She first heard about the sound when she was drunk, and boy did it stick. She was sprawled across the opening of a tent, wine-wasted and spinning, and trying to follow a conversation about the shit in the universe that scares you. A friend nursed a beer and hunched over and told in tones so flat they were reverent about this big fucking noise, you know, big and deep and long and loud. So loud that navy boats heard it everywhere, big underwater measuring stations went haywire and men in labcoats and thick glasses started sweating. It was from the deepest part of the ocean, the oldest, cruelest, strangest part, and it was still happening. It might even be happening now. Falling silent for months and then bellowing out again. ‘What is it?’ she asked, with her eyes going crosseyed with drink and with horror. He said they didn’t know. Said it could be an ice sheet cracking or could be an underwater earthquake or it could be, could be something down there, big and ancient and alive. There was a cold flat silence that followed that and they all looked up at the stars and shivered and held their drinks like they were trying to warm them up. Then someone laughed, and it caught on the wind until they were all belly-aching belching out laughs into the high dark gum trees. The next day she sat by the river with her head acting out and watched the water. Watched it topple from rock to rock, from there to the far-off sea, and after that, into the icy deeps, the trenches, the dead places, the fear places where fish like Bosch paintings roamed away from the light. She dropped a stone into the creek and her brain amplified the plop until it was deafening, vast, swallowing her up in the sound and turning her thoughts to unset jelly.