Peer Review by SomeFormOfWriting (United States)

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The Depths

By: Serendipity


"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board"

Her father's voice bounced through her skull, the consonants and vowels first splattering all over and then swirling together into a mere memory of the loving man's favourite phrase. Her mind made this thought as she felt her body getting heavier, her clothes being weighed down by the ice water that swirled around her body. They tugged and tugged and she realised why she was here, under the water's surface, too far down to escape its clutches. It was because of not her father, but someone he had only ever referred to as him.
 
Ever since a young age, her father would repeat that exact quote and instantaneously a warm rush of nostalgia and euphoria would cascade through her body. Right now, her shivering body ached for something to warm it up in a desperate attempt to keep her awake. For there she remained, curled into the tiniest ball that she could manage, tucked away in the dark corner of the enormous boat's hull, hoping that no-one would catch her on her vessel of escape. The girl tried to recount all the events that had lead up to her timely disappearance on the sea - her mysterious upbringing, the teachings of those figures whose names now raise the eyebrows of even complete strangers, the words thrown around which had formed the daggers and weapons of a dangerous master, and then the simple, chronological actions which had falsely placed the title of 'murderer' onto the girl, like a target for death to swoop down at and make another clean kill. Murderer. Just the thought of the word made her body shake violently regardless of how cold the damp downstairs of the boat was.
The mundane chatter coming from above eventually died down into dead silence, except for the gentle sloshing of the waves pecking at the sides of the boat. With the girl's body stiffening, gut sucked in and mouth sealed shut, she attempted to ascend to the upper deck. She thought of the word again and instantly regretted it. The startlingly cold world hit her with all it had. Waves grew to ten times their original size, the boat's level plane turned askew and shook up and down, the sky pelted down icy droplets which stung her skin to an extreme degree. She flopped down defenselessly onto the deck and waited for it all to finish, for the horror to end. Had sneaking onto the boat really been worth this? Had her father's words mislead her on purpose? She was left with that question until the ice droplets had turned into tiny scorpions that bore into her skin and she had blacked out. 
Startled and in dismay, the girl sat up to survey her surroundings. The waves seem to have never existed, and any vestige of destruction from the boat's tipping was long gone. Her hands reach for her arms, then legs to feel the relief that the scorpions had never existed. She shakily stood up, and the peaceful waters remained flat all around her. It reflected the moonlight into patterns, akin to a bejewelled midnight blue dress from which the artificial light bounced off for all to see. This lead her to the edge of the boat, taunting her to come over the edge and experience the beauty to touch. She refused the offer and remained clinging to the rail though and felt her muscles relax before the razor words sliced through the serenity of the night.
'Well, well, well. A stowaway and a murderer.'
Her eyes opened wide with alarm, and her body froze before turning around to meet the mocking voice's owner. 
'Who'd a thunk it. After all these years of running, I'd knew you'd have to run into me. Why there have only been so many people you've met in your life, and I was definitely one of them!'
'I know you did it,' The words left her mouth in a bare whisper before she even had time to think about it. 
'You know, I already started my job. What, with your feeble parents and brother killed and bled white, I think its time to finish off what I started. Make you a foursome, won't that be lovely?'
She could feel her eyes moisten and sting, but even her desperate attempts to hold back tears could not help. What he said was true - seven years ago, he had callously murdered her whole family and with the blood on his hand, written her name down as the one who did it. As an act of rage and selfishness. His eyes, like a snakes', could lie and deceive so well that she had no defence despite all her pleading, and it was him that put her on the run for all this time. She felt her wounds start to open. It was only a matter of time before they bled freely again. 
'Now it's time to finish what was started,' he repeated again, in a stone cold voice. He revealed his choice of weapon - a blade that glinted in the moonlight and was visibly dangerously sharp. Sharp enough to kill someone of the girl's small stature in one foul swoop. He took two big steps toward her before she did anything. Then, thinking of her family one last time, she fell backwards into the chilling sea water. She put up no resistance, for she knew that he would slit her throat eventually, no matter how far she ran. Her clothes weighing her down, she thought of what life could have been like if he didn't exist. Maybe she'd be in the living room, sitting by the fire with her brother as they told corny jokes until they both burst out laughing, their parents sitting on the couch lovingly watching them. Finally, when she knew she couldn't go on for any longer, she gave up to the slippery hands of the sea and let them drag her down to the depths below as she thought her last thought: 

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board"


Peer Review

The descriptions and word choice were amazing, and the fact that she was drowning gave me a sense of urgency.


Not particularly? Although, I wasn't really *confused* per se, but I can't help but wonder why that guy murdered her family.


Reviewer Comments

Oh, man... This is absolutely incredible. These descriptions and imagery are phenomenal. I love this so much.

This was a review of the MyFormOfWriting Competition way back when, sorry it took me so long to review!