The top of the water was warm. On the surface, for five or six inches where the sun struck, the pond water was warm and clear and Josiah could see right through it. He could see little air bubbles, like little exhales rising up towards the sun, and he could see bits of waving weed and floating, watery fur. Deeper was darker. And green, greener. The water went cold where it was murky, and he gasped as he went down.
He shouldn't of had to do this. This wasn't his job, his problem, what he should of had to fix. But there had been a fight about responsibility and blame where the one adult accused the other and the other said it should of been fixed before it got to here where it was a problem and the first one said yah well you know so much how come she got pregnant? and so he had yelled at them that he'd fucking fix it.
He said that word and his mother gasped his name, Josiah. But they'd all been thinking it.
The pressure built in his head as he swam down. The water was all dark, and green and thick, and got thicker and then the color was deeper and the light was only a few faint slanting shafts and a shadow on the side of the seaweed that slowly waved. The bottom was muddy. The water was murky with mud and the bottom was muck. The pond bottom was covered in six or so inches of it, rotted silt and sucking mud that stuck to the bag he grabbed. He touched down and kicked off, taking the bag back up with him. It was limp now. And heavy. He went back up towards the sun, towards the green light that wavered in the water. He exhaled and the bubbles surrounded his face and filled with the light, inflating with it and rushing up to the air to explode and pop and escape into nothing.
He followed the bubbles up from the bottom and sucked in air when he came up out of the pond. His hair was wet in his face. He shook his head and wiped the pond water out of his eyes and came out, carrying the pillowcase bag. It was heavy now. The rock in the bottom and the bodies were still, soaked and still, stiff with their tiny lungs full of water. He dropped the bag. He didn't want to open it, but also he did. He felt somebody should. Somebody should look it in the face if it had to be done. And so he opened the bag and looked at the kittens that looked liked they were crying when they died. Their fur was matted and bunched up, wet, like laundry that hadn't been wrung. They were all very small. Their eyes and mouths were all open.
It's stupid, he thought. It's stupid that this has to be fixed. Then he went to get the shovel from the garage.