Project 52: Toppling Atlas

1 short story a week. 52 weeks a year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Short Story: 01.05.13 "I Find Myself So Often Dreaming."

Working Title: I Find Myself So Often Dreaming.

     My face dampens as the ocean crashes upon the shore, peppering me with small and salty pools of water. Pools too shallow to wade, but deep in their own way; deep, in that I could spend a lifetime swimming through the thought of them. I could know every secret, every inch of every drop, but I'd know nothing of the sea that gave birth to them. I'd know nothing of where they came, or why they chose me to first meet.
     I've often thought the same of life. One's worldly travels – the places that you tread, and the individuals you meet - do nothing but calm a deep-breasted calling many can't seem to ignore. You can go so far, do so much, be so many, but you'll only know those drops intimately. You'll never learn a single real thing. Except happiness, of course. I suppose I shouldn't say it as though happiness isn't important. It would be most unwise to think a smile is anything other than a form of victory. The ocean, still swirling and lashing, joins the wind in chilling me to the bone. The night sky is dark, but the moon sits high, and adds a glow to the world.
     The sun, he sings, and it fills us with desires, and motivation to be something. The sun is a grand symphony played by many characters that tie cords to our arms and legs, and forces us to move, regardless of direction. By comparison, the moon is a low voice, shyly singing a song by herself. This is why all men make so many promises when the hour turns late, and their bodies feel as though they should be fast asleep already. We promise to do so many great things, because there isn't the noise of daylight to distract us. The sun makes us want to be somebody, but the moon only wants us to be ourselves. Just one song, and we all hear it. It's why the stars cluster together around her, yet the sun stands alone. The sun needs no such love, it finds that through our actions, it feels it by watching us learn to love each other.

     Picking up a small stone, I skip it out into the ocean, watching it grow larger and larger by the second. It finally rests on the horizon, and shows as the silhouette of an island. Closing my eyes, I plunge into the water, and allow the waves to drag me out. An unending swarm of white hands trying to pull me in every direction, but I float straight towards that island. I am a drowning man, and I laugh the entire way.
     Driftwood, I shake off the sand, and climb into a tree. Standing on the top branches, I start growing taller. Stepping off, my spindly legs land in the coarse sand, and I start to make my way up the massive mountain, the plants and rocks of the island now being dwarfed by my feet. At the highest point, I look up, and see the moon above me. She's so close, I can make out individual beams peeking through the skittish clouds. I lace my fingers with them, and pull my way up towards the night sky, hearing the song louder, hearing my song more intimately.
     She sings only for me now, and I know it. Rising up, I now tower above the island, letting the waves crash against my feet dangling in the water as I hold myself in the air, no longer able to distinguish all the tiny hands that make up the waves. I crane my neck, and strain myself to reach her, that luminescent glow growing brighter in front of my very eyes. I am a breath away from her, when she suddenly stops singing, and turns away from me, crawling westward.
     Swinging my massive legs, I trudge after her, but the ocean starts pulling me under. I feel myself shrinking as those hands tug at me. From over my shoulders, I hear the whispers of a grand symphony practicing their song, and those beams of moonlight dissolve in my hands. I stare after her, but let the ocean swallow me. After all, I'm a drowning man, aren't I? Just a drowning man.

     I awake with a startle as a far reaching tide dampens my feet, and I see small crabs crawling on the several volumes of books I brought with me to the beach the prior evening. The sun is rising, and I realize it's time to head home. I'll find my way here again in a few nights, when I can no longer take reality, and I'll sit on the warm sand and invent so many great and wonderful things in my head. 
     For as long as I live, I'll never stop dreaming, or creating, or trying. I'm drowning, but I'll kick and fight until I'm washed up on some mysterious shore, one with strange trees, and stranger waves that take form and grow. Perhaps just another figure in somebody else's imagination, perhaps something else. I often dream of what it will be like when I do finally leave this world, but moreso, I often just dream. I'll never apologize for doing so.

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