This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #348
Today’s three Prompt’s are: Number, Score, Tank
Aldo was swimming by his calculations in the dead centre of the Bermuda Triangle. His research had led him to believe one of the thousands of missing craft lay on the sea bed here somewhere. He was looking for a clipper ship which vanished here in the seventeen-hundreds. If he was right, it was here and its hull would be laden with treasures.
Aldo had done many dives over the years. At thirty, he reckoned to have completed maybe two hundred dives without incident.
Lifting his eyes from the sandy bottom, he glanced at his regulator. The numbers showed, ‘ten minutes air left in the tank before the need to surface arose.” A lemon shark moved about in the deep blue shadow’s way ahead of him as he passed over a rocky section of the sandy bottom. A score of striped Sergeant Major fish swam by him, a barracuda wasn’t much further away.
“I have to surface. I’m using to much air and I’m nearly out.”
The breathy voice came through Aldo’s earpiece. “Okay, Leona.” He saw his pretty wife swimming toward him. She curled her body around him in her pretty red-and-black wetsuit and yellow tank. The short design gave her a sexy shape and he couldn’t stop himself goosing her as she stroked away from him and began to rise. “Get on the boat, I’ll be right up.”
“Will do. I’ll get you for poking my bum when you get up here too!”
Leona’s chuckles were absorbed by the Atlantic Ocean as Aldo refocused on the seafloor. “Looking forward to it,” he said while trailing a chainmail glove through the fine sands. The glove was shark-proof protection. There was always a lemon, bull or black-tipped reef shark in this neck of the waters.
Aldo came upon a depression in the seafloor. Corals and seagrasses grew all around it. He lowered himself in and began to search it with his dive light. Something glittered within the sandy bottom. A burst of excitement effervesced through him and expelled itself in a cloud of bubbles.
“At last!” Aldo plunged his fingers into the sand and drew out not one but three gold coins. “Score three for me!”
His moment of success was cut short by a beeping alarm. “Low oxygen, better surface for a while.” Aldo turned in the water and kicked off the seafloor to propel himself toward the white hull of his boat. To his horror, he went nowhere.
Aldo tugged at his right leg but couldn’t get out of trouble. Something had snagged him above the ankle. Crouching, he peered through his bubbles and realised he’d inadvertently found ships timbers. In kicking off the seabed, he’d shot his foot between them and now he was trapped.
“Okay, relax!” he told himself. Not easy to when you know in minutes, you’ll become anoxic and strangulate on your equipment. Or be forced to spit your regulator out and drown. “Leona! Can you hear me? I’m stuck!” he called into his mike.
Only gurgling water came back to him. He dug out his dive knife and used it to release his flipper straps. A few good toe wriggles enabled him to get that off, but his leg remained caught. He leant against the old wood and pushed and pulled for all he was worth.
He was already gasping for air like an asthmatic after a run. His tank was on fumes.
A crab appeared and scuttled away looking brassed off at the ungainly creature flapping about in his home.
“Come on, move!” Aldo tore and ripped at the wood but nothing would budge it.
His alarm increased in frequency. A look at his wrist revealed his oxygen gauge on empty. He knew then his number was up. Seconds later he blacked out.
A flash of red and black passed by him. Leona curled around his legs to look at the situation. Coming up she pulled his tank regulator and put her buddy regulator in his mouth.
Aldo spluttered to life on the dive deck of the white vessel minutes later.
“Good to see you, captain,” said Pierre the boat pilot looking upon him from up in the wheelhouse.
Aldo grinned and coughed for a moment. His eyes focused upon the face of his wife. “You know Pierre, I almost died today. However, Poseidon showed me mercy and sent a mermaid to rescue me,” he remarked grandly.
“I wish he sent me a trident too; it would have been quicker freeing you with that over this crowbar!” Leona told him as they kissed for a moment. “What was worth dying for?”
“Oh!” Aldo pulled the gold coins from his dive pouch. “We’re rich, darling!”
Have a great day!