Cerulean Whispers

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If you sailed across the seven seas long enough, you might stumble upon the shores of a small town called, “Seaside Ridge.” It’s a peaceful town located beside the coastline of Southern California and surrounded by the folklore of mythical aquatic creatures.
I was never one to believe in such ludicrous fantasies though. Nevertheless, the town’s sailors always the rode the feral waters hoping that one day they would catch a glimpse of something more extraordinary than the human mind could interpret. Little did I know, today I was going to discover something mystifyingly beautiful of my own.
One summer, my parents were on a Humanitarian mission in Zimbabwe, Africa. They sent me to Seaside Ridge so that I could hang out by with my Grandmother and spend the days on the beach. My grandmother lived in a beach house near the shoreline. Today marked the fifth day I had been in Seaside Ridge.
You would think that I’d be homesick by now, but Seaside Ridge was like an escape from the endless noise and rural streets of De Moines, Iowa. I could explore the lavished tide pools of tiny shellfish or feel the sand sift through my fingertips. I even had spent time, lying by the oceanfront covered in bubbly sea foam.
The radiating, morning sun had just emitted celestial rays onto the indigo tides. My eyelids felt heavy from resting underneath the unbearable sunlight for the past hour, but witnessing a sunrise on the blustering blue skies was definitely worth the wait.
The clouds were drizzling golden shafts of sunshine on my sparkling skin when I heard a door creak open behind me. My grandmother appeared suddenly.
“Out of all the years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen the sky look this beautiful before,” she said, mesmerized.
She spoke so softly that I thought her voice would be carried by the sea breeze and then drift away. She handed me a book wrapped in a brown, leather, faux, snakeskin book jacket.
“What’s this?” I asked, confusedly.
“It’s your grandfather’s journal. It includes a lot of his research on the unexplained paranormal phenomenon in this town. He would’ve wanted you to have it, Celeste. You should consider it as a new family heirloom,” she said.
I was surprised to see my grandmother give me one of my grandfather’s belongings. She used to be extremely possessive. After he passed away a few years ago from a heart attack, she practically went in denial of his death. She couldn’t even accept my family’s condolences.
“You know your grandfather loved the ocean too. Now that I think of it, why don’t we go on a ride on your grandfather’s old boat? You might see a water vibra!” she exclaimed, making a quick transition from our conversation.
I rolled my eyes. I should’ve known she was a believer too.
Water vibras were probably the most renowned mythical creature in all of Seaside Ridge. They’re one of the many species of mermaids within the inhabitants of the ocean. Water vibras were believed to be the spiritual descendants of underwater city of Atlantis. No one had ever claimed to have seen a water vibra, but the myth said that they were mermaids with crystal-clear, transparent bodies, comprised of pure salt water, and a glowing pulse inside the heart of their body, signifying where their soul was.
My grandmother and I went into my grandfather’s wooden boat. It looked like it hadn’t been used since my grandfather was alive. The cold, briny air tasted like brutality on my tongue, but I managed not to complain. My grandmother and I didn’t speak with each other either. I guess she thought of my grandfather differently now and acknowledged the fact that he wasn’t going to come with us.
Then I watched the sun disappear above, as more thunderous grey clouds covered the sunlight in darkness. My heart trembled against the roaring waters beneath me.
We sailed on the ocean for hours. The wind kept on gaining more speed too, the further we sailed away from our lonely beach house. I didn’t feel really safe anymore. My grandmother had a pained expression in her eyes which made me feel ashamed to speak about the approaching storm. I draped my beach towel around myself for security and stared at the waves and then my pupils widened. The tidal waves began raging with life.
I couldn’t tell what time of day it was or where we were but I knew we had to go somewhere safer. The weather was getting more severe by the minute, and I realized instantly that I had to try to warn my grandmother. My grandmother was at the other side of the boat. She was overly focused on her thoughts. Nonetheless, her thoughts didn’t prevent the waters from becoming restless with vehemence.
The redwood planks below my feet were tearing apart and gaps started to emerge. The water was seeping into the boat. I struggled to conceal the holes with my towel and absorb the water, but it just wasn’t enough.
A lightning bolt cracked across the dry, desert sky overhead. I immediately shrieked, terrorizing every bone in my body. I wasn’t used to thunderstorms like this. Then finally my grandmother woke up from her trance. I could tell she was trying to tell me something but no words came out. Another lightning bolt appeared, fracturing the violet heavens.
I slipped and the floorboards snapped underneath us. The boat had split in half. My grandmother was at the front of the boat and I was all the way at the back. However that wasn’t the worst part. Seasickness rushed into me, and I felt weak inside. The world was turning blurry. I thought I might lose myself and my grandmother, so I attempted to stand up but I couldn’t because my ankle had been hurt too badly. I couldn’t resist the wave that broke between the two of us any longer.
At that moment, I felt my heart fall apart. The seasickness blocked my hearing but I coped with my eyesight and saw my grandmother in utter shock. I almost fell into the water as I tried to strain myself to grasp onto the detached boards. My grandmother handed me a striped, red and white life ring and from that point on we both knew that there was nothing more we could do.
My grandmother was too frail to risk anything life threatening and I wanted swim toward her desperately but my ankle wouldn’t budge. I also thought swimming in these waters could be dangerous too. I clung on the life ring as my heart pounded in my chest. I watched her fade away, as we kept our eyes locked on each other the entire time. I had officially thought I had lost the battle to live on the suffering seas.
My heart strings were torn and broken. I remembered my grandfather’s journal. My mind panicked from regret because I had brought it on the boat to read and now it was somewhere far away in the Pacific Ocean. Tears slithered down my miserable face.
Subsequently, I abruptly remembered reading the section in my grandfather’s journal about the water vibras. He mentioned that a water vibra was born when a lightning bolt struck the sea and created a vibration. A soul also combined with the voltage of electricity. I pondered about the water vibras for a moment. Then I questioned my thoughts, “Was it possible that a water vibra was just created?” and “If water vibras were real, where was the actual creature right now?!”
I began sliding off the life ring. The storm was completely gone now as if it never even happened at all. At last, there was silence again. Everything had happened too quickly for my brain to process. I looked at the creased waters.
A silvery glow illuminated the untouched water, shattering the serenity. My sleepy eyes closed slowly afterwards. When I opened them I must have been dreaming because I had returned to the shore. I heard the rustling of the sea oats and lantanas near my grandmother’s beach garden. My ankle felt awfully painful but it felt a lot better than yesterday. I soon became aware that I wasn’t dreaming and I had actually survived the storm.
I succeeded standing this time and looked to see if my grandmother had washed up on the shore like I did. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be seen.
Then something miraculous happened. From the corner of my eye, I saw something shimmering in the sunshine. I turned around and walked closer and realized it wasn’t something, but, ‘someone.’
I might’ve been crazy and delusional (maybe from side effects of the thunderstorm) but I recognized it visually right away. I saw a real water vibra. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing real mythical creature, but it was definitely breathing and alive. She was lying in the sand next to an impression of a body. I realized when I returned to land she had laid beside me the whole time, until I went searching for my grandmother.
I sat down beside her and observed her. She was almost like the vision of what the villagers had assumed water vibras looked like but even more stunning. Her features made her appear as if she was carved out of flawless, sheer glass. Her limpid, long hair flowed down on her shoulders, lightly. She had no organs and there was only a primrose colored pulse right where her heart was supposed to be. Her skin and glittering scales were tinted a light azure.
She gazed at me intensely. She was scared and surprised to see my reaction at her appearance. I wanted to ask her so many questions, but I saw her pulse began rapidly beating. Her skin was gradually turning peach colored and human like too. She gave me a worried glance that told me she wasn’t supposed to turn human at all.
I figured out why she was like this straightaway. She must have used up all her strength to rescue me from drowning. When she reached the shore, she probably became so exhausted that she couldn’t go back into the water. The sun must have evaporated the water from her body in the meantime...
She was dying from dehydration. I had to save her now. I ran back to the beach house and grabbed as many empty water bottles as I could hold. I filled each of them up with the salt water available by the shore. When I was done, I poured the water onto her body and her human like features dissolved into water again. She smiled, since she knew I had understood why she was so weak.
Her strength was replenished promptly, and she crawled back into the sea. From a far distance I could see herds of thousands of water vibras. Once she was reunited with her herd of water vibras, they began to sing blissful hymns. The herd’s whispering voices sounded hauntingly divine. They leaped and spun playfully into the skies like wild dolphins. When they dived back underneath the surface, it was as if they were flying on liquidized air. They were truly limitless beings.
They glided and skid against the current without wings and nothing seemed to bother them except hydration. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh when they flew.
I had discovered a species so mystifyingly beautiful that I wished my grandmother was here with me. Her disappearance had made me become a believer in the unexplained. Maybe one day I would even explain the paranormal phenomenon in this town. I shook my head at the thought. Some things were just better off unexplained.
I felt something papery touch my toes. My grandfather’s journal had landed on the shore. Amazingly, it was still intact and the hard leather book jacket was pretty sturdy still. None of the pages were ruined either. I hung the book on the clothesline to dry.
I wondered where my grandmother was right now. I wanted to know if she had survived the storm like I did or had drowned lost and alone. Maybe during the next storm, her soul would combine with electricity too. She would become a water vibra, full of energy and life.
I thought about the water vibra again. A mermaid had saved me. It sounded bizarre in my head, but it was the truth. I would never know why the water vibra saved me either. I guess there are secrets out there that would always remain beneath the surface.
The water vibra that had rescued me made a friendly, hand gesture. She wanted me to swim with her. I sprinted into the refreshing water and swam toward the herd. My heartbeat raced in delight. I was breaking free.

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