Inktober 21/10/19: Treasure

(Written yesterday, posted today. I’m kinda sick at the moment so there may be hiccups with timing.) 

Were you thinking of the Mariana Trench? Oh no, this is deeper than that. Right down, in the bubbling, hissing maw of the earth’s crust, where the anger and frustration of nature is swept and crushed. I know that it’s real. We have the recordings of those final, panicked transmissions from the submarines. Not one of them ever returned to the surface.

It isn’t a mouth, but it may help you to see it that way. It grasps at its prey and crunches down, salivating in great sulphurous jets. Then it spits out treasure – sometimes a thousand, two thousand, five thousand miles away, in shallower waters. Where it has fired, a great cache of gold coins spreads across the ocean floor. A fine filigree of silver will twist like cobwebs on the seagrass, and coral reefs will glisten with rubies. That is the treasure I intend to find. I just need to work out the trajectory of where it will fire next.

You misunderstand me, friend. I don’t think it’s sentient, or even alive, although I can’t be sure. The Trench of Sunk Costs is merely the spot where lost treasure goes when it cannot go any further. When you hear of money going down the drain, it’s actually gone to the Trench of Sunk Costs, carried on ancient wings that glide and dive into the depths.

Yes, a lot of it from Vegas and Monte Carlo! But there’s not much by way of glittering lights and high living in general. There are ragged birds taking haphazardly to the sky from the storage units full of unsellable MLM products. Shopping precincts turned ghostly with avian spirits carrying off the last hope of doomed businesses. Banks and corporations panicking at their accounts and screaming at their accountants. All those birds, across the waters and down into this cesspit in the earth.

You seem sceptical that I will be able to find these caches of treasure. No, no, go ahead and say so. I’ve heard it before. But I am ramping up my efforts now, for a great storm of flapping wings has taken to the air and keeps circling ahead: an elegant dance on its way to the deeps. In the sky, they form letters: UK ECONOMY – 2016-?

The time is ripe to surge forward with my plan. I am so close to the right blueprints, but it’s harder since my partner left the project, and my lack of success so far has proven expensive. No matter. I will put the additional resources in myself. I’ve come too far to give up now.

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