For the Followers
By Tipp Hex
The Mediterranean sea looked warm, soft and tranquil from his viewpoint high on the ships deck. Beneath his feet the huge engines of the liner vibrated the steel in a gentle massage. Life was good. He just needed to get a little higher for that one mesmerizing Instagram sunset picture for all his devoted followers. He laughed to himself at his haters, those who envied his success.
Climbing to the second rung of the ships railings he leant out for the hero shot. But just as he never got the shot, he also never knew who pushed him. His mind had no time to think of anything as he suddenly found himself tumbling down the ships side in a blur of steel and sky towards the sea, sixty feet below.
The water slapped the breath from his lungs as it took him into its depths. Panic jolted his body into furious action to regain the surface where he gasped, forcing his lungs to draw breath.
There, floating in the calm evening sea, surrounded by a gentle fizz of effervescence and bubbles, his gaze followed the line of foaming whiteness that pointed towards the fading hulk of the liner. A rhythmic thumping from the great propellors churning the water pulsed within his chest while growing ever fainter as it slipped away into the distance.
His body broke into action. He began with frantic screams, arms thrashing, someone would hear, must hear, the ship would turn, he would be saved. Breathless fatigue overcame the panic as the twinkling lights of the liner dimmed as the distance between them grew, eventually merging with the stars on the horizon.
No one had heard him, no one had seen him fall and they were not coming back.
Anger within him erupted and he began to swim, furiously slapping at the water, chasing after the ship, determined to save himself but exhaustion again crept through his limbs until he could do no more. For hours he floated, his voice torn into cracked silence until the gentle swell became a bed. If this was his fate, so be it it. Impulsively he threw his arms up and sank.
In the depths panic once again took hold, refusing to let him draw breath and to mercifully drown, and once again he fought his way back to the surface. His prayers now alternated with curses and were spat with tears into the uncaring night, neither heard nor seen.
Oh God, he cried in despair, just let me die.
Then, in the distance. A fin.
His last prayer was answered.