|The first time, it's an accident. He's sitting on one of the Twelve Apostles looking out over the ocean a hundred and fifty feet below him when some tourist chopper comes through and scares the shit out of him. He doesn't want to be seen; he's only a few months past eighteen and humans still frighten him, so he jumps, because this body heals almost faster than it gets injured, and no matter how much water he gets in his lungs, he can't drown. |
But the splash never comes. He lands feather-light on something cool and wet, and when he looks down there's nothing beneath him but water. And he's terrified, shaking so hard he just knows he's going to fall right through, because he's seen a lot of crazy things, but this? The closest sensation he can recall is walking on his parents' waterbed when he was eight, but here there's less pressure and more actual water, swirling gently around the soles of his feet, getting between his toes. For that brief moment, everything is quiet and still, and he imagines he could walk right out into the sea, leave and never come back. The possibility leaves him in awe, his eyes wide and his pulse racing.
"Jesus," he breathes finally, without even thinking about it. Then he cracks up at the irony, a loud half-crazed bark of laughter, the first since he's turned eighteen. And that's when he falls, cold salt water shooting up his nose, drowning him, the informal baptism of the Anti-Christ, under the watchful eyes of the eight apostles still standing.