That's what happens in coffin that's trapped underwater, of course. Not a lot of air. I mean, really, if you have your heart set on breathing, if having air is just your thing, there are lot better places to be than in a pine and ebony casket submerged in six feet of water, gagged, blindfolded, arms behind your back, handcuffs around your wrists and manacles around your ankles, complete with a length of chain bolting you to the floor.
It's dark in here, too. Not much light in a closed coffin, after all, not that light would help with the blindfold on anyway. And just a little bit of air, a pocket that bubbles quickly away as water comes in from the bottom, since they don't make coffins airtight. I only have two minutes at most before the air is gone, and asphyixa starts, that giddy, delicious feeling of your brain cells dying one by one.
This would be awful if I hadn't volunteered for this.
Daddy was a magician, and Mom was his lovely assistant. Zigby and Frye they called the act; Daddy was Zigby, his name up top. Which just goes to show you how the world works, because Ma had all the talent: she concieved the tricks, and taught them to Daddy, because nobody would book a woman magician back in those days. Dad had just enough showmanship to sell the deathtraps he put Ma into every night. In fact, I guess you'd have to say he DID have talent: the one person who absolutely HAS to believe a trick will work, after all, is the magician themself, and nobody ever caught on that he was scared half to death every night, putting Mom at risk.
He needn't have worried. Mom wasn't about to put herself in that kind of danger.
My air is almost gone.
She taught it to me, not that I gave her much choice. As soon as I could talk, I wanted to see what they did every night. I was their only kid, and I learned to stand by the side of the stage each night watching, learning. It wasn't long before I started asking to be the one sawed in half, or to disappear in the cabinet, or to be chained up in the tank, although it was a VERY long time before either one of them agreed to let me try. By that point, I'd seen the tricks they use: concealing little blades to cut rope, secretly swallowing keys to be regurgitated at an opportune moment, making sure the audience can't see anything...
It always felt like cheating to me, though. Once I knew about the safeties in place, I wanted more: make it a little harder, make it a little more dangerous. It wasn't until I was old enough to get my own act that I could make it happen, though.
It's so weird. It's only when I'm closest to death that I most feel alive.
Now I've got to bring up the lockpick I swallowed...except first I have to get the gag out of my mouth so I can spit them out, then turn over and grope around with my hands and find the pick by feel alone. Then I just unlock the handcuffs...then the manacles...then...then manage to get the coffin open...or, wait...do I unlock the handcuffs first and then take the gag out?...no, how can I do that without the picks...it's getting hard to focus...my brain is feeling tingly...
...if I can just...get...the gag...free...