The Schism Sea (Stories on a Theme – “Sea”)

Daneli sat at the bow of the ship, looking out on the horizon.

The Schism Sea was vast, she had known that already. She had studied the maps and the diagrams showing the depth of the Schism that went to the centre of the world, flooding it with ancient water hundreds of years ago. She had built her life around studying it.

But on it? She’d never thought she’d see the day when she could actually sail on it. When she could hear the lap of the ancient green waters on the ships hull, or the gentle rocking of the boat.

Which is half the reason why I’m here, Daneli thought. The sea was calm, too calm. The Captain of the Evasnet, their current craft, had never seen such flat water in years. It was eerie, he said, like the Gods of the deep were waiting for something. He said that it would be a new wave of water to erupt from the Schism trench.

But it couldn’t be a new wave of water. That would go against every prediction ever made, every analysis of the Schism trench over the last fifty years. The whole of the academic world was unified in the same thought that the Schism trench was extinct, a remnant of this world’s tumultuous past and nothing more.

What are you hiding? Daneli thought.


The sound shook the wind from the slack sails. Daneli ducked under the edge of the ship’s hull, pressing against her ears as they rang. She saw the deckhands scrambling up masts in a panic, all pointing to the horizon again.

She stood, slowly, turning back towards the horizon. Where there had once been an unbroken line of the end of the world, a huge bulge had appeared. It would be hundreds of miles away, but to hear it here would have meant that the explosion was enormous-

Oh my spirits, Daneli thought, it’s erupted. The Schism has erupted.

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