THE DEEP BLUE

During the life of Socrates, Athens attained its imperial hegemony over the states, islands, and colonies of Greece. It was a time of splendor, imperial greatness, intellectual culture (the Hylozoists, the Atomists, the Sophists, Sophocles and Aristophanes in poetry), luxury, public and private immorality. But at the time of his death, the imperial decline was already far advanced and Socrates was the big questioner of that splendorous and disturbing times, frequently reminding the Athenians that we all had inside of us a daemon, a spiritual being dictating our fate. After all, what is evil, and what makes people do awful things? For good or for evil, we should listen to him, our daemon. Unfortunately, Baxter discovered this fact in a tragic way.

At first, it seemed a good idea: to go for a weekend diving at Alligator Reef, near Islamorada, Florida. He needed some rest after the near bankruptcy of his Attorney’s Office and the turmoil of his affective life since then. He still had in his mind the moment when he was signing the contract with his partner that he intended to betray. He was waiting his turn to sign, under the presence of two lawyers, henchmen of crime. He was near enough to the document to read the major letters on its heading: «This Agreement is entered into by and between GREGG OLSON and…». Then, one lawyer calls for his turn and, when he handheld his expensive golden pen, he then red what was below completely in shock. In smaller letters, and for no rational motif, he started to read satanic verses.

But that day, with Kyle and Abigail, two old friends from the High School in Tampa, Florida, despite the night’s debauch at Doty’s Tavern with intemperate associates, he was expecting to have some fun diving at relatively big depths of 10 meters, seeing the shipwreck of the USS Alligator, sank while protecting a convoy of pirates. It was enough to entertain his imagination, more alive than his judgment. The day was bright, no clouds, somehow the temperature was hot outside, but he immediately felt the freshness of that deep blue waters. All of them were well equipped for scuba diving, each one with single cylinder and open circuit regulator and expensive scuba dry suits for longer and comfortable dives.

– How’s life, now? – Kyle asked with a candid smile on his face.

– No complaint, buddy! The big lies are hiding themselves … – He intended to respond with high-born felicity, but only managed to sketch uneasiness.

Oh, life! … Baxter had no idea of the darkness, the evolving disease, protruding from inside his mind… Some strange and elusive fishes were swimming around him with grace, contrasting with the slowness and much less agile motion of his human body. For moments he stays buoyant, glancing around the fast changing colors of the ocean. But that blue! It was like an unsolved mystery conjuring against his dirty life…Meanwhile, he saw a big moray slipping below a rock, in a spot a little bit deeper than he was. Together with a wrong use of the buoyancy compensator and powerful fins, when he kicked his legs in a nervous mood, a powerful motion pushed him against the rock and coercing the moray to sort out from the refuge and bit hard his right arm, tearing out some flesh. The red blood diffused in the water around. In shock, he immediately flaps the fins towards the surface.

The next day he thought destiny had prepared a nightmare to him. He was with Abigail (why Abigail?) in a rather small fenced-in yard, hemmed in by barbed wire. She had the black hair caught and a brown coat, not at all her usual style. In truth, she was a fancy woman. A television set was beheld over a tree, the only tree inside that yard. Outside, it used to be a beautiful landscape, but at that moment all around was quiet and still, except a gentle breeze that played through the branches of a table mountain pine tree in an unfriendly, icy, environment, and the smog impeached the vision outside a relative small perimeter of a few yards. The grand plan image of a man in that black and white old television set kept talking in a monotonic voice. It seemed to be a political speech, but he was not able to understand the purpose of it at that moment. Something intrigued him and he approached the television set, inducing an interference that produced a fuzzy and distorted image for a while. Abigail continued his conversation, although he was not any more conscious of its content. He only registered, among sparse phrases, some signs of warnings, like: «…life is fragile! », «…listen to the voice inside of you…», «…don’t be afraid of yourself! ». Indeed, he heard strange noises and voices inside his disturbed mind the last days and he approached again that television set. Then, he heard the man telling to him, “you, moron!” with an evil face straight to him, he was sure. He retracted again, scared, horrified, while Abigail pursued her speech but he still couldn’t follow her, despite the effort. Like a strange attractive force, again he approached the television set, that time a step further, because he couldn’t believe of what he had listen a few moments ago. Then, the image distorted again and it was the moment when the man said “I kill you…”, “…chop your dirty body”… He was in shock! What was going on? Then the evil man pulled out his hooked arm from inside the screen and ripped him apart.

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum (let justice be done, even though the heavens fall).

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