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Rip Tide

The roar of a monster tells me it’s time to go. My hands tighten around the only things keeping me on the floating vessel, small, rough pieces of synthetic security. My ears ring as the glossy, fiberglass monster roars and the glassy surface below me rushes past, sending icy pellets of liquid towards my face. As I try to shield my eyes, my platform begins to slide out from underneath me. I reach out for my security but it’s too late. My vessel, my sanctuary is ripped out from underneath me by the monster. All sound stops as I violently enter the glassy void. The world around me is an indistinct blur. There is movement, but it’s impossible to tell what it is. I immediately head towards the source of the light trickling its way down into the darkness. My head breaks the surface and sound once more rushes into my ears. I can’t help but smile as I hear my group of friends laughing as they recount my spectacular fall. I happily climb into the sleek machine that I was fighting only moments ago.
Moving, we skim across the surface of the water and come upon a massive rock wall, seeming to stretch to the heavens. I begin to climb. One hand over the other on the hard, but loosened sandstone tower. One of the pieces enters my flesh, drawing a crimson tear from my hand. I proceed forward ignoring the unnatural streaks that are being left on the rocks behind me. As we climb, we find a small overhang just jutting out over the green-tinged glass below. I nervously look back at my friends as they encourage me to jump. I take a running leap out into nothingness. I begin to plummet as an unseen hand pushes me towards the Earth once more. The sound of the air rushing past my face steadily grows louder and louder and louder, I can see my reflection coming up to meet me from the depths, approaching faster and faster until… nothing. I am enveloped by the glassy void once again.
I greet the silence this time, as one would greet an old friend. I enjoy its company for a while, but am forced to leave its domain to return to my own. The sun’s rays blare into my eyes as I search for my machine to pull me out of the watery tomb. Exhausted, we head back to shore to catch our breaths.
Back on solid ground, we relax. Watching, as the miniscule waves crash onto a beach made for a tiny world. Small trees sprout across the barren wasteland behind me. They try to reach for water to save themselves from dehydration, but are unable. Slowly, painfully, they wither and die. I look back to the land of motion; light shines off the surface of the ever moving pane like the night sky. But there is a shining coming from below the waves. Small, silvery darts glide effortlessly beneath the surface, adding to the beauty of the picture before me. We try to capture and tame these wonders, but to no avail. They slip through our fingers as easily as the water they call home.
On the waves again, we break the glass and the icy shards spray up to meet my face. As they break against me, I am overwhelmed by both exhilaration and fear. Fearing that they are striking my body in malice. When the shards fall back into place on the mirror, they hiss, as if to warn me of what is yet to come, as a rattlesnake warns an unsuspecting hiker. It sends an unnerving chill down my back. I climb back onto my vessel one final time. The water looks darker this time around. Almost as if a beast is lurking just below the twinkling surface. The beast smiles up at me as I brace myself. The engine roars, and it begins. The wind whips at my face, refreshing and soothing. My muscles scream as I try to hold on while the forces of gravity and motion work in tandem to throw me into the beast’s waiting jaws. I grip my security with such force that my knuckles begin to pale with the stress. I lose my grip, I begin to slide. I reach out for anything to grab onto. The beast opens its gruesome maw in preparation, but I find my handhold and pull myself back onto my sanctuary. The shards hiss as they fall back into place. The beast is angry. It sends more icy knives at me, hoping to throw me off. I grip the synthetic material with more desperation than before. I will not let it win. My body begins to tire. The numbing of the cold spray is no longer enough to mask the torture it is being put through now. I can’t hold on any longer. I let go, letting the beast shroud me in the cold darkness of its jaws as they close around me.
Silence. I claw my way to the surface, trying to escape the clutches of the beast. The surface never seems to get any closer as I desperately reach towards the light beckoning to me through the gaps in the beast’s terrible teeth. My hand breaks free. I press down with all the possible strength I can suck out of my tormented body. The rest of my body reluctantly follows. I gulp down as much air as I can possibly fit into my lungs, bringing life back into me. The beast forces itself down my throat, racking my body with painful coughs as it attacks me from the inside. My companions pull me from the maw of the beast to safety.
As we arrive on the shore, out of reach of the beast, I can’t help but look back. Look back on my triumph. We coast over the blackened path, manufactured to guide me towards the warmth and comfort of my home. I watch the endless expanse of land as it arches over the horizon, thinking about what an enthralling trip this had been. As I lay down in the soft envelopment of my bed, however, the beast snakes its way back into my thoughts, chilling my very soul like an artic blast. I push it away, draw my covers tighter around me to comfort myself in the dark loneliness, and drift into a deep slumber. Embracing the silence.





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