Beyond the Waves

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Beyond the Waves
A Bildungsroman by Ryan T

Stories
Pear,
That’s what Dad says that my mother murmured,
When she first saw my face,
Beautiful,
She called me,
Like the thing they call “fruit,”
Found on The Forbidden,
Where they say my mother was last seen,
The place us Voyagers,
Left over 300 years ago,
My ancestors,
Venturing into the unknown waters,
In search of more resources,
And less war and poverty,
For there was too little food,
And too much fighting,
On this place the elders call “land,”
And so our ancestors,
Heroic and Brave,
Built our strong, metal ship,
And sailed away from it all,
Giving our community,
A new chance at life,
Or so we are told.

Names
Shell,
Spray,
Coral,
Aqua,
These are the names,
The names of most girl Voyagers,
Named after the beautiful, rocking sea,
Which always surrounds us,
But me,
Named after a part of The Forbidden,
Would be treated as an outsider,
If they knew my name,
My label,
A bright sign,
Reminding that I am the girl,
Whose mother disappeared,
On “land,”
Away from the water,
So when my name is asked,
I immediately respond,
That I am Pearl,
Another girl of the sea,
And when Dad calls me,
“Pear, Pear,”
I say, “Please Dad, call me Pearl.”

Memories
I remember,
Parts of my mother,
Snippets of a film,
Her smile,
So warm,
How she would hold me close,
And tell me that she loved me,
How she was beautiful,
Even if only Dad, Tide and I could see it,
For she kept it inside,
Bundled up,
And finally,
How she smiled at me that last time,
9 years ago,
When I was but 7 years old,
And kissed me goodnight,
How she left our room,
And how I never would have guessed,
That it would be the last time.

Food
Every morning,
Salted seaweed,
Glistening and green,
Baked in the early sun,
At noon,
Raw or cooked fish,
Maybe some shrimp or crab,
And in the night,
The same,
Dad says that I should be grateful,
Says that we are lucky,
Lucky to have resources,
For there are so many on The Forbidden,
Who do not,
But for 16 years,
I have drunk purified water,
With the salt removed,
But its taste still there,
Making the liquid feel almost dry,
Against my throat,
Eaten either raw and slimy,
Or hard and dry food from the sea,
Perhaps I am the only one complaining,
Because I had a mother who knew of a place,
Where “sweet” exists,
A taste I cannot even begin to imagine,
A place with so many foods,
That there is a variety to choose from,
A place we call “The Forbidden,”
Which I wonder about,
So much,
That my wondering of The Forbidden,
Becomes mixed with my wondering of my mother,
And the questions swirl,
Like a wave at the verge of breaking,
Where is she?
Will I ever taste “sweet?”
Is she safe?
Is this “land” safe,
Will I ever be able to find her?
Will I ever stop wondering?
One of my greatest fears,
And suspicions,
Is that the answer to many of these questions,
Consists of a single word,
No.

Friends
My brother’s name is Tide,
For his birth occurred,
Before mother’s great obsession,
With The Forbidden began,
And Tide,
Who is so kind to me,
No matter the circumstances,
Is my only true friend,
The other girls,
Have friends,
Special loves, even,
But me,
I suppose because I am so silent,
Have not one girl friend,
Just Tide,
And the rolling waves.

Fishing
Every day,
Early in the morning,
When the sun just begins to peek over the ocean,
10 fishing boats,
Leave our large one,
Taking poles and spears with them,
Returning with piles and piles of sea life,
Enough to fill the empty bellies,
Of the 328 people of this ship,
I wish,
That I could travel out with them,
Away from this boat which has bound me,
For so long,
Too long,
But they would never let me,
A 16-year-old girl,
With the tan skin of most others,
And with the eyes the color of seaweed,
Help them,
For I am seen as a weak,
Meaningless child,
But Tide is a part of this,
Lifting himself from his bed of dried but thick seaweed,
Early to aid others,
In obtaining food,
I know as well,
That mother was one of these Voyagers,
Searching for food,
I know as well,
How she led her whole boat astray,
Hoping to reach land,
For the other fishers saw her go,
Away,
Away,
Never looking back.

Decision
I’ve thought so much,
Too much,
About my decision,
But I believe that I must,
For I will leave so much wondering,
If I do not,
And that is why I have risen,
Risen while the shining stars still shimmer,
Against the black-blue night,
And climbed into a small boat,
Used for fishing in the morning,
For nobody sits outside tonight,
Mesmerized by the sky’s beauty,
Because of the violent wind,
Which roars and howls,
So I have slipped in,
Into the hard plastic,
Armed with only a small spear,
Which I stole from Tide,
And a crumbled handful of seaweed,
Saved from yesterday morning,
But ready or not,
I ask you, ocean,
To take me away.

Taken
I have found the current,
Strong and steady,
Pulling me away from the boat,
Away from the only life I have ever known,
And hopefully towards,
The parts of my past which have been so lost,
For so long,
And so I breathe in,
And I breathe out,
And let the ocean do its duty.

Forgotten
Just this morning I remembered,
After a night of gazing at the stars,
How mindless I am,
To have forgotten what is needed most on my journey,
What might have kept me alive,
The vital liquid which I now feel the need for,
In my dry throat,
And my rough lips,
Water,
Pure, fresh water,
Not the dirty liquid surrounding me,
But what I once criticized,
And only now realize the importance of,
I dread the coming days,
For who knows how long it will be,
Before this boat of plastic reaches The Forbidden?
If it ever does,
And I now see,
That my expectations for myself were too high,
Inflated and unrealistic,
How I cannot catch a fish,
Even if the waves,
Magically surrounded the boat with the beings,
I tried this morning,
After finishing the few edible bits of seaweed,
The rest gone with the ocean,
Tried to plunge the spear into a finned creature,
But I only saw one,
Which my weapon did not even graze,
For it swam away too quickly,
Too quickly,
As I fear my life will soon be leaving me,
Too quickly...

Thrist
I expected the hunger to come first,
But I was mistaken,
Only my second full day,
And I can already feel the moisture leaving my mouth,
Leaving me,
And the rolling waves make it all worse,
As if taunting me,
With their resemblance to clean water,
Like the most flavorful fish imaginable,
Filled with poison,
Just waiting for you to take a bite,
So that you will want more and more,
Never stopping the hunger,
Only making it worse,
Until you wither,
Wither,
Wither away,
Becoming nothing but the memory,
Of a desperate want,
Which was never fulfilled.

Hope
Who knew I could?
I didn’t,
Doubted it with all of my heart,
But I reached into myself,
And pulled out my last bit of hope,
And I did it,
I caught a fish,
Not what I expected, no,
This one fiercer,
Than other fish,
Making a small glimmer of joy,
Shine inside of me,
I caught a shark,
A small Tiger, yes,
But a shark all the same,
I lying in the boat,
Both arms stretched out of the sides,
My right hand dipping into the water,
My left swirling the spear about,
Splashing lazily,
When I felt a pull,
Slight,
But still a pull,
My instant reaction to stab,
My scream shrill when I felt the spear go through soft skin,
And I looked down to see red,
Swirling with the water,
Trailing away into pink streaks,
Yes, I have seen blood before,
But never of my own kill,
I then lifted the spear,
To find the Tiger shark,
Wiggling weakly,
A mad look in its black eyes,
Through my astonishment I managed to drop it,
Let it fall into the boat so that I could kill it,
A clean slit of the throat,
A there it was,
Food,
Bloody and raw,
But food all the same.

Nothing
Everything seems to spin by now,
How long I’ve been here, I am not sure,
All I can tell,
Is that when the green of my eyes show,
My head spins,
When my eyelids cover,
I eventually wake to a completely different time of day,
I fear that this is it,
The end.

Awake
I open my eyes,
And there is no spinning,
Focus on what is above,
Faces,
Unfamiliar faces...
Staring,
Staring down at me,
Muttering,
Drizzling something wet over my face,
Wet...
Open my mouth,
Taste the water,
Maybe this is what they call “sweet,”
Without the taste of salt,
Try to get more... more,
One man laughing,
Something hard shoved into my hands,
I squeeze,
Clear liquid squirts,
Raise the item to my lips,
So good,
So good,
My only thought,
The moisture rushing down my throat,
Until there is no more,
And I look up in confusion,
To find that before me,
Waves no longer splash,
But a vast, gray space looms,
Uninviting,
Frightening,
This can only be one place,
This is “land,”
This is The Forbidden

Land
A sudden shout,
From far away,
And a rough hand pulling,
Pulling me away from all that I have known,
Away from the boat,
Away from the ocean,
And suddenly I am on my feet,
But beneath me,
All is too flat,
Too solid,
And I collapse,
Unable to keep myself up,
Feeling ill,
From the absence of the rocking,
And then I am stood up again,
My seaweed pouch searched,
Spear taken,
And myself,
Left in this unfamiliar place,
This “land.”

Confusion
The men are gone,
Have taken my spear,
And dashed away,
Through so many people,
An overwhelming amount,
On hands and knees,
Starving,
Begging,
And then suddenly,
I see them,
A large group of people,
Male or female I cannot be sure,
Holding strange spears of metal,
But these spears are strange,
Missing the tip at the end,
And I wonder,
Wonder,
How they can inflict pain,
With no point to jab with,
But then one man,
Tall and muscular,
Lets out a yell,
And from the spear,
A terrible sound is created,
And smoke billows,
Reminding me of the grilling of fish,
But this smoke is thick and gray,
And off in the distance,
A scream of pure pain sounds,
I myself cannot help,
But let a scream from my own lips,
And as I do,
A figure turns,
Blue eyes meeting my green,
A girl,
Who tells me,
Screams at me,
A single word,
“Run!”
And I do.

Saved
I hear it,
But do not see it,
A sound the same as,
The one made by the metal spear,
And shortly after,
A hand against my back,
Pushing me,
Shoving me,
But somehow encouraging,
Telling me to move forward,
To run faster,
But the strange ground,
Makes it so difficult,
And my stumbles are constant,
Too constant,
But the hand still at my back,
Guiding through chaos,
And then I am pushed to the ground,
Falling easily with a thud,
And another body is soon next to mine,
I turn,
I stare,
Stare into the same blue eyes.

Kiri
“Careful,”
Comes the hiss,
Between gritted teeth,
Insistent but somehow soft,
And then the eyes widen,
Showing a sort of recognition,
Which I do not understand,
“You’re one...”
My head,
Spinning again,
My limbs,
Screaming in pain,
But my voice,
Is still in tact,
“W-what?”
My croak,
Throat sore from lack of water,
“The Escaped.”
I look at her,
Confusion clear on my face,
“Kiri,”
A sigh,
“I’m Kiri.”
Wonder flooding my mind,
Wonder at how strange,
This unknown person is,
How accepting,
How... friendly,
“Pear.”
My reply,
With no thought,
Somehow this Kiri,
Makes me feel safe,
Secure with my true identity,
Safe,
Her whisper,
“Back to the base.”
And suddenly,
On my feet again,
The pound, pound,
On the too hard ground.

The Base
Led this time,
A hand in mine,
Past destruction,
Chaos,
The craze,
Which so many have tried to warn me of,
But whom I never listened to,
Rushing flying,
Seeing death,
Injury,
Horror,
Reaching a large structure,
Being pulled inside,
Into a place of more injured,
Blood and white wrappings,
Being led to a bench,
And Kiri motioning,
For me to sit,
And so I do,
Relieved to be off my feet,
And take a better look around,
To see people ,
So, so many people,
More metal spears,
And other weapons,
Most of which I cannot understand,
Much less identify,
Some stare in my direction,
Many quickly looking away,
The majority too occupied,
With cuts and blood,
To pay the girl in the seaweed any attention,
“Home.”
Kiri says,
And I can see,
The feeling of comfort,
Of a sort of deep calm,
The feeling of home,
In her blue, blue eyes.

Explanations
This place,
So strange,
So unfamiliar,
Kiri,
A stranger,
Acting like a friend,
And the knowledge,
That I am just as much a stranger to her,
As she is to me,
Thick in the air,
Kiri turns away from me,
Removes a small item,
From her small sack,
It resembles a giant fish egg,
Orange and slightly transparent,
“Eat,”
She tells me,
Suspicion strikes me,
Then fades just as quickly,
Take the pill,
Shove it into my mouth,
Chew,
No taste comes from it,
The thick liquid inside,
Hard to swallow,
But I do all the same,
And feel every muscle,
Come back to life,
As if a whale,
Has been placed inside of me,
And now thrashes and turns,
Ready for action,
“Fuel pills,”
This is Kiri’s response,
To my surprised expression,
“Enough protein, calories and fats for a whole meal.”
That’s what Dad said,
About salmon,
Full of protein and good fats,
But this dry tablet,
Is nothing like the moist, flavorful fish,
“So you are one of them.”
Comment, not question,
“One of what?”
My hoarse voice asks,
“One of The Escaped... people living on a boat.”
Well,
The fact,
That my society lives on a boat is certain,
But I have never heard of us Voyagers,
Referred to as The Escaped,
So I answer the only way I know,
A single word,
“Yes... I guess.”
A smile,
On Kiri’s lips,
“You are.”
I wonder then,
Wonder why these people,
Would swallow dry tablets,
If they have so much sweet to eat,
If they have luscious berries,
Juicy melon,
Why do they not eat,
Apples,
Oranges,
Mangoes,
Or maybe even,
Even a Pear.

Learning
Kiri has led me,
Away from the crowdings of people,
Away to a small room,
With mattresses,
Made of unrecognizable material,
Lying flat on the floor,
And this simple object,
Brings back so much for me,
Tide rising early,
To face the sea,
Dad telling me goodnight,
And closing the roof opening,
And although my intentions are to stay strong,
I find tears running down my face,
Salty as the sea,
But just as dirty as well,
And suddenly,
Kiri is looking at me,
Searching my face,
And realizing how much I hurt inside,
And I suddenly find myself telling her everything,
Of my life on the sea,
Of my mysteries,
Of my culture,
Of my family,
Of my escape...
And no sooner have I finished,
Than Kiri launches,
Into explanations of her life,
Life on land,
How there is not enough food,
For everyone here,
And how there is so much fighting,
For land and resources,
How the dry pills,
Are made out of minerals,
From somethings she calls “dirt,”
And how throughout the land,
There is the same story,
War,
Chaos,
Competition,
And she explains to me,
That in this area,
Two sides battled,
Just as they do now,
But these sides battled for land,
For this once-rich soil,
How the fighting,
9 years ago,
Was a competition,
But 9 years ago,
2 women,
In a boat identical to mine,
In clothes the image of mine,
Arrived,
And Kiri tells me,
How one of these women tried to create peace,
I am told,
How this woman,
Failed to succeed,
In getting very many,
To listen to her,
To join her,
And how she started a fight of her own,
A fight for Peace,
Which separated this area,
Into two completely different sides,
Sides fighting,
Fighting to agree on what the best way was,
For resources to be distributed,
Through peace,
Or through war,
How one side,
Which the woman led,
Thought that peace was the answer,
While the other,
Believed in war,
And so they fought,
Battled,
Until the war side gave up,
Begged for mercy,
But the woman had changed,
Had turned into a crazed warlord,
Whose anger had risen so intensely,
That all she wanted was to kill,
And with a tear in her eye,
Kiri tells me how she found out that the other woman from the sea,
The one who did not lead a war,
Had been her mother,
How her father had raised her on the land,
And only told her of her mother,
When the crazed leader,
Murdered her,
And I hear of how Kiri’s father told her this,
Just before he left to try to find this warlord,
And hurt her,
Just as she had hurt his family,
But he had been killed as well,
And I wonder,
Why Kiri is so welcoming,
To somebody,
So similar to the one who killed her parents,
And as if she can read my mind,
Kiri tells me that the reason that she feels led to me,
Is that I remind her,
Of her mother,
Of the hope before the war,
But this soft moment,
Is soon gone,
And Kiri is once again telling me,
Of what happened,
How they called this woman,
Who murdered so many,
The Fury,
For her compassion,
Had turned into such extreme anger,
Which caused war,
War which still goes on,
To this day,
A war which she will not stop,
Almost turning into what Kiri calls a genocide,
And as I listen to this information,
I somehow think of mother,
And I find myself telling Kiri of her,
And of her disappearance,
And I wonder,
If mother has been hit by this woman,
And Kiri looks strange now,
And her voice is frightened when she says,
“But, Pear … what... what if...”
But she doesn’t finish,
And I don’t need her to,
For it is already too clear,
What she thinks,
What she was about to say,
But no,
My mother is not a warlord.

Adjusting
I am adapting,
Or attempting to adapt,
To this strange place,
Off the sea,
Here,
Where Kiri has shown me,
To a short man,
Who seems somewhat in charge,
Who has said that he will need to speak,
Speak with another,
Before he can be sure,
If I can stay here,
If I can stay or if I must go,
And so Kiri led me,
To that small room again,
Where she laid out a single blanket,
Made of a dirty material,
Which was unidentifiable to me,
And Kiri,
Has told me that I am to sleep there,
Sleep upon the blanket tonight,
And when the night comes,
And Kiri and I have settled in,
I see that she has no blanket,
That she has given hers to me,
And that her body,
Shivering small,
Shelters me from the accusing stares of so many others.

Kicked Out
I am woken,
By rough shaking,
And my eyes open,
To find the man,
Who Kiri asked,
If I could stay,
Leaning over me,
He being the one causing the shaking,
And at the sight of my open eyes,
He half whispers,
And half exclaims,
“Leave now! You must leave now!”
And I am pulled to my feet,
See Kiri stir,
See her eyes open wide,
And she leaps to my side,
A good friend,
Even though I have not even known her,
For a full 24 hours,
Most of the room is awake now,
Girls around Kiri’s age,
A few of whom stare at me with wide eyes,
Most set their jaws,
Give me menacing looks,
Hear the whispers,
“A girl from the sea.”
“Why is she here?”
“Evil!”
“Kill her!”
Being pushed out of the door,
Kiri still at my side,
The man now screaming,
“Get out!”
And I obey,
Running as quickly as my legs will permit,
Over too-even ground,
Past a blur of weapons and bandages,
Finally into the night,
But I do not stop,
Suddenly feeling the urge to escape,
But eventually I cannot run any farther,
And I tumble to the ground.

Problems
I fall hard,
Landing on hands and knees,
Stifling a yelp of pain,
And before I know it,
Kiri is beside me,
Murmuring,
“It’s alright. It’s O.K.”
“But why? Why do they want me out so badly?”
“I’m sorry... I wasn’t thinking. I should have known...”
“What?”
The fact that Kiri apologizes,
Makes no sense to me,
I should be apologizing,
For making her go through so much trouble,
“Because,”
Kiri whispers,
“Because they are afraid... afraid of the sea and its people...”
My anger,
So sudden,
But so strong,
“But why? They are all just brutes!”
I regret the words immediately,
But they have already passed my lips,
I wait for Kiri’s outburst,
Her cry,
But it does not come,
She only turns away from me,
And speaks,
In a fierce voice,
Which I have never heard from her,
“Can’t you see? They’re afraid of the sea... ‘cause that’s where The Fury came from.”
And suddenly,
It all makes perfect sense,
That man,
Who had pushed me out of the door so urgently,
Had spoken,
Spoken with whoever was really in charge,
And that person,
Full of fear,
Had immediately ordered,
My removal,
Which is why,
I was kicked out so urgently,
So suddenly,
On man’s words,
Had changed so,
So,
Much.

Planning
Sleeping,
Outside,
Among the “trees,”
And the “bushes,”
As Kiri called the green,
Brown and gold,
Sticking randomly out of the gray ground,
Like bits of hope,
In a field of despair,
And I have once again,
Decided to wander into the unknown,
Alone and unprepared,
But always with a purpose,
Which is why,
I now lift myself from the earth,
Quiet and careful,
So as not to disturb Kiri,
Who sleeps a few feet away,
With a grimace on her face,
Kiri,
Who accepted and helped me after a single glance,
Kiri,
Who I must keep safe,
For I will not be liked in these parts,
I see that now,
And Kiri does not have to be a part of this,
For that is not what she deserves,
So I whisper,
Into the night,
“Let no harm come to you.”
And I am off,
Running in whichever direction I must.

Choices
I have come to a decision,
A true decision,
And it is this:
I will defeat this Fury,
Kill her if necessary,
For I hear that she came from the sea,
So she is one of my people,
And no matter how ridiculous,
I feel an obligation,
To stop her,
So I will seek her,
Hiding myself,
Until I find her,
And maybe along the way,
My mother will appear.

Disguise
I stop running when I see the landscape change slightly,
The trees even more sparse,
The land even more ashen,
But this place is also more gruesome,
A fact realized,
When my bare foot nearly touches,
The dead body of a person,
Man or woman I am not sure,
For when I see the face,
I quickly look away,
Not wanting to stare into the blank eyes,
But then I remember,
Remember that if I can be recognized as a Voyager,
Or one of The Escaped,
I could well be killed,
After only a glance in my direction,
So I turn towards the body,
Fingers trembling,
And remove the clothing,
Taking off my own seaweed outfit,
And pulling the strange material on,
Not thinking,
Just doing,
And I realize,
That this is something,
This not thinking,
Only doing,
Is something which I may have to do very,
Very often.

Led
I look down,
To see myself covered in blue material,
And I am thankful,
That this person,
Lost their life,
By a spear to the neck,
Instead of to the heart,
For the blue outfit,
Has no visible blood...
None that I know of,
The weather is cold,
Windy,
A man runs towards me,
Coming from the left,
I start,
But regain myself,
He doesn’t notice,
The man wears blue,
Must be on what is now “my” side,
Tells me in a rough voice,
“C’mon, boss’ll be angry if we’re late.”
The wondering why,
My unfamiliar face is not taken into account,
Is whisked away,
When the man nudges me,
And sprints off,
My choice is to follow.

Discovery
I follow the blue,
So much running done,
In the last days,
I feel my stomach grumble,
And my mouth dry,
But food and water must wait,
For more important matters are at hand,
See a wooden building,
Off in the distance,
Approach it,
And follow the man with the blue,
Inside,
To find so many more like him,
Most bearing metal spears,
The ones with no sharpened end,
The thick feeling of menace,
Heavy in the air,
But I keep on walking,
Following that man,
For he seems to be leading me,
To something important,
Something which I feel I must see,
And a door is opened,
A doorway passed through,
And I am inside a room,
Where various youths in blue stand in a line,
Taking orders from a woman with short brown hair,
And fury in her eyes,
Taking orders from my mother.

Denial
My mind seems to freeze,
And my limbs lock,
Pain,
Fear,
This cannot be her,
This woman,
Standing,
Shouting,
Tearing at that brown hair,
With dirty, sharp fingernails,
She cannot be her...
Just cannot,
My mother,
Gentle,
Calm,
Kind,
So different,
But yet the reality slams me hard,
Hitting me like a tsunami,
I brush my dark hair,
In front of my face,
Concealing my identity,
And find that I can walk again,
Find that I am wobbling,
Towards the end of the line,
My head down,
Frightened,
Scared,
The woman does not notice,
The two who have just walked in,
For she has turned away,
Is screaming,
“Kill them! Kill them all!”
And then she turns,
Evil and madness in green eyes,
...seaweed green eyes,
And from her lips a whisper,
“In two hours... we will get them... get them as they sleep. Murder every single one and we will have victory!”
A mad laugh,
From her bloody, cracked lips,
A question,
From a girl on the other side of the line,
“W-won’t we wake them?”
The gasp in the room is not made,
But heard in the tension,
The woman...
My... mother,
Taking a short spear from her belt,
Saying,
Menacingly,
Softly,
“So you are one of them?”
Her voice rises,
“A traitor!”
I cannot see the girl,
But I can imagine her eyes open wide with fear,
“N-n-no! I-I just-”
But her words are cut off,
By her horrible scream,
Choked at the end,
For the spear has been thrown,
Has hit the girl’s chest,
“Kill them!”
The woman’s shout,
“They must all die, and now!”

Flee
Every blue-clothed person,
Sprints out of the room,
Tripping,
Stumbling,
Just wanting to escape,
To get out,
The stabbed girl,
Already taken her last breath,
Lying lifeless on the ground,
One last glance at her,
Then my feet join the pounding of so many others,
Away,
People grabbing weapons,
Spears,
Screaming to all in the passages,
“Go! Go!”
A herd,
Running,
Hurrying,
Out of the door,
Ready to sneak an attack,
On the unsuspecting.
All sprinting,
Sprinting,
To kill,
To avoid being killed themselves,
Finally seeing,
That small structure,
In the distance,
Which Kiri led me to,
At a time which now seems so long ago,
Kiri,
Who I must find,
Who I must keep safe,
From this murdering craze,
And so I turn,
And run,
Run in the direction,
Which I remember sprinting in confusion,
Just hours ago,
Finding that area,
With the brown rocks,
My heart leaping,
When I finally see her figure,
On the gray floor,
Hurrying over,
And shaking her,
Shaking her awake,
Her scream shrill when she sees,
The blue of my clothing,
Pulling my hair back from my face,
Showing her my seaweed bag,
Explaining what happened,
What will happen,
Lifting her to her feet,
And again running,
Running,
But suddenly,
Kiri’s scream pierces the air once again,
I see the blood on her arm,
Hear her yell my name,
“Pear!”
And hear that horrible, horrible laugh,
Of my mother.

Encounter
Look up from Kiri,
Who had crumpled to the ground in pain,
Into those eyes,
Seaweed eyes,
Which widen when they meet mine,
“Pear.”
The whisper,
So much,
Behind a single word,
And then tears,
Down her cheeks,
“Pear.”
And suddenly her screaming,
Full of so much pain,
Fills the air,
Making me shiver inside,
Cold and frightened,
But my look stays firm,
Maybe if I look brave,
The hurt inside of me will not show,
“Run.”
Kiri’s croak,
From the ground,
Then her pain,
Overwhelms,
And she sprawls across the ground,
Unconscious,
And then the screaming stops,
And this woman,
Who has caused me so much joy,
So much pain as well,
She looks at me,
Such hurt in her eyes,
“Mother.”
The words from my lips,
Meant to sound strong,
Make the salty tears,
Run down my face,
“Why? Why did you leave?”
My question,
Leaving my lips,
With no thought,
None at all,
But the question,
On my mind for so long,
Has been waiting,
Waiting to come out,
And I see,
On this woman’s face,
A sudden realization,
As if she is remembering,
Who she once was,
“I-I,”
She begins,
But her tears come down too hard,
Her gasping preventing her continuation,
And then the fury,
Comes to me,
An anger,
So fierce,
“You could have stayed! You could have told me you were going!”
But when my eyes meet hers,
The Fury,
My mother,
Turns,
Pulls something out of her belt,
And faces me again,
Holding out her hands,
Which cradle two pieces of something...
Something brown and shriveled,
Held gingerly in her dirty hands,
And her whisper,
“Pear.”
My first thought,
That she is calling me forward,
But then I realize,
How she looks at the brown slivers in her hands as she says the word,
Pear,
And I see,
I see that she holds pear,
The fruit which she used to tell me,
Was so sweet,
So delectable,
The fruit which she now holds out to me,
And so I take a piece,
Not thinking,
Of the possibility of poison,
For somehow,
I can see that here,
Now,
My mother’s craze,
Has been momentarily stopped,
By some force which I cannot understand,
And so I meet her gaze,
Once again,
And at her nod,
She raises the fruit left in her hands,
Slowly,
To her mouth,
Chewing,
Savoring,
Swallowing,
“Pear.”
She whispers,
Voice soft,
So strange,
For one they call The Fury,
“So sweet... I-I love you.”
And she then pulls her spear from her belt,
And before I can scream,
The Fury,
My mother,
Stabs herself in the heart.

Away
My scream,
Is caught in my throat,
My mother,
Falls to the ground,
Two words leave her lips,
“I regret.”
But before I can respond,
A cheer sounds,
And a man,
Dressed in clothes similar to Kiri’s,
Leaps from behind a bush,
“Dead! She’s dead!”
I turn away,
Feelings mix,
Anger,
Despair,
Confusion,
Even... joy,
And I do not respond,
When he tries to speak with me,
Only look at him,
Glad that the blue on my body,
Does not cause conflict between us,
And motion to Kiri,
“Take care of her.”
And then to the dead body,
“Tell everyone.”
His nod only reassures slightly,
And I walk,
Shakily,
Over the ground,
Which no longer nauseates me so,
To Kiri,
Whisper in her ear,
“Yes, I am one of them. And I must go home. Thank you so much. I will never forget you.”
Then I stand,
Walk,
Run,
Sprint away,
Past fighting,
Past the chaos,
Which I know will soon cease,
With the news,
Of the suicide,
Back to the shore,
To the lapping ocean,
Which seems to call me,
To beckon me,
Back to the plastic boat,
Thankfully still there,
Its only alteration,
The fact that it lies on its side,
Flip it back over,
Climb in,
And take one last look at what used to be The Forbidden,
But is now land,
And push away.

Home
Back to the sea,
A sort of calm,
Covering me,
Like a blanket,
Reaching into my seaweed pouch,
Feel the tablets,
Smile inside,
And eat one,
Voracious... so hungry,
Thanking Kiri,
For slipping them to me,
When I lay asleep,
Look into my hand,
To find that pear,
Brown and shriveled,
But somehow so full,
Look at it,
See land,
My losses,
My lessons,
Kiri’s blue, blue eyes,
And the red stain of blood,
Take a breath,
And swallow the fruit whole,
No longer am I Pearl,
Girl of the sea and the hidden identity,
But I am somebody else,
Child of the ocean and the land alike,
From seaweed eyes,
To dark brown hair,
I am Pear.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

VirtualVal said...
Jun. 18, 2012 at 11:16 am
Absolutely mind-blowing, thought-provoking, and powerful. A true work of art.
 
mpvti said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm
Wow, that is an amazing piece of writing. Intense and well done!!
 
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