanic beauty. Your moments of bliss are cut short, as you enter what can only be described as a deep-sea graveyard. A disgusting scene filled with fish carcasses, broken coral, and even some deceased aquatic mammals is on full display. In your moment of repulsing horror, you can almost smell the rot; though with where you are, that's impossible.

Continuing to be tugged along, a massive rocky cavern becomes visible. At this point, you realize that this gaping maw was your destination all along.

You've now been swallowed up by the sea's mouth and are drifting ever faster towards the rear of this massive cave. There, you see some more coral, but very different. It's warped and twisted into the face of y—your grandfather?

"Anna, i—it's you. It's been so long since we last spoke. How are you?"

You're in total disbelief. Your grandfather died nearly twenty years ago in a shipwreck at sea. How could he be here talking to you, and in such a form?

"Grandpa, is that really you? I miss you so much. There isn't even a day that goes by where I'm not thinking of you."

"As do I. Even past death, the sea has allowed me to watch you grow, supplying me with some of its life-force in exchange for a small price."

"Wait, so all those stories you used to tell me—they were real—all of them?"

"Yes, of course. I thought you believed?"

"I did—I mean I still do, and now seeing you like this just proves it to me."

"I see."

"I mean, I'm happy to see you and all—but what did you have to do for the sea to keep you alive?"

Your grandfather begins to cough softy, the air bubbles billowing out of his rocky mouth and escaping through the thin cracks in the cave.

"I'm so sorry, I really am. I can't speak much longer. The sea barely can keep me conscious these days. I can tell you; though you'll have to go to the shore by your home where my spirit is strongest."

"Of course—anything to stay with you. Even if it's only for a bit longer, I'll do whatever it takes."

Suddenly, everything begins to fade away into a massive expanse of darkness—then, you awake in your bathtub. You were just dreaming—weren't you?

Pulling yourself out of your immersion, you notice something: the water seems slightly bluer than it had before you took your nap; though you assume this is just from your foggy vision. Either way, you stand up and get into your soft wool pajamas, preparing yourself for a soothing night of sleep. Even long after you've woken up, the feelings of wonder and curiosity still lurk inside your mind. What could happen if you actually went to the beach? As the sun begins to set on this otherwise unremarkable day on the western coast of Australia, you decide to take a short walk to the beach near your house.

Slipping into your shoes, you step out the door, and make your way to the beach. As you arrive, you feel the gut-wrenching sense of dread like never before, almost like a more intense feeling of when you were conned out of a watch during your trip to the store.1 Despite this, you push on hoping, praying, wishing; that over the reddened horizon is your grandfather in full health, ready to tell you all of his new stories.

As you reach the peak of the hill, you finally see the massive body of water. There, about waist-deep in the water, is a humanoid figure. "Could that be him?" you think to yourself as you near closer. Finally, you reach the shore of the beach. The figure slowly begins to step out of the water. "Wait, what?" you think to yourself. Before you have time to even flinch, the being reaches out grabbing your forearm with its rotted and leather-like tentacle. The feeling alone of this being's appendage makes you cringe from the cold, wet feel accompanied by the roughness of the spines present on the lower end of its tentacle.

"Ah, Anna, you're here! It's so good to see you again. Age sure has gotten to me since the last time you saw hi—me."

Thinking of what to say, one thing comes to mind: only God knows what's happened to your dear grandfather to make him this way. That is your grandfather, right?

Either way, you accept the fact that you have no choice, as the stranger drags you into the dancing waves of the sea; you're uncertain of what is to become of you. Stepping in, your eyes are immediately opened, seeing the sea as it truly is: the majority of it being taken up by the rotting corpse of what can only be assumed to be a dead god judging by the entity's sheer size. Around it, millions of dead bodies lay—some new, some old; though most notably, is the body of your grandfather being nothing but a withered, mummified husk. You notice one final thing—a message carved into the side of the massive entity's hand:

Poseidon is dead. Let us rejoice in our new eternal dominion over this great treasure the blind ones call the ocean. It was a shame that he couldn't follow through; though I think someone else can finish what we started. I'm inclined that they'll have the fortitude, especially after what they were able to do at the accident.

After reading this odd note, a million questions flood your thoughts; though out of all of them, one stands out: are you the "someone" that was mentioned in the message? You collapse on the ground, feeling the same effects of the mysterious force in your dream. You see yourself through millions of eyes in all different locations, so much so that your head begins to throb in pain. Instinctually, you grab at the source of your pain with your one free tentacle. Your pain is so bad that you can only manage to contrive one thought: if you are in fact the one mentioned in the message, what are you finishing, and what happened at that car accident so long ago? You despise the truth, but in your mind, you know that you have to take charge of this beast that humanity knows so little of; because, if you don't, who will?
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