Unrest In The Belly of the Sea
And through the sea
they come –
marching in sorrow
for their grief is great.
Old souls who were lost by the raging waves from a monster’s agitation,
now walk an invisible battle line -
dressed in luminescent gossamer robes,
shining like silver rays
that echoed the moonlight’s phase.
The have come for the giant one
who hides between the tides.
And look now!
Here comes the serpent!
Rocking the shimmering aura
of what remains of their once-confident vessel,
though only a translucent breath
from a nearly missed shooting star.
At last, land has entrapped their eyes –
and this was no mirage for the sickly men who prayed for death.
They placed themselves upon the sand now,
and they circled,
Putting to rest the massive sea creature
and entangling its spirit with a curse.
So that now tomorrow’s ships may set in gently.
The Remarkably Depressed Tiger Shark
Damn my species. Why is it that the silly little yellow fish with not a care in the world gets to live in a well-grown reef with friends and an endless supply of smaller fish to eat while I get to be subjected to open ocean torture every waking second of my life? I am the top of the food chain. I am the biggest, baddest creature of the seven seas, but also the saddest, loneliest one. I could have any meal I want- if only I could find one. I've spent each moment of my life either wondering when my next food will come or if I should keep my food as a friend. No one could possibly relate to my pain, the ocean is my only friend and I'm beginning to doubt even that relationship. It won't talk to me anymore, can't even stand to see my face. I couldn't bring myself to blame it. I don't want to talk to me either, but what else would I do? I spend my days wondering if I could find a turtle to bring along with me on my journeys, but they seem too scared. The swordfish are too pokey. Krill are too small. Trash is too trashy, even for me. To be a complex-thinking predator is to be alone, lost in thought until you can't swim any further.
My fingers drift through the water
Trailing little eddies and vortexes
The water is cold...dark
Like the fear inside me, that threatens to gurgle up
Overflow in hysterics, if I dwell on how I got here
Drifting on the infinite void of the ocean
What are you...?
This Freezing briny nothing
I roll over on my back
Hard wood and rope buoy me along
The clouds are far away...above
Vast cumulonimbus shoals
Kingdom of the G-ds
Haunting in their beauty
Their impossible size
Yet made of nothing
The home of my memories...and my dreams
My mouth is so dry...
I turn to touch my arm, embracing myself
Wincing in pain at an injury to my shoulder
I am partly glad, that I cannot see it's full extent...
The sun is setting now
The great rising clouds are tinted pink
Why are you there?...taunting me like that...
I see my father in those clouds
My mother too
They all seem to be waiting for me...
It just doesn't seem fair
I chuckle to myself
Another long night awaits me
Drifting over the black nothing
I'll do my best
Remember the clouds
Adrift in the Endless Blue
In the middle of the boundless ocean, where the horizon was a mere illusion and the sky conspired with the sea, there was a man. Dominic was not a pirate, nor an explorer, and certainly not an unfortunate cruise ship passenger. He was a sailor, true and through, but fate had made him a castaway.
His world, a once gallant ship named the "Aeolus," was reduced to a fragile lifeboat adrift in the unforgiving sea. The last tempest had been brutal, sweeping away his ship and crew, and thrusting him into a solitary dance with the ocean's whims.
Each day was a battle against despair, the sun above a relentless adversary, bearing down on his weather-beaten skin. At night, the cold would creep in, brought on by winds that echoed with the laughter of the sea, as if mocking his predicament. His dreams were filled with ghosts of the deep, their haunting whispers carried by the waves.
Dominic’s companions were the stars. He mapped them out, tracing ancient constellations on the vast celestial canvas, spinning stories of his past, his dreams, and his regrets. Orion, he’d muse, was the ship's cook, a burly man who regaled the crew with songs of forgotten lands. Cassiopeia reminded him of his beloved, her laughter as luminous as the constellation itself.
In this merciless expanse of blue, Dominic's world had shrunk, but his spirit remained undaunted. The sea could rob him of his ship and crew, yet it could not steal his resolve. He was a sailor, adrift, but not defeated. His heart pounded with the rhythm of the sea, resonating with the defiant song of survival.
Each dawn brought with it a new lease of life, a new page in the story of a man lost, but not forgotten. Each morning, under the soft glow of the rising sun, Dominic rowed forward, etching his existence onto the vast canvas of the sea.
Five are alive.
Out of thirteen people, only five of us were left. My head spun as blue stretched out as far as the eye could see. Everything felt heavy, and my vision blurred.
"We should have taken another route," my mate groaned. I felt my head bobble. Everyone was doubled over each other, nauseous and limp.
The waves seemed like they crashed louder than they were. My ears buzzed with the long gone screams of the rest of the crew. I tried to push it out of my mind. Everything was gone. Our crew. Our ship. Our supplies. Everything. All we had left was this lifeboat and the few scraps of food in our hands. I was alive, but I could barely feel it. Death tinged through my body even if life had not let its grip loose yet.
We were stuck in the vast void of blue. The salt in the air closed up my lungs.
"What's that," a faint voice explained. My head instinctively went up.
To the Depths
Oh good god it hurt. The agony in my head was torture. As I lay sprawled on the Thompsons' bed a drill whirred at full strength in my skull.
The churning of the ship didn't help. It took my stomach on a tilt a whirl after all that vomiting. Even worse was the lightning. Nothing blocked it out of my pounding head. Never again.
What the hell had been wrong with me to think drinking was a good idea. That was boy level stupid.
Still I had gotten what I wanted and had pissed off the Thompsons. At least Mr. Thompson. His wife acted as saccharine as ever.
Every now and again she would peek in. Caress my cheek, always speaking in a soft voice, and giving me the pain reliever. I actually felt a little guilty. There hadn't been any yelling. Just a stern talking to, normal, and Mrs. Thompson's genuine desire to listen.
Before I could settle for a good sleep wailing cut inro the already turbulent night. The door flew open. Mrs. Thompson had dragged me onto my feet.
"Wha-? What the hell?" I asked still bleary.
"The ship hit something. We need to go just hold on to me," she explained quickly.
Outside red had filled the hall and the captain's voice echoed across the chaos. With a violent lurch the light flickered before plunging the boat into darkness.
Nothing's a more surefire wake up call than imminent death. Colin and I barely cared that we had seen each other in underwear. We each tossed each other our pants and in seconds bolted out of our cabin.
It was chaos on the way to the main deck. I definitely felt the incline. The ship was probably tipping.
Outside was pandemonium. People stampeded like rhinos from every direction. In a frenzy the staff were perilously close to the railings as they loaded people onto lifeboats.
We were swept away from my parents. Colin screamed, "ou sont tes parents!"
I just shrugged because we had bigger problems. We'd be seperated soon if we didn't do something. Grabbing his arm I yelled out for him to follow.
Under my guidance me and Colin were able to duck and weave rabid cruisers.
"Ball," Colin instructed just in time to keep us from getting trampled. No sight of my mom or dad in any boat. I was getting scared. We were alone.
Why Mia was so in love with her manual I'd never know. Cuz of that dumb book we were lost. Mom, our uncles, and Wes were probably on a boat already.
They were filling fast. Some crammed at least ten so tight they looked like sardines. I was ready to cry and scream for my mommy. But Mia needed me to not be a brat.
I saw a miracle. Near the end of the deck was a single boat still swaying. It only had one person, a high class girl in a cocktail dress.
"Mia a boat," I squealed.
"I see it," she gasped. Maybe it was the cutting salty air but I swore she was crying.
Laughing like a madwoman she and I sprinted to the raft. It was a hard run when the deck had become a steep mountain. Even more so in high end shoes.
I began to lag way behind. Mia stopped.
"Take off the shoes!" she screamed.
I gaped. How could she ask me to just throw away three hundred dollar gold silk slippers.
"No way that's crazy," I hollered back.
Mia suddenly pounced on me making us roll back down. Lucky for us a pair of legs got in the way.
I had seen some stuff tonight. Though little girls fighting amidst a sinking ship over slippers took the cake. Most boats had left already with only one neglected raft left. Three had already filled it's seats.
"Alright up you go," I decided scooping up both girls in my arms. It was a hard run.
"WAIT! WAIT!" I bellowed going hoarse. Right at the boat I made sure the girls were on first.
The raft then went down in the water. The cruise ship was sinking further. Soon I was gripping for dear life like a tied balloon.
No other option left I took my chances in the dark water. Garbled screams reached my ears as I ascended. Soaked and freezing Gwenny and an olive skinned kid helped me on board.
Our gazes went at specks of yellow sailing away in the raging sea. Grabbing the two oars Gwenny and I sailed for dear life.
Waves crashed at the raft. The kids all screamed clinging to the plastic boat like scorpions.
Salt spray, wind, and bucketfuls of rain assaulted us as we rowed. Black blanketed the sky making navigation difficult.
Jagged rocks littered the water. Surfer guy and I did our best to fend them off. Out of the gloom a creature leapt at us and attacked.
It was a pirahna, except this razor tooth fish looked like it had swallowed a basketball. I whacked the fish and it skipped out of sight like a stone.
More lapped at our oars almost forcing our only hopes out of our hands.
"We can't do this by ourselves!" surfer man said, practically shouting over the chaos. Either he hadn't seen that piranha or he was just an idiot.
"There are only two oars and something is in that water," I screamed jabbing a finger at the murk.
"Animals don't harm humans if we don't harm them," the guy spouted off as if talking to a kid.
"Well hero maybe you didn't notice the freak of nature that nearly bit my face off," I retorted with a sardonic laugh.
"And say those freaks of nature bite off our oars or this balloon before we reach land?" he asked. "I'm not saying stick their hands in but-"
A sudden mess of squealing terror and yelling cut into our conversation. One of the younger boys, an olive skinned kid with hair as dark as the storm clouds, had done just that.
His hand splashed in the water truly thinking he'd get the boat moving. Without warning his hand shot back up along with a hideous and toothy keychain. Kid screamed bloody murder.
With a little doing the thrill junkie had yanked the thing off his now bloodied hand. Struggling with the thing he let it go back in the water. Kid was kinda teary eyed breathing a little funny to hold back tears. I knew that feeling.
Having gotten a taste of human flesh our little boat was a buffet plate. Piranhas came at us like a rabid army. Surfer and I fended them off along with blondies. One of the rich sisters had dug up a first aid kit while the other used her knapsack. Still it didn't stop them from sinking our lifeboat. With no other option we swam to the nearby island.
All six of us were shaken and weary when we collapsed on the cool sand. A few scars here and there but we were otherwise okay. Our raft though was now plastic confetti.
Gwenny had been smart to stuff the first aid kit and tarp in that blond girl's knapsack.
Before anything else could be said they saw what was left of the boat.
Immediately the girls began to cry. Buck and his french friend were pale, faces frozen in a horrified sort of disbelief. Lip trembling the bespectacled boy hung his head down.
Gwenny took up comforting the crying twins, one in each arm, stroking their hair. She was the least phased, as if having resigned to death.
Wow that got dark. I, meanwhile stood by myself feeling like I wasn't truly in my body. It felt like I was floating, my head swimming unable to focus. Not even sure if I was breathing I clutched my chest. My heartbeat wouldn't register just the drum playing in my ears.
"Monsieur!" came a shout. I felt hands on me, somewhat distorted voices sounding scared. The kids.
What was I doing? Freaking out now of all times? Just focus on yourself, take it slow and breathe.
In. Pause. Out. In. Pause. Out. I repeated the cycle using the rhythm my therapist had taught me. In a few seconds I was breathing again. All around the five had crowded me.
With a chuckle I joked that the swim had left me a bit breathless. A bit of scattered, uneasy laughter followed the remark. Still I could feel Gwenny's unnaturally dark brown eyes linger on me. The french kid felt the same.
With a few minutes the roaring storm had tired itself out. We sat awkwardly in our wet clothes. It was pretty humid, which didn't help the cold.
We had scattered ourselves. The two girls, obviously twins, stayed together and so did Buck and his friend. None of us had any idea what to do.
All the same I set myself in front of the group. I got their attention with a sharp whistle.
"Okay we're all terrified. We almost just died and we're tired our best bet would be to try and get some sleep," I said very unsure of what I was saying. No way would these kids take me seriously. I knew just as much as they did; jack squat.
One of the twins raised a meek hand, "we should make a fire. It's dangerous to be in wet clothes when you're cold," she proposed.
I started to feel a little more relieved. This kid had a good head on her shoulders. If she had her head on straight then I definitely could.
"That's a great idea. Alright let's find some wood and hand me that kit," I said sounding pretty confident.
We all got to work and in minutes sat around a good sized fire treating ourselves by its light. In that time we had exchanged names.
Up above the sky was still buffered by clouds. No stars or moon to speak of. In the dreary night we tried to figure out our sleeping situation.
"Let's stay close together," I suggested, "the tarp can work as a blanket."
"Gay," Buck muttered.
Colin elbowed him along with a few death glares.
"Better than pneumonia," I pointed out.
"No way am I sleeping on the dirt," Jessica stomped. She crossed her arms in a huff.
Her twin just sighed obviously used to this.
"Look it'll be like a big sleepover. Isn't that fun?" I said getting down to the girl's level.
"No. The ground is dirty and full of bugs," she whined.
"Well it's either that or strip down for the night," Gwenny chimed.
The little girl went crimson. "Wh-what?" she asked voice trembling.
"Yeah so you don't get colder since you wouldn't have our body heat. Your choice," Gwenny said in a firm manner.
"Fine Jo," she decided pointedly looking to me.
Proper ladies did not sleep on dirt like dogs. Ohh this was so unfair. Why did that bad b word have to be so mean? Why did that stupid storm have to be tonight?
Was my mommy worried? Probably. Our uncles would be beside themselves.
'I love you Wes,' I thought hoping on all the stars that he knew that.'I didn't hate you for ruining my best clothes. You didn't know.'
"Mommy, Uncle Sean, Uncle Henry, Uncle Alex.... Daddy," I murmured all their names. I remember how if I ever called them, no matter how quietly, someone would always come.
No one would come now. I was all alone. I shook trying to make the stabbing hurt go away.
Sleeping had always come so easily. Even when my parents whispered arguments thinking they were being quiet. When I had been all alone in school.
Except then I had always known; I had years. Years before I got comeuppance. Was all this karma? I had hated my parents now I'd get my wish to be left alone.
My chest still ached. My hands were still frigid from a cold sweat. Every minute seemed to drag on. I refused to toss and turn like I usually did. Someone had to be strong here.
We would survive. We had to. I repeated these thoughts whispering until the tightness lessened a little. I'm a nutcase. But it took almost half a year for anyone to figure it out, so a few days tops was no problem.
Tonight had definitely been a night to remember. Shot up to number one of my fifty worst experiences. What was worse a little part of me wished I hadn't been such a...hassle.
The Thompsons may have been Jesus fanatics but they were okay. I was fed, clothed, and even respected. So what though? I didn't come from them so no way could they love me. Hell my 'real' mom dumped me at a frickin fire station.
Live or die what did I really have to go back to?