"Three Thousand Pounds"

© 1999
J. Mitch Hopper

In this short work of fiction, the author relates a tale of amateur wreck-diving gone bad. Any divers out there? Here is just a taste!

(1,050 lbs. 105 ft.)

It has taken far too long and used much too much air to get free. If Ruth only follows her training, she should be near the safety stop by now. If she's a fool or, God forbid, if she cares for me, she's still down here. If only we didn't like each other so much, she'd be making the right decision now. I fear for her safety. I look up and see the steel tangle ahead only moments before the current plows me into it.

(1,000 lbs. 115 ft.)

The current has carried me to yet another section of the ship I don't recognize -- a veritable junk yard. The deck has disintegrated leaving a sea floor that looks like an auto wrecking yard. I turn to move up current in an attempt to get back to the general shell of the ship. As hard as I kick, the current sweeps me backward. With a sharp stab, my left flipper and foot are suddenly jammed under something. I turn and am wrapped around the remains of an old deck crane, left foot under a panel and face up to the dim, green sun-glow above. Everything is just beyond arms-reach and my tank makes it hard to turn so as to get a grip on that which holds me. Now is not the time to get out of my BC and tank harness. When it was the captive, there was little choice. Now, I am the captive. If I separate from my gear, I will be able to free myself more easily, but it is terribly likely that my tank and hoses will become one with the crane. They may, just as easily, drift off and take my regulator with them.

I've always known what is meant by "a sailor's last dance."

Any of these stories may be purchased: $4.00 each -- 3 or more at $2.00 each (postage included).
To request a title, e-mail your request to the author: J. Mitch Hopper.
I will respond quickly with the address to mail your personal check. Thanks for your interest!