"The first thrill, demands another
Consequence, the trigger of the operative
Playing russian roulette, with a full chamber
Miserable outcome, one and he same"

-Down in "Beneath the Tides"


The evening colors were starting to make their way into the sky. Seattle's evenings were always a marvel to look at. At the sight at how wonderful the sky was, it was hard to imagine how anything bad could happen.

Well for one individual, things were not going so well.

Travis Abbot Friedman was one who was not marveling at the evening sky's majesty. He was a young man, age 18, who knew how cruel life could be. His mother was a cancer victim when he was 10. After her death, his father became abusive towards him, and became a heavy alcoholic. Travis had lived with the man for eight years, but no more.

He did however have love in life. A beautiful girl by the name of Krystina, who was about a year younger than him. They had known each other about eight years. Yes, they met when Travis had run away from home about two weeks after his mother's death. His father had just picked up the bottle. Krystina was the most caring person Travis knew in his life, small compared to Travis, yet had a heart bigger than Travis could imagine. And it was her, Travis was anxiously waiting to see...

He sat down on a bench. His hands were folded and rubbed his head, which had rather short hair. His head felt like someone had driven a nail into it. And if that wasn't enough, for the first time in his life, Travis was afraid of himself.

"Travis" a voice called.

Travis looked up and saw Krystina. She had her light jacket on, for Seattle's evenings were rather chilly. Travis on the other hand, had no coat on, or any protection against the cold. In fact, he barely took note of the cold. She walked over to him. Travis stood up, feeling a huge wave of relief at her sight.

"You sounded so upset on the phone, Travis." she said. "What happened? Is your father okay?"

If only it were his father. He simply shook his head. "It's not about him."

"What is it then?" she asked him. "Are you all right? You seem...you seem a little pale."

Travis tried to calm himself. He rubbed his forehead hard again, trying to calm the head-ache.

"Travis?"

"Krystina, this may be very weird of me to say....and it won't make much sense, but stop thinking."

"Travis, what do you mean?"

"I mean what I mean! Please try and stop thinking! I....I think I can read minds."

Krystina looked at him. Her mind obviously in a state of doubt.

"Travis, you need to work on your sense of humor with me because-"

Travis' tone rose. "It's not a joke, God-dammit! There are voices in my head of people I don't know, and voices in my head from you. Voices that sound an awful lot like personal thoughts." His tone was that of panic. Travis had never experienced this before and had quite a story to tell. "I mean there I am, lying down on the bed, and suddenly there's a rush of thoughts just in my head. That doesn't just happen."

Krystina was listening. That's what Travis liked about her. She always listened.

"Then...the pipes in the ceiling burst. I was sitting there, trying to control the input of thoughts....and the water pipes in the ceiling just burst. And because of all this, my own father has just officially disowned me, and labeled me a freak. Now you tell me, this is all a joke!"

"Travis, settle down!" Krystina said sharply. "Okay...you can read minds. Now what will you do?"

"I don't know. I mean...I feel weird." Travis said slowly. "I mean, pipes just bursting over my head? Thoughts entering my head? My father's right isn't he?"

Krystina's mind was starting to grow fear. Travis looked at her.

"Krystina? Am I a freak?"

"Travis..."

Travis was picking up loads of thoughts from her, that made his heart drop.

"Don't be like that Krystina. I'm scared! You can't leave me like this! I need you!"

Krystina was slowly backing away from him.

"Travis...I....I....."

"Do you remember this?" Travis asked her, as he took off a white gold ring from his finger. "Remember this? I do! We made a promise, remember? You can't leave me. You're all I have left!"

"I remember Travis, but..."

"But what?! Am I a freak to you?!"

"I DON'T KNOW!"

Travis knew he had blown it right there. She was now running away from him.

"Krystina! Come back! Please! I need you!!"

She was gone. She had run away from him in fear. Fear of what? Him? Was he a freak to her? Or had his tone just scared her? Whichever the case, she was gone. And she didn't look like she was coming back. And Travis stood there, completely devastated. He put the ring back on his finger, and stood there, for about another five minutes, before his mind was made up for what he was about to to.

*******************

Travis looked down into the water. Travis had always liked this water. To most people in Seattle, Puget Sound's water was cold, murky, and sometimes just no pleasant. Travis on the other hand, never got cold in it and the water to him....seemed clear. The day was ending. The environment was getting darker now. He sighed then stood up. He said one more silent prayer.

"Lord, I don't understand what or why it happened to me. Why me of all people? I guess it's something I'll have to ask you, face to face. I ask you now to receive my spirit, and forgive my decision of what I am about to do. Watch over Krystina, now that I will be gone..."

With that, he took a deep breath and fell into the water. It was almost as if he willingly sank to the bottom of the bay. Travis was a pretty descent swimmer, but even he could not hold his breath for more than a minute. It wouldn't matter anymore. His father hated him, and his girlfriend was scared of him. He knew a lot of people would say this was the cheap way out, but he'd take it...who cared what others thought...

Travis felt his lungs burning, in their protest of Travis holding his breath. He was at the bottom and was at least 90 feet deep in water. Travis let the oxygen leave his body.

Travis closed his eyes, almost afraid to take a breath, but he couldn't help it. He inhaled...and still breathed.

Impossible...

Travis opened his eyes. He was clearly underwater. Yet he still breathed! What was this? Perhaps he was already unconscious or dead, and his spirit could breath? Travis didn't feel dead, in fact he swam for the surface. As he broke the surface and breathed more, liquid escaped his lungs. Travis submerged himself again. And breathed.

Travis sank to the bottom. What was this? First he hears thoughts, then water pipes burst, now he can breath underwater...was he secretly invincible? Travis clenched his fist.

Why had he been chosen? He didn't want any of this! He wanted Krystina back at his side, he wanted to be happy! He was far from it!

The water around him churned. Travis could feel it. In fact, he barely noticed it before, but underwater, he felt surprisingly....strong, and more in touch with nature almost. Travis sighed and hung his head. If a SCUBA diver was going by he'd probably swallow his mouth piece accidentally if he saw Travis. Travis didn't care. Travis simply folded his hands again.

Okay Lord, I'm listening. You gave me these....things for a reason. I will live on, as you have showed me you want me to do...Just help me get back a normal life..."

********

3 YEARS LATER

Travis awoke. His memories were nothing he enjoyed. He had spent the last three years underneath Seattle's docks, learning about his...gifts... He was a man who could do unthinkable things with water, and for some reason could read minds.

Travis sat up. The sand under him was very damp. The tide was low, and therefore Travis was not submerged right now. He had lived underneath the same Dock he tried to kill himself off three years ago. Dock 8. Isolated from any living person. No one knew about his presence, and he wanted it to stay that way.

Travis stood up and stretched and began to walk into the ocean. He was hungry, and he knew where a good crab could be found...