Treading water, learning to swim in the deepest of seas. Treading water, he’s been here before and drown. Treading water, choking on fear, fighting for air. He’s flooded this sea with shame and doubt, bred a monster that will pull him down. Arms entwined between his frigid legs, soon slips beneath, beneath the waves. You will drown, you can’t stay surfaced. The pressure is building, as the daylight is fading. Held down by his creation. Held down, now motionless, he is released. He is freed. Crushed and saturated, he saw his reflection in its eye, and he saw what he’d done to himself. A moment of clarity, a surge of regret. He wants to drain the sea and breathe air again. Drain the sea of its water. Breath restored by this temporary clarity, which will dissolve again in time. He will be treading water again.