It seemed like forever as I began to fall off the ship, feeling the joint weight of Grace and Diana drag me. I could hear the splashes that preceded me and the frantic beating of my heart in my chest, so I took a deep breath. I kept my eyes closed as I hurtled towards the foaming depths.
The water raised its arms like a faithful lover and wrapped me in its embrace. The heart was snatched from my hands, greeting the clear essence with its bloody streak.
I watched it go, my offering to the gods, before I turned to my sisters; I fanned my legs up and down like a fish and started in their direction. Grace was paddling madly for the surface and Diana followed shortly.
We broke surface together and tried to remain afloat. The boat had gone a good distance away but I could still make out the stunned grimy faces of our killers.
“Give me your knife, Isis” Grace said after a while, I passed it over to her and she started slicing the threads of the thick rope. Diana bobbed up and down in silence. Soon my hands were free and Grace went below to work on our feet.
My teeth had begun to chatter, so cold, when Grace reappeared with some end of the rope in her hand.
“I think we should tie this around our waists so we don’t get separated.”
I nodded, casting furtive glances into the water. I had read of man eating sharks and the like, if we were in shark infested waters, that bloody heart would be driving them towards us.
“Hurry up and tie it firmly” I said “Let’s see if we can find some sort of haven.”
Diana scoffed and I turned to her. “Will you stop whatever this is supposed to be?! It’s not my fault that we are here. We knew the risk of staying on the ship even before we were on it. If you didn’t like it, you should have stayed behind and become a bed slave, or some vile person’s wife, or worse. But here you are, so suck it up and be rational.”
Grace strung the rope around Diana’s waist, giving her a meaningful glare. I looked up and down as my sight could carry and decided that we go in the direction of the ship which was still within my sight. We sliced through the water slowly, as waves would rise and shove us back into its depths. I refused to look down for fear of what I might see. I had asked Grace and Diana to line up beside me and together we tried.
The sun shone brightly on our heads and my vision swam before my eyes, I slowed down and reached for my hair, it lay warm and wet on my back, I fumbled with it as I braided it and tucked it in. Grace’s skin had become pale and her eyes had an insane gleam to it. I checked my bodice for my knife and secured it properly.
“What was that for?” She asked,
“I thought I lost it.” I replied slowly, kicking my feet to get rid of the numbness.
Diana raised her eyes to the sky, “we better get going, it’s not going to be daytime for much longer.”
Grace swallowed and looked away, paddling slowly.
It hurt, everything hurt. My eyes, arms, legs, chest, everything hurt. But I kept on swimming.
Right arm, left arm, swim swim
Right arm, left arm, just swim.
Darkness fell shortly after; the orange and grey clouds chasing after blue and white ones. A chilly breeze swept across the water and it began to churn.
“A storm!” Diana gasped, her eyes wide. We tried to be fast but it was obvious that we weren’t going to last longer. The huge blanket of dark waves spread out in front of us.
We swam, shrieking each time lightning and thunder made an appearance. I remembered our mother telling us it was just the gods and their wives having an argument. The wife would get upset and throw the torches to the ground. The husband would throw the furniture down the stairs. I smiled faintly and looked at my sisters. I promised to keep them safe and here I was failing.
Shortness after, the wife started to cry and the sky opened, pouring buckets of of water on our heads, her husbands yelling driving up walls of water.
Diana was the first person to go down, I dived after her, Grace behind me, Diana floated a few feet below us and I raced to get her.
She wore a peaceful look on her now still face and I realised she had not tried to fight, probably went under and exhaled. Grace held her in her arms and cried, a stream of bubbles from her mouth and nose. I held my breath and tried to drag her to the surface. I ignored the burn in my chest and swam, my arms hooked through Grace’s.
We seemed so far from the surface and my limbs felt like lead, everything seemed to fade out in front of me and I felt a warm breeze settle over me. I closed my eyes and exhaled, a smile at my lips.