Chapter Forty-Seven: Washed Away:

Time was running out. Still, Kik won’t sink. But how long would that last?

“Are you still here, Makiko-san?” she asked. The silence gave her such alarm.

“Makiko? Makiko?” Kiko asked.

“I’m here,” Makiko said. Her voice sounded so faint. Kiko tried not to panic but she could see what was happening.

“Talk to me,” she said.

“About what?” Makiko asked.

“I don’t know. Just anything. Um… What is your family like?”

“My family? Well, I do live with my mother in Nagasaki.”

“What is she like?”

“Really old, but nice. She really loves mandarin oranges.” They did this daily. She had to keep them together. But Makiko’s voice kept getting softer.

“Stay with me, damn it!” she shouted. “You have to stay above. We will get out of here. I promise!” She doesn’t sound so sure.

How long has it been? Days? Weeks? Months? She held her breath.

“I have to get out of here.” She was met with more cold laughter.

“Don’t you get it?” he asked. “You aren’t leaving. Why don’t you just give up already?”


“Oh really? Looks like your friend agrees with me.”

“Huh?” Kiko turned her head. Makiko started to sink into the darkness.

“Oh shit. No!” She tried to grab the other woman’s hand. “Stay with me, damn it! You can’t give in! Stay with me! Talk to me!” Soft mumbling filled the air.

“Talk to me! Say something! Tell me about your mother!”

Makiko paused. “My mother?”

Kiko nodded. “Yes. What is she like? Tell me more about her.” Makiko stopped sinking as she talked. Kiko breathed easily. The whole time she didn’t let go of her hand.

This lasted for three days. Each day, Makiko got weaker. Kiko saw where this was heading. She couldn’t really do anything. All Kiko could do was watch and wait.

Finally, Makiko looked her in the eye.

“I can’t hold on any longer,” she whispered. She slipped from Kiko’s grasp. And then, she was gone. Her body sank into the darkness. Kiko was left floating there, alone. Even though the gravity of the fear started to sink in, she still wouldn’t give up.

“I can’t die here. I have to survive this. I have to get home. I have to get home!” Kiko’s fight dragged on.

Drag. Drag. Drag. Step. Drag. Drag. Drag. Drag. Step. Drag. Drag. Drag. Step.