The Crimson Sea

Lee Crowley

Smiley sits in a boat overlooking the sea.

“The afterlife is an intangible thing, something many mortal men seek to reach out to in hopes that they may retrieve their precious loved ones once more, bringing them to life so that they may live once more.”

The water slowly turns red around his boat.

“Those who dare tread water in limbo will find it to be more than a simple plan of existence. In the afterlife, they will find a raging storm over a sea of crimson red water. The voices of the damned will echo through the world in deafening thunder cracks, their bodies split in twain so that their blood may create the very waves that trap their souls.”

He peers more over the edge, watching the gore slowly spread.

“Only the most foolish try and travel the lifeless abyss, swimming out into oblivion, fighting against the current in a desperate attempt to regain what was once lost. The gore-ridden waters will stain their skin, the bone covered depths will flay their flesh into ribbons, torturing them for trying to deny the reaper its victims.”

Slowly bodies rise to the surface.

“Hysteria is one of the many men who cannot get past the reality of death. Since his families departure from the material realm he has hunted for them, sailing the crimson seas in search of the souls of his beloved.”

He chuckles.

“When he finally came to their resting place he stared into the maroon tide and dove in head first, all sense of sanity gone. He reached for their souls in a futile attempt to free them. But death does not let go of his possessions so easily. As Hysteria threw himself in, a maelstrom came upon him.”

Smiley gets onto the edge of the boat before diving in.

“The power and animosity of the tide was too much, the undertow dragging him downward, dragging him across the seabed until he was barely able to fight its current. The poor fool was resilient, grabbing the corpses of his long dead family and swimming towards the surface.”

disappears from sight.

“The reddened water filling his lungs with every feeble attempt to gasp for air, slowly suffocating him as he tried to break through the surface. But Hysteria never faltered, he kept fighting, dragging the deflowered remains of his family all the way to the surface, laying them out upon the land, finally saving them from the horrors of limbo…”


“Only to find them writhing in agony in the sand. Though they were free from limbo, no longer set eternally adrift, they were now forced to walk the world once more, not as humans, but as abominations meant to slowly succumb to the elements.”

He reappears, a skinned body over his shoulder.

“Hysteria, your selfishness blinded you to what would become of your family once you obtained their souls again. They may be with you, but they are now fated to stand by your side in eternal torment. They were dead for a reason, left to wander limbo as spirits. But now you have them with you, inside of your head. They will forever be forced to relive horror after horror in the human world.”

He throws it upon the boat, the person still alive. They scream in agony as Smiley stands over them.

“They will never be happy, Hysteria. They will never be free.”

He smiles.

“Can you truly smile knowing what you have done?”