I lie on the bottom of the pool, my back resting lightly on the rough, cool marbelite; staring motionless up at the surface of the water. Four feet of water separates me from fresh, breathable air.

I continue to pinch my nose with my fingers, pursing my lips lightly together, just enough to feel relaxed and keep the pressing water out. My other hand floats alongside me.

I’ve let out only enough air to lose my buoyancy. My water-weight sunk me gently to the bottom, like a slow motion fall. Everything is quiet, muted, except for the hum of the blood in my ears. The pool pump is off and the water surface is still. I’ve done this since I was a child, usually when everyone lay exhausted on the poolside or under the shade of the trees out of the sun. Now, as an adult, I have my own pool. No one around to scream a muted harassment to get out before they get me out.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to die like this.

Stephen Embleton was born and lives in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His background is Graphic Design, Creative Direction and Film. His first short story was published in 2015 in the ‘Imagine Africa 500’ speculative fiction anthology, followed by the “Beneath This Skin” 2016 Edition of Aké Review, and more since. He is a charter member of the African Speculative Fiction Society and its Nommo Awards initiative. He was featured in Part 11 of the 100 African Writers of SFF on Strange Horizons. His debut speculative fiction novel, Soul Searching, is due for publication in the UK and US later in 2020.