The Flood: Pages 1-3

The Flood

Having now written a number of chapters of this, my debut novel, and upon discovering that many Literary Agents often ask to see the first few pages of any fiction novel, I thought I would post mine here for everybody to view. I hope they prove interesting, and please leave your comments below if you liked what you read, or if you just have any suggestions.

“The drilling rig shook with violence enough to flake paint from steel, and yet nobody could tell one force from another, as the drill blade rotated in vibrato time, and ton after ton of seabed sediment climbed toward the hot sun, destined only to wind up in countless petri dishes inside the science lab.

The Gulf of Mexico had been home to the Pretax deep-sea oil drilling platform for well over nine years, and with a penetration depth of over eight thousand feet, man’s insatiable appetite for crude oil had pushed technology far beyond levels found in the previous decade, yet there had been little to no thought as to how much investigative force the ocean floor could truly tolerate.

Twenty-seven miles north west, bubbles rose like streams of billowing glass beads, tickling the ocean’s surface, before foaming into a carpet of white that dispersed into warm ripples across the water, while fifteen metres below, Dr. Willard Price navigated a section of protected reef, which by all accounts was now dying, if not almost completely dead.

Liberating the last piece of scarred coral into his plastic sample bag, Willard furtively checked his Panerai dive watch, a recent birthday gift from his wife, and noted he had just enough time to decompress and surface, and so relaxed his breathing and began the ascent toward the glimmering skin of the sea above him. Visibility at this depth was surprisingly good given the recent storms, and so rather than remain frustrated with any reduced vision, he simply allowed his mind to wander as to what he might snag for dinner on the drive home.

While the pressure bar had now equalised enough to kick to the surface, Willard rose slowly upward toward his small, yet perfectly designed dive boat, until the stainless steel dive ladder lingered before him, as he released his mouthpiece and carefully climbed aboard.

The sting of sea water burned his lips as he sat down to remove  both flippers, and as he quietly evaluated his dive, Willard searched his mind for possible answers, deliberately allowing himself to drip-dry beneath the two ’o clock sun, his wet feet perched upon his disheveled work desk, as he swivelled left to right in his chair, carefully studying the pinkish-grey sample nestled between his index finger and thumb.

The boat rocked almost silently as the warm waters lapped against the white fibreglass sides, and as Willard mused what he thought was some small semblance of an answer, a thumping  sound came from directly beneath him.

“What the…?” He blurted.

Turning to investigate, Willard leaned hard over the side of the boat, in the hope that whatever it was, it might reveal itself, and yet as soon as his shoulders cast a shadow on the water, something or someone ripped him from his chair, dragging him beneath with a speed unlike anything he could hope to describe.

With what felt like wet rubber covering his mouth and nose, Willard was falling further from the light of the sun and deeper into the darkest recesses of the ocean at what seemed like light speed, and while there was little time to control his breathing, or even adjust to water pressure, he was still very much alive, and now intensely aware.

Tightly closing his eyes, he noticed the shift in trajectory as his legs followed his body and again things appeared to get even darker and colder, until in a flash of almost blinding light he was taken from rushing water to a hard, slippery surface, eventually stopping dead as the rubbery grip released itself and he just lay there motionless and confused.

Seconds passed like minutes, as Willard spread his fingers over what felt like a swimming pool floor, semi-cobbled and slightly soft to the touch, and his body went from rigid to limp. He wanted to open his eyes, and yet he knew his temporary safety came only from not looking since he’d been torn from his boat.

Knowing he needed to do something, he turned his head slightly to the left and nervously raised his eyelids. The blinding light that greeted him was whiter than white, and yet felt reassuringly warm on his skin, and while the silence unnerved him to no end, he could vaguely detect the faint sound of breathing just a few feet behind him. Turning slowly so as not to terrify himself, Willard could…”

Author: Neil Egan-Ronayne

Author, publisher and foodie...

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