The fisherman shouted but only sickly bluish bubbles came out. He thrashed against the ropes, felt something give way in his shoulder. The surface shrunk to a single blinding pinprick of light and then vanished. Earth, warm, horizontal, too many things disappearing above him forever. Eardrums throbbing, bee stings behind his eyes, in his throat.
Look like you could use a drink.
No ma’am I’m sure I.
Oh now don’t be.
I can see that.
The fisherman hit the bottom of the ocean standing upright. Silt mushroomed around the anchor. His body shuddered and twisted and he howled his last breath.
And then he heard a piercing song in his punctured ears, and then he opened his eyes. He saw a giant hand reaching out for him, fingers outstretched and clenched in rage.
The ropes fell apart, freeing his wrists and ankles, threads of hemp unwinding and floating away. He swam, grasping for the hand. Their fingers met and he was surprised by the rough, stony texture and th—
a jagged white fire lit up his veins / the water around his body recoiled, tearing itself apart / something dark and empty underneath
—e fisherman let go, felt a soothing beat coming from his belly. The seawater coursed in and out of his lungs smoothly, cleanly. He could make out every edge and shadow of the enormous stone hand reaching up from the bottom of the ocean, here where monsters gave off their own light. His fingers and shoulders felt fine, just fine. The tooth was calm, silent.
He breathed in deep, and currents spiraled out from his open hands. He listened as his laugh escaped to the surface.