Submerged – Psychological Thriller

Her eyes open.

She’s enveloped in pure darkness, where the light is even afraid to show itself.

Why can’t she breathe?

She tries moving an arm, but it’s slow and languid.

Did she even move?

She can’t see her arm, the darkness is too thick, but she can discern it’s there. She moves her arm again, this time she’s sure it’s moving, but it’s still sluggish.

No. That’s not her.

There’s something viscous surrounding her. It’s dense and impenetrable.


She’s drowning. She’ll be dead soon.

Her limbs kick briskly upward. Was it upward? What has even happened? 

She tries to remember, but her mind is dark.


A muted voice, muffled by the ocean. It calls out again.


She turns her head up toward the voice to hear more, but cannot. Even so, any voice is a relief.

She thrashes towards the voice.

Her wrist hits something. It’s not hard, but it’s solid, and warmer than everything else around her.

Wrapping her fingers around the object, she pulls it towards herself. The object sinks down as she uses it to propel upward. She can see the surface of the waves.

She breaks through the current, her head emerging from the sea, and her breath returning to her in ragged gasps.

“Doctor Cheng?”

The voice is feeble and thin. She can’t tell where it is coming from.

“Hello?” she calls out before she can control herself, “Where are you? I’m over here!”

“Doctor Cheng, are you alright?” The voice came from behind. “Are you hurt?” 

No pain anywhere in particular.


“Then come out of the water, grab my hand. Quickly,” the feeble voice says, “You’re fatiguing. You’d better come out.”

She turns around and sees a figure in a raft, holding its hand out. Something wraps around her foot weakly.

“Doctor, you should hurry.”

She kicks but it doesn’t let go. 

“Doctor Cheng, hurry!”

“There’s something on my foot.”

She doesn’t know what to do. 

“You must use your other foot to pry it off.” 

Placing her foot above the object hanging on her, she digs her heel down until she hears a dull pop. It slowly detaches itself. 

“Quickly. Get out of there,” the thin voice commands.

She grasps onto the figure’s hand, craving warmth, but the fingers are ice cold. She falters.

“What’s wrong?” inquires the voice.

“Did you say something?”

“Say what?”

“There was… I thought there was someone there.”

The voice is silent. Thinking.

“You misheard. There’s only the two of us here.”

“I was so sure I heard something—”

“There’s no one here except us,” the voice replies firmly, “Get in.”

She clambers into the raft and they sail silently. It feels like hours pass, but it’s still dark. She cannot see the figure in front of her.

“Where are we going?” she asks.

“Has anyone ever told you how pretty you are?” the thin voice questions.

“Thank you, but can you please tell me where we’re going?”

“They don’t make beauties like you anymore,” the figure paused.

“Who are you?” her voice shook.

“Don’t you think that’s unfair? People that look like that may as well be dead.” the voice went on bitterly.

“Who are you? What’s happened to me?!”

The thin voice in front of her laughed. “People, they’re so naive. Trusting any voice they hear around them, even when they can’t see.”

“What are you?” she shrieked. The boat shifted suddenly. The person was standing up. 

A fist seized her hair, holding it tightly in its grip. Pain shot up in her skull. She jerks away, hearing a terrible ripping sound. Quickly, she dives underneath the water, concealing herself. The boat shadow stays overhead. But she needs to surface.

Something strong latches onto her ankle. She looks down.

For a brief second, she can clearly see—her own self, gripping her ankle, her expression vacant. She sees herself looking upward, eyes dark with determination. Her other self pulls her leg, dragging her down. 

Darkness, again.


It’s the voice.

“Doctor Cheng.”

Before she can answer, another speaks.


Hearing her own voice, she wants to scream.

“Doctor Cheng, are you alright?”

In desperation, she grabs onto her own foot. But it’s too late. A heel comes down onto the back of her hand, bending her wrist until it snaps. She’s too cold to feel pain. She lets go.

“You really shouldn’t move. You’re too sick. Doc. Tor. Cheng.” the thin voice whispers.

“You’re fatiguing. You’d better come out.”

It’s the thin voice, from above. 

In sheer desperation, she screams.

“What’s wrong?” she hears the thin voice ask.

“Did you say something?”

“Say what?” the voice asks again.

There was… I thought there was someone there.”

The conversation drifts away. She can no longer feel anything except for a resounding numbness.

She lets her body succumb to the cold.