Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Water

This is a short story that was entirely inspired by this song. Not much else to say about it.

The water
I’ll sink in my skin and my bones

The surface of the water is so far above me, I don’t believe I’ll reach it before my lungs explode. There’s no way that mirrored surface will shatter and let me take a much needed breath. I’m going to die here, so far from the air that I took for granted, and the sun, and the sky that I gazed at so often. The soft breeze that so often floated across the fields and ruffled my hair like an affectionate older sibling might. 

I kick hard, but already I feel as though my legs aren’t connected to me. I feel nothing except for my lungs, and they burn like all the fires of hell. I give up on the thought of reaching the surface, and breathe in the cool, clear water. It makes the flames sizzle out, but my vision fades to blackness. I can hear a rushing in my ears. I slip away from my body even as strong hands lift me from the lazy current of the lake and pull me aboard the boat.

I watch with interest as they work to make me breathe again, to rid me of the water that has soaked into my lungs and killed me. I’m dead. I know it. I feel no connection to my body anymore. It’s like I don’t exist. I wouldn’t even think that the pale, washed out creature lying across my mother’s lap was me, if I hadn’t seen that face in the mirror every day. 

I drift off before my parents give up on me and break down into tears.  I don’t want to see them cry over me. Enough moisture has seeped into my life, I don’t need to see more of it fall from their eyes. I couldn’t stand it.  No more water. Please.

And yet, when I drift away, I drift down, pulled by the current into the water. Into the deep. 

The water sustains me

Without even trying, the current pulls my spirit down into the deep, dark center of the lake. The strange creatures come out to look at me, this strange invader interrupting their cold and secret lives. They stare at me with their empty, fathomless eyes, silently judging me. I feel mildly ashamed, as though I’ve intruded on something I was never meant to see. The lake weed is strangely beautiful, drifting lazily in the deep currents. I imagine that my own hair would look the same, but then I remember that I don’t have hair anymore. Not hair or fingers or eyes, really. But how do I see then?

The water around me gets darker as I near the bottom of the lake. I look up, and the water above me grows too murky to see through a few feet up. I touch the bottom, which is surprising, because theirs technically nothing to touch to the bottom. But I do, and the world shifts.

The water thins and clears, and the world dries up and changes.

The land I knew is a dream

Suddenly, I’m standing on a dirt path in a forest, and the water is entirely gone, except for what drips from my skin and my clothes. I walk down the path, confused and disoriented. At the center of the lake, there was a darkness that I knew was for me to figure out, and I think I belonged there, where the larger fish creep and the current drifts around like a light breath. But this forest has none of the peace I think I should get at this point. I’m dead. Let me rest.

But I follow the path deeper into the trees. Fine dust lifts into the air at my passing, and pastes itself to the dampness on my legs, on my face, in my hair. I’m covered in a thick layer of grime by the time I notice the heavy scent of flowers. A bee buzzes past my ear. I recognize this place at last. Peering through the trees ahead, I can see flashes of blue. Whether it’s the sea or the sky, I don’t know. I know the sea is near, however. I have visited this place often enough in my dreams.

There’s a little cottage here, and, sure enough I can smell the sharp, salty tang of the sea. I leave the tall trees behind me as I walk into a garden. The flowers are all in bloom, and the heavy scent of the blooms almost overpower the smell of salt. I walk around the side of the building and come to a halt. 

The artist has run out of paint

The colour on this side of the building is desaturated, the bright hues become gray and bland. I look back towards the garden, and the gray is slowly eating up the colour, destroying the beauty killing the plants. The petals drop to the ground. 

I look down, and the gray is slowly moving up my legs. Maybe this is what should happen. I’m dead. I shold let this happen. Let myself be leeched of whatever is left of me. Something else tells me to move, to flee. So I pick up my heavy, graying feet, and I run.

And the big yellow sun leads me home

I run towards the sky, towards the sun. The ground ends abruptly below me, and I leap as far as I can into the air. My outstretched arms strain to catch hold of something. I wish to sprout wings that could carry me up and away. Instead, I fall toward the dark blue sea that stretches beneath me. I stare towards the horizon, where the blue of the sea meets the sky. 

The wind streams through my hair, and I laugh, one glorious breath stealing exhaltation before I hit the water. The cool seawater stings my eyes, but washes the dirt off of me and makes the gray dissolve. I swim down and down. I breath in the water as easily as I would air. As solid as I feel, I’ve dispensed with my body and the nessecity to breath air like I should. 

I twist and turn, laughing. Perhaps deep rest is not what I want. I’d rather live, even if I’m not really alive. I watch a shoal of silver, darting fish flash by in a gleam of light. I turn towards the sky, where the water reflects the light like a mirror. I swim up, and I can see myself reflected above, a pale, wraithlike creature with luminous eyes.

I’m everywhere now

I touch the barrier between the sea and the sky, and my hand dissolves, not into the deathly gray that I’d run from before, but into golden sparkles that float away on the waves and foam. I push my whole body through the light, and I fly up into the air.

The wind of each breath by and by

The soft breeze carries my away, towards the sun. The light swallows me up, surrounds me like the water once did. 

 I'm done with my dying

Comments and feedback are always appreciated.

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