Liquid Earth

I woke up this morning, and the ground had turned to liquid, only affecting the earth. Grounded by an unknown force, everything else was stable, oscillating gently over the fluid earth. As cars passed, you could see them swaying back and forth as if they were on a suspension bridge.


On first glance, the grass, trees, dirt, and leaves all looked normal. I stuck my hand through and the outer image rippled like water. Once I removed my hand everything returned to normal. It was cold to the touch. My car was parked in the driveway, swaying just like everything else.


People were standing outside their houses, afraid to leave the concrete. A few were vomiting due to the motion. Some even dove into the earth and disappeared below ground, only to resurface a few minutes later to climb back on to the concrete. None of them seemed to be wet. I heard murmuring and whispers as everyone tried to figure out what was going on.


I walked over to one of my neighbors who was just climbing back on concrete. “What’s down there?” I asked.


He huffed, trying to catch his breath. “It’s weird. The top looked solid, and when I first jumped in I was swimming through dirt. About a nine feet down, it changed to normal water. I went down about ten feet and… nothing. It’s just water as far as I could see in all directions. I looked up and could see the foundation of all our houses, all the concrete, and even some of the people looking over into the water.”


“Could you tell how deep it was?” I asked, curious if maybe something was further down there. People began to gather around to hear my neighbor’s story.


“It was just water, but after a point it became dark. The weird part was, in the area where it started to turn dark, I saw movement and shadows. Maybe it was fish or something, but it looked a lot bigger. I couldn’t tell what it was, but that’s why I didn’t go down any further. It gave me the chills.”


“I was wondering what was down there.” I reached out and touched his shirt. “You’re not wet?”


“That’s another thing. When I was down there I couldn’t breathe, but I wasn’t getting wet. When I came back to the concrete, my clothes were dry and so was my hair. I’ve never seen anything like it. Regarding what’s down there, I’d just as soon not find out.”


I went back home and sat on my porch, not sure what to do. I tried calling the police, but there was no dial tone. I saw a man standing dazed in the street holding a shotgun, and to his right a homeless man held a sign that read, the end is nigh. Some just went about business as usual, not knowing what else to do. I, on the other hand, was eager for answers. My neighbor had mentioned shadows and I wanted to see what they were.


I drove to the dive shop, noticing on the way a few cars driving off the road, disappearing into the ground. I saw a few people with their cars halfway in the liquid, struggling to find a way to get them back on concrete. Driving was unnerving, and I worried I may careen off the side.


When I arrived at the store, a lot of people were standing around the parking lot, talking, as if trying to figure out how they could solve a problem bigger than they were.


I went in and worked my way through the crowd, snatching up any supplies I thought I’d need. I bought an oxygen tank, tubing, bodysuit, flippers, flashlight and goggles. I got there just in time, only one oxygen tank left. I headed home to get ready for my underground dive.


I put on the wetsuit and goggles, strapped the air tank to my back and hooked the tubes up to the breather. I put on the flippers and finished adjusting my gear. I went to the front yard and looked out over the ground. I took a deep breath and dove in. Earth splashed around me as I disappeared below ground.


I was swimming through dirt in a liquid form. After about two feet, water surrounded me. I looked up, and the dirt wasn’t there. Just clear water until I could see the concrete, people standing on it, and the foundations of houses.


In all directions and as far as I could see was only water. I guessed, by how it looked, the entire earth was covered. Then I made the mistake of looking down. At a certain point, it started to darken as it became more difficult for the sunlight to reach.


Then, I saw it. Something was staring at me from just beyond the darkness. Its red eyes gleamed and I could see the thin outline of its teeth. A low moaning sound came from the darkness. Pure hatred and intense anger surrounded the creature, drowning me in fear. I turned around and swam upwards, as fast as I could. The sound of the behemoth creature moved through the water, the deep bellow threatened to catch me.


Fresh air greeted me as a clung to the concrete, swearing never to go beneath the surface again. My heart thudded against my sternum. Hands shaking, I clung to my chest hoping to steady my ragged breaths. Alive. Barely.

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