By Georgia Carter
you are in a submarine. you are looking through a periscope. all around you is blackness, the crushing shade of water when the sun is a distant rumour. you hang, suspended motionless in the current that stirs up flecks and clouds of matter. below you, thrown into relief by your tiny circle of light, stretches a fleshy coral reef. outcroppings, patterned with crazy brain-like shadings, shadow near-invisible holes, and malignant little jellyfish try to pattern themselves after the pinkish floor they cling to.
with your curved little instrument you dig away at the reef. satisfying lumps of material slide easily off the whole. what is left turns pale and fluffy at the intrusion, its stuffing almost frothing out like a slit couch. beeps and sizzlings accompany your work.
you turn your attention to the floor, scraping delicately at the jellyfish. silky red flags unfurl from their hiding places and spiral smoothly into the dark. your instrument begins to roughen, blacken, and the smoky smell of a barbecue left unattended rises incongruously around you.
a jellyfish clings to your cauteriser, suddenly squid-like, red and white like a sunburnt beachgoer. you manage to scrape it off against the floor, and it too whooshes away with the current
Feature image from National Geographic