The blackness below truly frightened her.

Blue and green rippling waves were one thing, but this was something else. Only inches below the surface of the ocean lay an abyss, teeming with all manner of…well, Ashleigh wasn’t sure, but somehow she felt it all. The violence of dominance, the slyness and covert living that some fish and aquatic mammals had to maintain seemed to overpower her own thoughts.

She thought about how beautiful the colours of the nearby reef were, she tried to preoccupy her mind with the sporadic spots of sunlight piercing through the water, there was another voice calling out to her. A loud voice, singular in its mission.

Join us. Come down, be with us. Embrace the black.

The very idea that Ashleigh was hearing voices was daunting and it made her stomach turn. To make things worse, there was a part of her that wanted to go deeper. The forbidden, the unknown calling to her was so inciting. Her scuba gear was only rated for 60 feet, and she was already pushing 85. Could she go further, without endangering herself?

She heard the voice call to her again. Was that someone, something else? Or was that her voice?