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The Sea

By , South Riding, VA

“Do you fear the sea?”

“Do you?” she retorted with etiolation in her tone.

It was a queer colloquy, an almost daft conversation between the two who would both inevitably share the same fate. “Why should I fear that which created me?” Emyliah responded to her with.

“Your parents created you.”

“Indeed, and their parents created them, just as their parents did before them, and so on and so forth. But,” she paused and allowed herself to look up at the sky. “we are made of water which makes us part of the sea,” she stated.

“And stardust.”

“Ah, that is true. We are made up of that too, but who do you think created the sea? It certainly was not man or by mistake or coincident. Nothing this magnificent just happens.” Emyliah gave the girl a few moments to think before continuing. “The stars created the sea,” she smiled, her grin brighter than the moon and stars blanketing the black sea beneath them and their feeble raft.

For a moment of wistful thought, the girl questioned herself as to why she did not compare Emyliah to the sun for it is the brightest object in the waking sky, and it is that which gives light to the moon. But the thought soon faded when Emyliah began to move, the raft shaking under her weight, tilting flopping, crashing against the sea. Fear sprang across the girls face as she gripped the sides of the raft until her knuckles bore no resemblance to anything but bone. Her eyes were squeezed shut for fear that if she were to see the actions happening, her inevitable plummet into the sea, it would be far worse than just letting it happen. It didn’t.

The raft settled again, the water stilling beside them and with a brave intake of breath, the girl peaked open an eye to see Emyliah laying on her stomach, her feet and legs dangling into the sea as her fingers were dipped under the surface, allowing the tendril-like waves to crawl up her pale fingers. “Then who created the stars?” the girl asked.

“Why does it matter who created the stars or the sea? Will the knowledge of such things grant power or promise in the end?” Emyliah asked, never losing her smile as her eyes reflected the reflection of the stars on the black surface of the water.

“I…” The girl paused, mulling over the question. “No, I suppose that knowledge will not grant power or promise. But-“

Emyliah cut her off, not caring that she did so. “Then is it the question of God? Of the afterlife?”

“Blind curiosity and hope.”

“Blind curiosity and hope.” Emyliah repeated, shaking her head at the words.

A huff fell through the girls broken lips as she laid her back against the just as rough and broken wood of the raft; their only protection against the black hole of the sea beneath them. She could not reply to Emyliah. She had no energy, no will to do so, and far too many questions. Emyliah was strange, and to be perfectly honest, she had no recollection of first meeting Emyliah or seeing her. She had no recollection beyond waking up on the raft, the vengeful sun clawing at her once pale, but now blistered face.

Emyliah just was. Like the sea. She was beautiful, her blacker than night hair falling as though they were black waves beating against the white shore that was her shirt. Her eyes held mystery and age, the blue iris’ glowing in the sun while reflecting the stars at night. Her skin seemed to never burn, just as the sea seemed to never evaporate against the harsh fires of the sunlight beating down on her. Emyliah was the embodiment of the sea. A terrifying thought really, that one girl could be both beautiful and terrifying all at once.

“Look,” Emyliah said breaking the thoughts that once again were plaguing her mind.

She lifted her head to look at Emyliah, her palm outstretched to the sea, her eyes glowing brightly. The girl could not contain the wonder that filled her heart as she looked at the sea. The stars now shared their glow with bioluminescent creatures that lay near the surface of the no longer black waters. They whispered against the waves, an incoherent song that would send men to their graves. She could not help her wondering fingers as they broke the surface of the water, brushing against the creatures on their journey to the surface.

The once silent air was soon filled with laughs and giggles from both girls as they twirled their fingers in and around the water, the raft swaying under the motions. “This is beautiful,” the girl said, smiling for the first time in a long time through her cracked lips, those lips having once been nothing more than a broken smile before the sea.
The beauty never faded as the plankton, the luminescent creatures, were joined by the largest whale the girl had ever laid eyes on. He or she was beautiful as it jumped from the black waters, its flesh harboring its own habitat of bioluminescent sea baring creatures. The whale was like a god in the moonlight and stars, the black blubber glistening and shining, filled with the universe until falling back into the sea, sending her waves high above the two girls who sat amazed on the raft.


Until, the waves plummeted down onto them, the raft sliding and jolting, and flipping over, sending the girl into water on her back. Her scream was muffled by the intake of black water down her throat, her eyes burning from the sting of the salt. She could not close her eyes. She could not breath though she tried, each time more black water filling her lungs instead of air. Emyliah was above her, leaning over the raft. Hadn’t Emyliah fallen in too?

In a vain attempt, the girl reached towards the sky, unable to breach the seas surface. The sea became the sky while she fell into the black hole beneath her. She was guided by the stars and the bioluminescent plankton, the creatures guiding her down further into her descent. They glowed around her, allowing her to see the whale that swam to her side, their eyes meeting.

There was a peace that came over her as she looked at the whale and the whale at her. Her body no longer convulsed or strained to breathe, the slow pressure build no longer felt upon her skin. She did not think of death, nor did she think of Emyliah or the sea or how she wound up where she was in the first place.

She thought of jellyfish and how strange it would be to be a jellyfish. Jellyfish did not die; they simply cease to move. And so on that day, that night, the girl became her own jellyfish and instead of dying, she ceased to move, letting the sea claim her body, the current guiding her to wherever she pleased. And on that day, on that night, the girl was no longer the girl; she was no longer herself, an individual, a human, a mind, and instead she became the sea.

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