Dark things there are at the bottom of the lake, and many.

Down we sink in our bathysphere, our little impermeable bubble of air, down past light and movement into darkness, into murk, into slow times.

Here are crabs the size of kettles, many-legged and clever, with gentle reach of weeds growing thick upon their backs. Here their mouths move silently, always speaking, always singing.

Here are things with several teeth, mud-sided, impatient, grasping. Ancient they are, old as the lake, old as caldera, and they gnaw, they gnaw, with senescent fury they gnaw upon the unbreakable walls of our sphere. We huddle within and watch those rows of teeth, those blind and horrible jaws clash and strain against us. We pass within; we are swallowed; we persevere.

Down we go, always deeper down, past straining muscles, past exotic flora of small intestine, past lakebed, past bedrock, past earth’s stony cradle, down to where deep things live and move in fire. Down we are carried in the belly of this fishy beast, down in Leviathan, in the blind hunger of the immortal, down to where life begins…

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