Mark waved from across the boat and Eliza could just see his smiling eyes behind the thick glass of the goggles. They timed their fingers together; three, two, one, SPLASH. The newlyweds were in the water. They touched their masks together, a symbolic gesture to their usual nose shake and dived, slowly, deep into the darkness.
Their torches showed only mud and murk at first but eventually the cave mouth came into view and Eliza’s heart raced. She was about to discover a corner of Earth never yet explored by any other human. The anticipation brought tears to her eyes but when she made to wipe them off her fingers hit the glass cover. Eliza giggled.
Mark entered first. He attached the rope to a boulder at the opening, looked back at his wife and mimed, Okay? Eliza nodded vigorously.
The rope, bright yellow, stretched behind them through chambers and narrow corridors of blues, greens and aquamarines. They swam through spiky stalactites and pointed stalagmites crisscrossing their path like vicious teeth.
At one point Mark mimed, Wait.
Eliza floated motionlessly while Mark strapped the cord on his belt more tightly. As she waited, a metallic glint inside a narrow opening behind her husband caught Eliza’s light. Mark was still fixated on his rope and certain that he’d follow her light soon, Eliza dove in.
After a short search the little beam brought into being a brass diver’s suit; the kind they used in another century. Trembling yet drawn, Eliza touched the massive head. It fell off raising a cloud of mud and revealed a collar bone still attached to the shoulders. Eliza gasped, inhaling a mouthful of oxygen and pirouetted towards the opening. But through the murk the opening was no longer visible. She tossed and turned, frantically padding the confined rocks in search of a gap. The more she moved the murkier the cave became. Her screams were silent and Mark never saw her light.
1a : the natural opening through which food passes into the body of an animal and which in vertebrates is typically bounded externally by the lips and internally by the pharynx and encloses the tongue, gums, and teeth
b : grimace <made a mouth>
c : an individual requiring food <had too many mouths to feed>
2a : voice, speech <finally gave mouth to her feelings>
b : mouthpiece
3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as
1st Feb, 2012: I discovered that this story placed first in this week’s Trifecta challenge. I was at work when I visited the page and since I couldn’t jump and scream – as I would have done had I been at home – I instead offered coffee to everyone in the office. But then I was so excited that I mixed all my colleagues’ preferences and most ended up with plain black when they wanted cream and sugar. Oh well!
Thank you very much Trifecta, I really appreciate this!