Welcome back! Here is part two of the Novella “The worlddivers”. Enjoy!
Let me know, how you liked it!
I took a deep breath and counted to ten, before I answered with a quiet, steady voice: „The world divers…“
Dr. Ebenstein just frowned and nodded his head.
„Excuse me for asking, but I think I miss the point here. How do you consider divers being important to physics? Certainly, it is interesting that science has been able to make man stay under water for longer than a minute, but I am not sure how this could be an interesting topic to study“, I continued and I did not even try to hold my anger back.
„My boy, it is hard to explain, maybe you allow me to show you? But one thing is for sure: we are not talking about ordinary divers. Have a look and make your decision than.“
I sighed heavily but somehow managed to nod. Dr. Ebenstein lead me down another dark corridor with dozens of old, creepy paintings. There was a lot of dust on them and I still wondered if it was even possible to have such an amount of dust within one house. I assumed the paintings showed the ancestors of the Dr., but I was not sure about that, since the light of the only lamp was coming from in front of me, carried by the Dr. I did not mind, though, I had no intention of remembering their faces.
I was amazed of how long this corridor was. The house did not appear this large from the outside and I started to have a bad feeling about this. Would anybody notice it if I never returned from this meeting?
Finally, we reached a door with another lock. The Dr. took out a golden key, opened the lock and swung the door open. The only thing I was able to see was a staircase, leading downstairs into the basement of the house. I started to remember the old horror stories about houses like this, fulfilling every cliché. I just waited for a lightning to strike the sky and make me see the dead bodies of former apprentices of the Dr.
Silently laughing my discomposure away, I stopped thinking about the horror books and focused on the way down. It was slippery and too dark to see anything.
I was relieved and disappointed at the same time, when I realized a laboratory at the end of the staircase. When the assistant of the Dr. came towards me, I could not keep myself from thinking of horror novels again: he had a hunchback and a face that looked as if it had been crushed and not being taken proper care of afterwards.
A shiver ran down my spine when I looked for a table with bonds for hands and feet and maybe one of their „divers“ that have been numbed, waiting for help. But I could not find anything like this and sighed again in relief.
The assistant shot me a strange look, than he went away, taking care of some liquids in the back of the lab.
The Dr. put the light down und blew out the candles. It was quite bright in the lab, though I could not see any artificial lights on first sight. He waved to his assistant who dropped his work at once and brought a second chair to small round table with only one chair. Two plates have been put there and when I had a closer look, I saw food that finally smelled mouth watering.
Since my parents refused to pay for my living anymore, I did not turn down the Dr.’s invitation and stayed for a late lunch.
When we took our seats, the assistant – Igor, as Dr. Ebenstein told me (causing me another silent laughter and reminded me of one of those horror books, what was it called… something with a monster…) ran around, serving us with herbs, salt, pepper and wine, bevor he sat on the floor and started to eat his lunch from a wooden plate.
I guess, I have been starring at him for a while, because the Dr. finally said: „Igor is not from here. His family came to Germany after the war. It has been hard finding a job because of… well, his physical appearance. I took him in and taught him whatever he was willing to learn. He is a good assistant. He got some talent, but he is not able to write or talk. Sometimes I wonder if he understands words at all or just has a feeling of what people need.“
I nodded but did not listen. I simply enjoyed the rich taste of the meat and the wonderful flavor of the wine. I was wondering how the Dr. could afford such a feast. He either earned a lot, with what research ever, or he was born into a well-situated family. It was hard getting meat or wine in these times, and those have been exclusively tasty wine and meat.
After the meal ended, Igor took the plates and left the lab. I followed the Dr. to a well shaft and waited for the Dr. to say something. After endless moments, he finally said: „So, you thought the world divers are normal divers and got nothing to do with our science, right? I can assure you, the world divers are not covered by any science we both know.“ His voice lacked any emotion while he watched the water of the well.
I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily. Could he just tell me, what his research was about?
„Honestly spoken, the word „Divers“ may not be appropriate for what this whole thing is. It was just an invention of me. But I actually do not want to stress your patience any longer. Please come here, my boy and have a look at the well. You will understand what I mean afterwards.“
I did not like the thought of stepping in front of the well shaft and have a look. I did not trust the Dr. enough not to believe he would throw me in. On the other hand, what did I have to lose? If I did not find a job fast, this meal would probably have been my last for some time.
And I was sure my parents would have searched for me and the Dr. would have been judged for his crime.
I took a deep breath in and stepped forward, looking into the deep darkness of the well. A stared and got angry after some moments. „What am I supposed to see?“, I asked and my voice was trembling from anger.
„Just wait another moment and you will see“, the Dr. answered, his voice shaking from excitement.
I rolled my eyes once more and kept on staring into the darkness. I was about to give up, when suddenly, a tiny light appeared in the water. It grew bigger and changed its color from white to blue and back to white and finally lit the whole well. I drew back and covered my eyes, because the light was so intense that it hurt.
„Don’t you dare look away. Look into the well!“, the Dr. screamed and pushed me back to the light, when I tried to turn away.
It took all my will I got not to push the older man aside. I opened my eyes reluctantly and prepared for pain in my eyes. But I did not feel anything. I just saw the dancing light in the well, forming a vortex of water and light. The middle of this vortex got darker again. It seemed as if there were clouds that finally withdrew. When I stared at what it revealed, I could not keep myself from screaming.
Here you find part I if you missed it 😉