Gelid Dreams

by S. Douglas Larsen © 2002

Their gentle song filled the cold blue sea. They moved through the gelid waters, feeding and singing in a peaceful calm. Lords of the realm, they reigned in simple majesty, and all was well.

A deep rumbling hum broke the melody and killed the harmony. This wasn’t the first time this fearsome visitor had cursed their home. When it came, peace was destroyed, then pain, confusion and suffering followed. The great beast pressed through the surface, invading their home from the other side.

That other side fascinated them. It was inseparably tied to their existence and yet almost totally unknown to them. They pushed out into it to breathe. It was warm, dry, and oddly empty. They jumped into that strange nothingness and were always forced back into their own world.

Their first home, their real home, was out beyond that strange nothingness. It was out past an emptiness even greater still. They had arrived here by accident, marooned on a world unknown that was now their home. That old home only a memory, but they dreamed of it always and longed to return, but the tools they needed were not available nor did they themselves have the knowledge to prepare them. So they waited for their rescue and enjoyed life as they could, on this side of nothing.

The beast lived on the other side. It pushed into their wet world like they did into its dry realm. Like them, it could only enter so far. Occasionally a beast entered further, but then it died and sank lifeless to the dismal seafloor. There it was harmless, but alive it was to be avoided at all cost. When it came, it often took some of them across the surface with it, violently, permanently.

At first, they had tried to communicate, but it had been futile. They found they had no allies there. They dove, ignoring their curiosity. Mothers pressed their ignorant young with all the force of their great love. They fled. They hid. They waited.

The rumbling died and harmony returned. They surfaced, desperately searching for a breath. But a cry of terror soon tore their world.

She who cried was wounded, but she pled not for aid, knowing the consequences that would bring. A great burning filled her lungs as she dove to flee. Her friends and family sang comfort to her, it was all they could do. Dead weight pulled her back and she was soon too weak to fight. As her strength left her, she heard the song fade. Soon the beast was pulling her out of her world.

The pain passed away, replaced by a dream. She dreamed not of that far away home, but of her cold blue sea.

x x x

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