The Ninth Wave - 2. Under Ice
Alex's eyes snapped open. He had been asleep! He had fallen deeper into the water! He was going to drown! Straining in the deep darkness, he could see a faint glow of light floating just above him. A perfect round circle; the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. If only he could get to it.
As he tried to move his limbs, he realized he was totally submerged in water at this point, probably a few yards deep. Trying to stay calm, he moved his arms in a circular motion, trying to propel himself up towards the light. And sure enough, it was getting closer, slowly but steadily. He couldn't stay here for long; if he did, he surely would drown as his respiratory system gave up. A few yards ... a yard ... a few inches ... an inch.
Alex gave a large intake of breath as his head broke water and air rushed into his lungs. The light was blinding, he couldn't see properly. But that didn't matter right now, he had to focus on getting himself out of this water. He reached out both arms and felt a hard surface directly in front of him. It was cold, and slippery, but it was better than water. Struggling to find purchase, he lifted himself out of the water and fell onto the surface. He felt a crack form between his fingers. That couldn't be good.
As his eyes adjusted to the brightness, he could see a vast expanse of white before him. Snow? Sheets? As Alex heaved himself upwards, his feet slipped on the ground. No ... it was ice. Loads of it. He could see the black outlines of trees all around him, hemming him in. He'd somehow gone from being stuck in a freezing cold ocean, to standing on a frozen lake.
There was no other way but forward. If he kept moving forward, he could probaly find someone, whether they be human or alien, and possibly get in contact with his father. That is, if his phone wasn't completely wrecked by the water. Slowly, shivering from the cold, Alex trudged forward carefully on the ice, terrified that it would crack open at any minute and send him tumbling back into the water.
A piercing shout cut through the silence, echoing in the crisp air. Alex wheeled round and spotted what looked like a tall, black figure standing between a crop of trees. "Hello?" he called out, stepping towards it. "Hello, I'm wondering if you can help me. I've had an accident."
Suddenly, he could hear a strong bumping noise. It was coming from somewhere beneath his feet. Alex looked down and could just about make out a sort of grey mass moving underneath the ice. Was it a fish ... or something else? Alex bent down slightly to get a better look at it. He spotted what looked like a hand, and a brief flash of hair.
Someone was stuck down there! Maybe they'd gotten stuck in the water like he had and were trying to find their way out. Quickly, Alex bent down and started scraping away the layer of frost covering the ice. Definitely someone was trapped down there, and they floating further and further away.
Alex looked up again, the figure was still there in the distance. "Can you please help me? I need help now, someone's stuck down there!"
He looked down again and his two hearts leaped into his throat. Staring back at him through the ice ... was himself. But not him the way he was now, but his old face. That familiar face he'd grown to love, and was snatched away from him by a cruel twist of fate. His eyes widened. And the eyes opened, revealing a pale, eerie glow.
All of a sudden, sharp cracking sounds could be heard. The ice was breaking underneath him! He was going to fall. He took one last look at the figure in the distance. "HELP ME!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, but the figure still didn't move. "IT'S ME UNDER HERE! IT'S ME!"
But it was too late; a spider's web of cracks had formed around him and he felt the ice give way beneath him, sending him tumbling into the freezing cold water. Water filled his mouth, dragging itself down into his lungs; he couldn't breath, he couldn't hear, he couldn't think. A scream rose up in his throat, garbled by the sudden rush of water. He was falling again; down, deeper into the swirling blackness of the deep.