May 23rd, 1969
Tank Island, Florida
He burst from the depths, gasping as he leaned back, dipping below the surface just once as he began to kick his legs, easily falling into a rhythm despite his burning lungs and the need for air. Opening his eyes he expected to see the home of one of his neighbors, which was usually empty as the owners were constantly on the move and owned other homes across the country. But that wasn’t what he saw.
Evan was no closer to the island than he’d been when he’d unknowingly submerged, but instead of the opulent homes and the occasional boat that was to be seen darting around or near the island he saw what looked like an undeveloped island where his home had been just moments before.
“What the hell?” he breathed, still kicking his legs to stay afloat.
“Man in the water!”
The cry startled him but also alerted Evan to the sudden presence of a very large ship that was bearing down on him to the left, coming dangerously close as he saw a few men looking over the rail at him, a few of them seeming kind of rough and perhaps in disbelief that he’d just appeared out of nowhere.
For whatever reason the sudden sight of an old-fashioned life preserver struck a chord of dread in him that he couldn’t explain, and even as the men were shouting at him Evan was diving, seeking the cool depths and the ring once more as his confused mind sought to leave the surface behind once again, if only to bring some semblance of sense to this strange development.
(to be continued)