What Lies Beneath the Sea Bab 9 (2024)

. . .

Date: April 4, 1994

Location: Lee Song's Residence

. . .

Almost forgetting myself, I physically jolted right away and felt my head smacking hard right against the wall behind me at the sickening splat it made as the bloody bundle landed right in front of my face, the cloth was literally the only thing separating me from the unseeing eyes of a... a baby...

But my pain didn't matter.

I couldn't even register the pain growing in the back of my head as my mind frantically scrambled for an excuse, any sort of reason as of why I am just hiding here like a coward, witnessing what was once a life, an innocent life that has barely even begun to live being smothered by the shiny stone that my aunt was now religiously rubbing over its shattered body as she begun to hum an eerily familiar tune, one that made me grab and wildly claw at my ears to block out the awful sound, I don't want to hear it.

I don't want to hear it again. Please don't make me hear it again. Not again, not again, oh God please not again–!

My jaw was slacking open.

But not a single scream escaped my mouth.

There was no noise.

(Looking back on it now, I must have been paralyzed with shock. That must be it–that's the only reason my shaken, mess of a mind could only make out of this horror, this insanity.)

Because out of nowhere, as soon as my gaze settled on the stone–the same gemstone engraved upon that cursed book–I have no words to explain as of why or how it happened, how it was even possible to begin with... but the next thing I know, I was underneath the table in my aunt's room one second and at the next, my body was plunging down straight to the depths of the freezing water, I was forced down to the same darkness all over again, even as my lungs ached and desperately screamed for air, even as the pressure of the depths threatened to crush me as I continued to drown, I was helpless as my body continued to fall, down, down, down, down...

I can see the humans whose very lives were taken by the sea being made as slaves, shrieking as they tried to claw their way out, tried to swim up as they fought for their lives, their humanity...

But it was all in vain because their broken bodies are already shifting into something else, into something so much worse, something that... that was definitely not human; something more like the beings that looked like those monstrous leeches but not quite.

I choked back a sob.

...It was a fate worse than death.

Still, they chant, they continue to sing its lost hymns as if to curse and to praise, on and on, as I continued to descend until even their voice becomes murky, lost to the sound of crashing waves.

Again, something glimmered below me.

And even though I must not look, some part of me that instinctively knows that I must not look screams in despair because I can't, for the love of God I can't, I couldn't force myself to look away or even defiantly close my eyes until I can see something what seemed to be a crater, no... oh God THAT WAS AN EYE–!

...and it was looking right back at me.

Its eye was perfectly round, as round as the moon itself and its sclera are as dark as a starless night sky instead of white. A hundred times larger than it should be with an ocean-colored iris; a glimmering, enchantingly pure blue surrounding a pupil with far too many colors that made my head spin for I couldn't identify, couldn't even comprehend a single one of it to tell them apart for these are things that weren't supposed to be looked upon because they don't exist on earth.

For a moment–one second, two second, three, four, five, six...–its eye suddenly disappeared into nothingness only to blink back into view.

And the whole ocean seemed to shudder.

All around me, there were screams for mercy, pleading for an escape, for an end, loud and echoing, the cries of the fallen, the lost and the damned praising and cursing this... this dark and horrible god in a single breath.

A horrible chill ran through my body just when I realized that it wasn't looking away now. It was still looking at me.

I had its complete attention just as the feeling of drowning, of being brought to the verge of death but still suspended on the wretched, painful state of breathing but not living followed through and through, reducing me into nothing but a heaving, choking miserable mass of frozen limbs as terror unlike anything I have ever felt before in my entire life invaded every single nook and cranny of my very being.

There was no thought, not a single one as I can feel something painful, like crows scrabbling for a feast inside my mind, my memories flashing right in front of my eyes one after another...

...Things that I looked back on fondly.

...Things that I'd rather forget.

How many times did horrible being did somehow made me watch my entire life until it all leads up to this awful moment? How many times did it made me look through every single mistake, grief and joy that I ever had?

It showed me the last time I spoke with my Dad–will my last memory of him was me being such a brat?–and as if that wasn't bad enough, it showed me my Mom... my beautiful, wonderful mother who had always been vibrant and good to anyone she met but still died a slow, painful death from a sickness that tore her alive inside out.

I didn't even get to say goodbye.

I didn't even get to talk properly with my Dad too–I didn't get to tell either of my parents how much I love them.

Then, this keeps happening.

...Over and over again.

It won't stop.

It doesn't stop–!


. . .

The idea of having a future felt like a pathetic joke.

Nothing and everything made sense in this awful moment where all that mattered was the past and the present that I was being forced to live through on loop.

The concept of living or even dying seemed so far away now, a distant dream I am aware of but will never wake up from–like I was sleeping with eyes open, dreaming but very much awake, never knowing when it all began or if the torture would even come to an end.

But I can't feel, can't think of anything because my mind was already being torn apart from the seams at the ice-cold feeling of a crushing pressure gripping me from within, curious and cruel.

There was nothing, only the feeling of pure helplessness, of despair and a grief I have never known before plaguing through me as screams after screams were forced to be ripped right out of my throat, lost and blending in just as easily amongst its many, many victims.

I couldn't even stop myself from screaming...

...All I know is that its idea of amusem*nt is just plain cruel, a meaningless torture, nothing more but a horrible game that it was beginning to grow rather bored of now that I have grown numb. And I know there and then that dying in this thing's hands would have been far more merciful.

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