Speculative Fiction—an all-encompassing genre created to describe stories of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and other stories that have an element of “What if...” in them. A story in speculative fiction is one that adds an element of the unreal, or asks, what would become of our society if history took a different direction at some important event? Fiction with a little something extra thrown in.—William D. Richards
Anna was a psychologist before the world ended. Now, she's just a member
of the not-yet-dead, waiting out the days until sickness takes her. But
when an indecipherable signal from the depths of the sea hints at hope,
she goes along on a mission to discover its source. She's supposed to
keep the rest of the crew sane, and they're supposed to keep her alive.
But not everything goes as planned...
Will the secrets of the deep hold hope for the future of the human race? Anna's adventure to discover the truth begins.
First came the throbbing – a pulsing, piercing pain in her head. It
was centered just under her temples, but radiated throughout her
brain, along the line of her skull. It was insistent. Threatening.
And it kept perfect time.
Second came the knowledge of the noise that caused it – a blaring
alarm in echo. It made her bones vibrate and her pulse race,
playing over an intense hiss and static that she couldn't place.
Third came the feeling of mist on her face, calling up a memory
from when she was young. Biosphere two. She could still see it in a
hazy montage – the domes under the death sparkle of the sun. The
arid Arizona heat separated by glass from the warm, soft mist of
the Rainforest Sector. She'd told herself she wanted to live there.
She told that to the tour guide, too – a lean black woman with
playful hair and long legs in short khakis – and the tour guide had
laughed, and her parents had laughed and her brother had laughed.
The tour guide was dead. Her parents were dead. Her brother was
dead. Biosphere 2 was dead. The Arizona sun had survived.
And the alarm and the mist meant that the Arizona sun would
out-survive Anna, too.
She shouldn't have been asleep. She and the crew were supposed to
be alert and awake for the whole of the descent, just in case
something went wrong. The safety briefing and the hopes-and-dreams
speech... It was all coming back, now. She forced her eyes open,
the cold mist in the enclosed space threatening to force them shut
There was pressure. There was too much pressure. Her skin felt
wrong and hot, and her breaths hard-fought. She tried to tune out
the blaring alarm, but it had her nerves more scattered than
Her eyes searched the mist, looking for movement. Looking for
someone to save her. They were supposed to keep her alive. That was
the deal. The crew kept everyone alive, and she kept everyone sane.
But someone hadn't held up their end of the bargain.
Her hot, numb hands fiddled with the straps, searching for the
clasps. They were re-purposed seat-belts from long-grounded
aircraft, and her half-lucid mind saw the safety demonstrations
from long-ago flights as she fought for release.
She'd gotten the first one off and hung painfully from the second
when the sub jerked to one side, nearly flinging her out of her
standing bay, and dragging more of the pieces into place. She
remembered, now, the terror she felt when the attack from Whatever
It Was began. There had been no warning -- just a sudden impact to
the side of the sub. Without a word, they'd all run to their
standing bays and latched themselves in. All but the pilot, who
went forward into the cockpit.
Her gaze shot forward toward where she knew the cockpit was, but
between the mist and her own rising panic, it was hard for her to
even make out the hatch. Why weren't they moving forward? Why
wasn't she feeling what the pilot was doing to get them away from
Whatever it was?
The pilot is dead.
The thought hit her with a certainty it didn't deserve. She'd long
ago accepted that death was the most common explanation.
Amanda Creiglow is an irredeemable wanderer, but she currently
calls Greenville, South Carolina home. Aside from telling
impossible tales to improbable people, she enjoyed spending way too
much time playing video games for the amusement of strangers, and
writing and performing depressing songs with cheerful melodies.