Short Fiction

The Creature(s) of the Bright Wild Seas

Colors, stars, and sea.

That was all Aisce had seen for the past three months. 

A calm breeze played with her unearthly red hair. Her wispy, luminous antennae glided along with the wind. Her green fingers were latched onto the tiller of her lone sailboat, which gently rocked with the waves. She hummed an alien tune under her breath, her antennae glowing along with it. 

Aisce gasped. She was starting to forget the words.

Tonight was like any other night on the planet of Auranmari. The ocean was empty and flat. A blue mirror. The sky was a pastel orange, speckled with distant planets, comets, and stars. How many nights has it been now, 93?

Aisce’s sailboat continued to drift in the water, it’s triangle sail cutting through the sky. 

Which one could be mine? Aisce wondered, staring at the little, sparkling dots which she assumed to be planets. She stopped the boat. In a swift movement, she looked back at her surroundings, the ship’s wood creaking with her motion. 

An oceanic void filled her vision. No landmarks in sight. 

She sighed heavily. Her red hair vibrantly streaked around her jade face. How can I get home if I don’t know where I am, what direction to sail, or which planet is my own? Memories began to flood her mind, of a better time, of her people, her home. Raw sorrow grappled at her heart. 

Not knowing what else to do, Aisce slipped her shamrock colored hand into the sea. The water was deliciously cool against her palm. It softly pulsed against her fingers. Her nebulous eyes stared at her green hand in the water: her reflection. Distorted, misshapen, blob-like. Alien. Just like her. 

At one point, Aisce felt something brush up against her. 

She jerked her hand back, feverishly rescinding from the water.  The difference in temperature of the ocean and the warm air chilled her fingertips. Droplets dripped off her hand and pitter pattered onto the boat. Aisce was frozen, her heart drumming speedily in her chest. The surprise completely took her out of her thoughts. 

After the shock wore off, Aisce nervously peered back at the water, still disturbed from all the movement. Dark blue ripples churned in a circular motion. The little waves rose and fell. Salty air wafted into her nose. Her antennae bobbed up and down, humming softly with light.

Suddenly, something white darted through the water. Aisce gasped, her heart fluttering. After months of isolation, any sign of life was a blessing.   Could this be another alien? She wondered excitedly. Another me?

But then, the alien’s face darkened. What if something…unfriendly is waiting down there? 

Aisce grit her teeth. She would have to find out.

“Hello?” Aisce called, her ethereal voice bounding across the water. Fear rippled through her heart. No response. The blue mirror. The void. The bright, wild seas consumed her call. Sudden frustration rose within her. 

“HELLO?!” Aisce screamed, her voice broken, filled with pain. 

All of a sudden, a glowing, pearly creature swam to the surface. It swirled and spiraled like a graceful ribbon. Aquamarine and pink streaks trailed behind the creature, almost like fire. It stood out against the dark blue sea, like a flash of hope.

Aisce admired it, curiosity taking over her face.. Her antennae lit up with a mysterious glow.  It certainly looks strange, she came to realize as it neared her view

The fluorescent, worm-like being glided towards the sailboat. It’s dark beady eyes twinkled like stars. It tilted it’s head, staring at her blankly.

There was something about this…sea worm…that immediately soothed her. It stared at her animatedly, it’s eyes darting back and forth, color twirling all around it. The sea worm whispered in unintelligible little squeaks.  Aisce’s heart started to slow,  her mind began to ease. She had to engage with it somehow…

The alien thought for a moment. She bit her lip, trying to figure out what to say. Her antennae pulsed in sync with her thoughts. Her free-flowing, ombre hair whipped into the wind.

“Hey little guy,”  She inquired softly. She was surprised by the awkwardness in her voice, and the increasing joy in her tone. “I’m Aisce. I’ve been stuck here for…,” she heaved in a breath, “…a long time. What are you, exactly? And do you have any idea how I can get off this planet? Do you know how I can get home?”

Aisce waited for an answer with bated breath.

An awkward silence filled the air. The creature swam innocently, swishing it’s cream colored tail. The sea splashed, the wind blew, and the boat rocked back and forth. The sail flapped in the breeze and the many loose ropes swished and dangled, backlit by the orange sky. That sense of joy began to pester inside her, growing and growing like a wild grove. She hasn’t socialized with another creature in months. Eventually, the words came out pouring.

“My planet, Graexoria, looks purple from the outside, with gold and orange rings. Have you seen a planet like that from here?”

The sea worm stayed motionless; listening intently. Aisce slumped. A faraway sparkle had appeared in her eyes, as she looked up towards the clouds. 

“We have amazing cities, and wonderful towns, and oh my goodness the most INCREDIBLE fried Ibis you could ever try! And…oh…oh gosh, I’ve been stuck in this wasteland for so long, I can’t even remember my favorite song…”

She looked back towards the water. It almost appeared like the sea worm was smiling at her. 

And the Alien couldn’t help but smile back.

Aisce looked up towards the sky again. One day, she would return home. But life worked in mysterious ways. And maybe, all of this was meant to happen. Maybe she needed to get a little bit lost. Since the best adventures happen along the way.

So the Alien rigged up her sailboat once more; the Sea Worm following her lead, spiraling like a graceful ghost, and did all that she could do. 

Sail forward.

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