The Church Under the Sea
Thunder boomed, lightning flashed and the waves landed with the weight of bricks atop of Dexter. Disorientated and bloody, Dexter held on for his life within the lifeboat. The storm loomed over him with the strength of God himself, mighty and angry – vengeful. Dexter looked around through his crimson colored lens, everything had the hue of blood. He didn’t care for the crew, the ones that kept his ship in tip top shape, the ones who actually made Dexter money on his fishing boat. There was one person he was looking for, someone who could eclipse the sun in importance.
“PENOLOPE!” Dexter shouted, “WHERE ARE Y-“
A monstrous wave fell over him before he could complete his sentence. The rain cutting into him like little needles falling through the sky. Dexter could barely keep his eyes open, but like a bloodhound sniffing out a criminal, he kept at it, kept looking, peering through the needle rain for Penelope – his daughter.
Dexter went out shouting until his throat gave out, he would’ve cried in defeat except he stared in front of himself, and through a flash of lightning a wave taller than most buildings loomed in front him. Encroaching upon him faster and faster, the thunder has gone and all that is left are one-second glimpses of the horrific, daunting image of the mountainous wave flashing in front of Dexter’s eyes. He could only hear the wave now, the slow roar of a beast on the hunt. The feeling of putrid anxiousness has now become enraged pterodactyls fighting within his stomach itching to get out. The lightning has seized, and with the wave numbing his eardrums, he entered; the palpable obscure.
Dexter woke up; soaked to the bone he was somehow alive drifting across the water in his lifeboat, how did he survive? He touched his hand to his forehead and winced, a giant cut above his eyes, barely clotted over. He sat in his boat gazing out across the horizon; nothing could be seen for miles. The storm has passed yet it was still lightly raining, softer this time, the rain felt like cotton against his cheek rather than needles.
“Pe-…Penelope?” Dexter whimpered out, tears formed in his eyes and they started to dribble down his cheek, he sat inaudibly sad. He scratched his raggedy beard, and head, then collapsed backwards in his lifeboat with his eyes closed. Dexter was 36 years old, his wife left him with Penelope 10 years prior; Penelope was all he had. This was the first time Dexter had taken Penelope out on the boat with him; she just turned 16 last week and said she wanted to go out on the boat with her father.
“It’d be totally rad, Dad!” purposely rhyming she’d say.
Dexter got up with a new sense of vigor; he knew he couldn’t lay around knowing his daughter could still be out there, somewhere.
“PENELOPE?!? PENELOPE!” Dexter wailed to no avail, he didn’t care, as long as he was alive he would search for his daughter; even if it meant dying out in the ocean.
Dexter went on and on, yelling until his voice became hoarse.
It rained throughout the day, by night Dexter couldn’t yell anymore and he was once again set to face the cruelties that nature had instore for him. The wind picked up, started to howl. The rain began whipping him in his face just like before, soon the thunder and lightning joined in for nature’s cruel symphony. He sat; bracing himself within his lifeboat hoping to God this would end as quickly as possible. He’s come to terms with the possibility of his daughter dying and prayed that if he was to die, it would be quick and painless.
The storm raged on, and once gain he heard the all too familiar deafening roar of the wave, he closed his eyes bracing for its impact, yet it never came. All was quiet besides the roar of what Dexter thought was the wave, however Dexter realized now that the rain has stopped.
Dexter decided to make the brave attempt in seeing what was happening. He opened his eyes and peered onto what was the most incredible thing he would have ever witnessed - a church rising out of the sea, towering above him. His mouth gaped open, he was sure to be only imagining this. Yet, the church grew and grew so tall that his head couldn’t tilt back any further.
The church itself was magnificent, gothic designs with gargoyles hanging all around the spires (10 spires to be exact), seaweed hanging, dousing the church is green. Dexter heard cracking beneath his feet, his boat was breaking! He jumped off the lifeboat into what he thought would be water, yet he landed with a thud onto a hard surface – church steps. The church finally stopped growing and stood tall in the middle of the sea, and there was an eerie silence. A silence so quiet you could hear the blood pump through your veins.
“DING- DONG” the church bell rang with a vengeance. Dexter clasped his hands to his ears the bell was piercing. It went on ringing for ten minutes straight as if it was letting all the sea creatures below it was time for mass. The bell finally rang its last toll and Dexter looked up at the top of the stairs where a door with a cross upon it split down the middle. The whole church was sickly emerald, and encrusted with sea urchins. Dexter took one-step up the stairs when the doors flung open and a man…or a man that could be resembled to Poseidon steps out. The man was emerald green, seaweed as hair, scales as flesh, piercing green eyes, a necklace made from various fish bones and eyes. He spoke with an airy twang to his voice.
“Ahhhhh yessss….Dex-tor is it?” The green man said through his Barracuda like teeth, “And what may I do….for you?”
“I’m… I’m trying to find my daughter Penelope,” Dexter said wondering if this conversation was actually happening or just a dream.
“Ahhhh yessss, the girl from the land above, such a sweet, innocent girl…”
“Where is she!” demanded Dexter
“Why would I tell youuuu…she’s minnneee.” The green man dragged out.
“No…..NO…SHE’S MY DAUGHTER”
“DAD?” Penelope shouted,
Dexter looked up and saw his daughter entwined with seaweed hanging upside down atop a spire. Before he could do anything, he heard the doors to the church close, and the clunk of the lock forbidding his entry. He didn’t know what to do, yet he couldn’t give up.
“Psst…PSSSSTTTT!” Dexter looked to the side to find a sea woman motioning to follow him. Dexter didn’t know if he could trust her, but had no choice. He followed her beneath water, below the grand cathedral.
“This is far from over” Dexter thought to himself, and with that in mind he followed the sea woman into a passage. Unknowing of what lies ahead.