November 8th: 6 AM
[This is the last entry of the journal. These pages are moderately water damaged, and there are blood stains on almost every page.]
It’s just me now. I think I’m going to see the dawn. I really want to. I’m still awake, so I should try to get the last of this down on paper.
The last of us were in the living block. Ed was trying to talk down Doug, who was having a nervous breakdown in the corner of the cafeteria. Bill was just staring out of the window, and the other men were huddled near Ed and Doug. I made my way towards Bill. I was going to ask him how he was doing, but he must’ve sensed me behind him, because he started talking.
Bill: “Two days before this shift, I saw an ad in the paper. ‘68 Stingray for sale. I didn’t have the cash at the time, but the lady who owned it let me take a test drive. Top down, perfect day, driving by the coast on the 361. The lady who owned it was really pretty too, had her hair down in the passenger seat. It shined really bright in the sun. Jake…it was gorgeous. You know what I thought to myself?”
Me: “What’s that?”
Bill: “I thought, I could die and it would be okay. I felt so content… I don’t feel like that anymore. I want to get out of this fucking place. I want to go buy that car and take that woman out. Her name was Lindsey.”
Me: “You will, man. We’ll get out of this.”
Bill: “How, Jake?”
I just stared at him. My mouth was open, and I felt if I just started talking, I’d have an answer for him. But I couldn’t talk. I didn’t have any answers. Right when I walked over to join him at the window, there was a massive crash. We all were thrown to the floor and the center of gravity started to shift. The moan and rumble of metal and water ruptured my eardrums. We all slid across the cafeteria floor as the entire platform tilted to one side. The tables and chairs came with us and slammed into us when we hit the wall. The rig roughly settled back and we managed to get to our feet.
Ed: “Anybody injured? We need to get to the boats.”
Me: “You really think that’s such a good idea?”
Ed: “I don’t see any other options at this point. If we don’t get off this rig, we’re going down with it.”
Everyone seemed to agree, so we headed out into the storm. We charged towards the boats on the cellar deck. We barely made it out of the living block when the next hit came. We all flew forward. Bill and I slammed against the deck. I almost broke my nose. I heard a loud thud and crack. I looked up, and one of the men had gone face first into a pipe. His nose had jammed up into his head, and he was lying on the floor with his eyes open and blood running from his face and washing away in the rain. That hit must’ve ruptured the oil lines or caused something to ignite in the processing module, because that’s when everything went wrong.
The flash of light was the first thing I noticed, followed half a second later by the thunderous sound and the force of the explosion hitting us. Something had erupted a deck below us. My ears started ringing, and every muscle and bone in my body hurt. The living block behind us collapsed under its own weight and plummeted towards the ocean. It began to crack the upper deck and started to take it down as well. The cracking concrete and steel below us drove us quickly to our feet. We all ran, but Ed, Doug, and the last crewman were slower than Bill and I.
The platform crumbled under Ed and the others, the entire module crashed into the ocean. The whole rig was coming apart. Bill and I stopped running when the quaking of the platform ceased. We turned back and headed to the edge of the wreckage. We saw Doug holding onto a twisted end of railing in one hand, dangling over the open waters. In his other hand was Ed’s arm, Ed with a visible head wound and just starting to come around. Doug used his massive strength to pull Ed up and swing him halfway onto the deck. Ed grunted, but managed to scramble all the way up. He turned to reach out for Doug when the railing gave out and Doug dropped. He had a sad but satisfied smile on his face as he fell. It was incredible to watch him the whole way down, looking up at Ed. At a life he saved. Ed punched the floor and cursed. Then he stood up and yelled to us.
Ed: “The boats! Southeast, Processing!”
We nodded and Ed ran wobbly into a corridor. Bill and I glanced at each other and headed towards the South end stairs. There was another hit to the spar right when we reached the edge of the upper deck. The crane finally gave from the damage and the shock. The supports twisted and snapped in a piercing metal sound, and the giant crane came crashing down towards us. We somehow rounded the top of the stairs and got just below the deck before it all came down. The steel beams tumbled down the stairs, but thankfully didn’t land on us. We got down to the cellar deck and hauled it all the way to the boats. We rounded a corner, and could see Ed at the tethers to a boat. He was yelling at us, but I couldn’t make it out over the storm.
Right then, it hit us again. The rig rocked to one side, and the boat swayed with it. Bill and I was thrown into a tight bundle of tanks. Ed. Poor Ed. He slammed against a support beam next to the boat. One of the boat’s tethers snapped as it swayed and it fucking crushed Ed against the beam. I saw his eyes just before it hit. There was a spray of blood and the sound of a hundred bones cracking at once. The boat swung again, taking Ed’s mangled body with it. The other tether snapped, and our last chance to make it off the rig alive fell down and into the sea.
Bill and I had barely gotten to our feet when there was another explosion. Probably another gas tank in the processing module. No telling now. It cracked off a huge chunk of the platform and the deck below our feet sloped quickly towards the ocean. We hit the floor and started sliding. A huge chunk of debris struck me in the back of the shoulder. It spun me into Bill and we both went tumbling over the edge. There was a few seconds of terrifying spinning. Touching nothing and falling towards the ocean. Bill was somewhere nearby, falling too, along with who-knows-how-much debris. The rain, hail, the fiery and collapsing rig, and the raging ocean were all spinning around me for the briefest of seconds.
Then I hit the water. I remember it was insanely cold. The pain was firing on every nerve ending. There was a pounding in my ears and my head. I could barely open my eyes, but I had to. I saw giant pieces of the rig plummeting around me. There was light from the fires on the rig reflecting off the surface of the waves above me. When I think about it now, it was beautiful. I saw Bill, he had gotten swept away by the force of the waves. He was so far, swept away so fast. I was going to swim his way when I saw the lights. The 40 feet row of lights flashing in the darkness, quickly slithering towards Bill. It swung around Bill in a wide circle, then went right for him. It was fast, but as it neared him, I saw the teeth in the light of the fire. Giant, slender teeth the size of Bill. There were hundreds of teeth, and they mashed together over Bill. There was a cloud of blood and a single forearm spun slowly in the water as the row of lights rushed past. I screamed in the water, but heard nothing, only felt the pain in my throat and chest.
Then the lights aligned and turned to me. I didn’t care anymore. Everyone I knew was dead. I just watched my only friend get fucking eaten. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you Bill. I did think about how bullshit it was that my journal had been kept safe this entire fucking time. And now it was in a waterproof bag in my backpack that was about to be eaten, along with me. The lights started to get close, and fast. I didn’t have time for my whole life to flash before my eyes. I just had enough time to realize how pissed I was to die like this. I saw the one bright blue light, casting a dim halo around the monster’s face. There were giant, dead eyes, already leaning back as the mouth opened. Hundreds of needle-like, curved teeth. They slid against each other as the huge, gaping mouth swam towards me. It was about 10 feet from swallowing me when the helipad came crashing into the ocean in front of me. The massive hunk of metal dropped right on top of the goddamn beast. It dragged the creature downwards into the black. I watched the blue light disappear into the depths of the ocean. Finally, I swam upwards.
When I got to the top, my lungs felt like they were going to burst. I couldn’t feel my legs or arms from the cold. I made it to a chunk of wreckage that was still afloat. I realized then the waves and the storm were dying down. I looked towards the fiery light and saw I ways moving away from the rig. It was still on fire and collapsing in drastic stages. I pulled the life raft out of my backpack and deployed it. I let the current take me away.