by Scott M. Roberts .
“The End-Of-The-World Pool” was first published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show #12, May 2009. Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES was a direct influence on this story.
Scott M. Roberts is a man who has done despicable things with a spoon. In addition to tableware debauchery, he writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His work has appeared in Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future, Podcastle, and in the monstrous anthology, MONSTERS AND MORMONS. Scott lives in northern Virginia with his family and a motley troupe of wizards, detectives and crazy persons. Online, he inhabits The Lord Of All Fools .
Your reader this week – Mark E. Phair – is the author of THE PASSION OF THE SPARKLEPIRES: FIFTY SHADES OF DA VINCI” now available on Kindle HERE.
“The pool was as warm as sweat. Evan kicked away from the surface, algae shifting and bumping against his bare legs. Even with his mouth squeezed tight, he could taste the foulness of the water, like it had seeped through his ears to touch the back of his throat.
There’d been no squares edging the poolside, advertising the depth. It could be ten feet, twelve feet, a thousand feet deep. Evan couldn’t sense the bottom or the surface. All around him, floaties and foulness and warm water, like piss. He was swimming through a toilet, that’s what, and maybe he’d gotten in the bend without realizing it, and what if someone flushed?
Evan opened his eyes. Light blurred above him, at the end of the angle of his skinny body. And below him, more water, darker and deeper. He stretched his arms, kicked his legs, and pushed on. Pushed in, he thought, through slick, sweaty water.
The water grew cooler the deeper he swam. He kept his eyes open, despite how they burned. The light above dwindled, and then was gone, and the water didn’t end. That wasn’t right — where the pool was dark and deep, that was where the bottom had to be. Covered by a layer of muck, maybe; maybe inches of decaying leaves blown into the pool during the winter. But water and quiet surrounded him instead.
Quiet. He couldn’t hear Dad and Uncle Hector banging on the deck. He couldn’t even hear the bubbles when he let some air out of his lungs. Evan swiped at the water, edging deeper. His fingers touched sand. Sand. At the bottom of a pool.
Something touched him back.”
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