‘Ad Meliora – Fragment I’ – text: Geo S. Willis, audio: Dan Clarke

Now, I don’t generally post my fiction online, but in honour of the fact that someone (Dan ClarkeForge Audio Designs) has actually written a musical score —and this score fits like a glove— for the first Fragment of my creative dissertation, I feel I should. So here it is:

So click on that and then read the piece below, but don’t rush…

Ad Meliora

Fragment I

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see…”

“Why won’t you tell me?” Askel pads along beside her barefoot. The corridor white, clean, safe.

“Because it would ruin the surprise…” she replies mischievously.

The blindfold is tight, but he can see his own feet. Soon he begins to smell chlorine. Before he can ask if they’re at the swimming room the blindfold is off. There is no one else there. The whole room is a pool, no edges, just a sloping floor from his feet to the far wall.

“Are we allowed to be here?”

“Of course,” she tells him, removing her robe and stepping into the water.

He baulks for a second, but his adolescent body senses an opportunity. Quickly he strips too and joins her in the water. Laughing and splashing, it’s several minutes before he realises the door has sealed. He looks to her in query.


Before he could speak, the pool cover slid out from the tiles at the sloped edge of the pool, decapitating the crests of the water on its way toward him. He’s not panicking yet, but he feels an edge. He swims to the far wall looking for her, but she is gone. The cover slides onward, he’s got just metres left. He tries to pull himself up on the vertical surface, but it’s futile. Seconds. Get cut in half or to go underneath it? He takes a deep breath, ducks beneath.

The cover closes, seals shut. There’s no room beneath it. His lungs suck the oxygen out of his last breath with greed. He feels his epiglottis clamp shut as he claws at the cover. Chest heaving, blood rushing to his head, struggling to keep afloat. His lungs feel like they will explode.  Desperately he crams his face against the cover trying to salvage any air, but it is useless. As the oxygen in his limbs runs out he starts to sink. Beside him, she reappears. She is not struggling. She treads the currents beneath the water with ease, her hair undulating around her.

He feels the skin and muscles of his neck straining, feels it tearing open. His fading vision shows her indicating first her neck and then his.

She has gills.

© Geo. S. Willis. All rights reserved.

So, that’s the first Fragment — comments and queries welcome :):-

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