#7 Waiting

by Trista Spencer

The waves don’t sway soothingly, the salt water doesn’t lightly sprinkle my face like an autumn breeze, and the sunset most indubitably doesn’t gleam marvelously over the ocean blue. In fact the “ocean blue” isn’t very blue at all. It is coal black and the only things I can feel are my eyes, stinging with the salt water that is viciously ripping at my skin.

All these things are okay though, for this is our purpose. No one will miss any of us and no one will remember us after a moment or so. Every once in a while someone will glance down and see what only few can—but you see this is very rare so our hope is small. The sky is fading now and is almost white with the light of all the souls being torn from the people I never will know at my sides. With my last breath I lean over the side of the ship and stare blankly into my reflection.

So you did notice me. I see how you look off the side of the ship back at me, eyes wide with terror as I smile. It is not stormy in the world you inhabit. No, it is rather bright and the sky matches the blue waters that glide beneath you. You and I live in worlds of an opposite kind, as long as you live I will die.

The day our fates are opposite, I will come. So please, take your time.


Sam Knight said...

The negative image was hard for me to pick up on at first, but it grew on me. I liked it. I like your ominous tone, too.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting little spec fic piece. I was helped to the interpretation by Sam's comment (thanks Sam!) - a really intriguing idea and nicely delivered.

Unknown said...

lots of deep implications here. i like the idea of a negative world. though i am sure it will not be a happy place. great story.

JRVogt said...

Evocative details, though a bit confusing. A negative world? Almost thought it was a mermaid or some such watching a ship passenger. But caught me nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

I like the phrasing "negative world"; it matches the image exactly. Thank you guys!(: To clear up any confusion the anti-world is composed of our reflections; it's a place where the people we see in a pool of water or a mirror as ourselves actually live and have a meaning to them. Unlike our ideas of them being just a mirrored version of us.
-Trista Spencer

Rachael Dunlop said...

I'm not sure I would have got this without reading the comments. Even on re-reading, I find the narrator's POV confusing. It's clearer at the end that this is the voice of the reflection.

I liked the repeated use of negatives throughout, that was very clever. The only nitpick I have is the comment about only being able to feel the eyes, while the next phrase describes the skin being ripped, implying that is felt as well.

I liked the idea of the reflections being released when the person dies - a nice inversion of the fact that reflections can't exist without us and cease to exist when they are not seen.