Friday, May 6, 2011

a short story...

Sometimes if you at stare at something long enough you forget it is there. I think that this is something people often forget when they look at themselves.

Anyways, here is a short story I wrote about a week ago. It was good to write, though I wouldn't necessarily say it is any good...

The bronze helmet thunders into place.  I strap my knife to my belt. I plunge into the sea. The heat leaves my body quickly, swept away by the cold water. As I sink, I see only the murky blue ocean through the small circular window. Behind me trails a long black tube, bringing air and life to my tight sinking chamber. I know it as my lifeline. I continue falling. I only have to wait to reach the depths.
            After what seems like ages, my frozen feet touch the soft sand of the ocean floor. Everything is dark now, the sunlight long dissipated through the fall to the bottom. I rest in the darkness for a moment. I fear what I will see. With a surge of courage I turn on my torch, and begin my trek along the ocean floor. The light is not strong, but I can make out the shadows in the distance. The shadows hold my destination; I continue my journey.
            Walking slowly across the bottom, I see a silhouette of my journeys end. An old Spanish galleon, long buried underneath the rolling waves. Its hull is cracked, leaving a gaping hole much to large for any sailor to patch.  Looking at it, I think to myself that nothing could have kept this ship from sinking. It casts shadows on the ocean floor, different shades of black layer the sandy bottom. I reflect on the ship. I wonder what caused the hole. I wonder of the fear felt by the men on board. I wonder how many died in the wreck. I know it doesn’t matter any more. With a slow movement of my tiny torch, I read the name on the bow.  On the rotting wood that remains, I see the name Mi Corazón. Somebody’s heart lies on the bottom of the ocean. Mine beats slowly several feet above, deep in a cage of flesh. With another surge of courage, I hold my lifeline, and swim into the rotting ship.
            Past the piles of scattered silver, heavily tarnished by years underneath, I swim without a second thought. The skeletons scattered mean nothing to me either. I continue to swim cautiously towards my destination. This is not a fresh wreck, and though it seems untouched I somehow know my way around it well. I reach the door that holds the end of my journey, and with a final rush of courage, I turn the handle slowly.
            I enter the captain’s quarters. Everything would seem in place if it weren’t for the lack of air. I reach back to make sure my lifeline is still there, knowing that if it wasn’t I would be reeling in agony. I scan my torch around the dark submerged chamber. The mirror on top of the wardrobe shows my reflection briefly, yet I do not see myself. Only the dark figure of man, with a deep black circle in the midst of his golden head. It looks like I can only see through a veil of darkness. I cannot bear to look at myself. I continue scanning the room, knowing that the treasure is here.
            Hidden behind the captain’s tall stack of rolled and decaying charts is a large chest. Here is what I need. I take my final steps across the room- only to be stopped by a lacking of my lifeline; the tube is not long enough. To come this far and to be held back by what brings me life! I scream inside of my helmet. I wail at the top of my lungs. But the ocean responds in silence. No one hears my cry.
            I turn to leave. Life is more important, I think to myself. My hands know this, yet they reach for my knife. My arms know this, but they lift the knife towards the back of my head. My mind knows this, but I consciously take my last breath of air. My heart knows this, and this is why it slices the thick line.
            Knowing my time is short I swim to the chest. Its lock long rusted, I open it with ease. Inside is the treasure of Mi Corazón- not gold or jewels, but a library filled with supposed answers. My eyes glace across many names: Aristotle, Shakespeare, Dante, Darwin, Hawking, Copernicus, Josephus, Dawkins, Newton. I see titles I recognize: Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, Civil Disobedience, Relativity, The Wealth of Nations, The Lord of the Flies. My eyes only see the works on top, the answers underneath are surely just as plentiful. I take this in all in an instant.
-I thought dashes across my mind, “Not all of these books were written before this ship sank.” I know this too well. Someone has been here before. -
            My knife makes short work of the soaked pages. Soon the library is in shreds, the cage of knowledge empty. I feel faint, the lack of oxygen truly starting to pain me after only a minute without air. My lungs feel as if they are about to burst. Knowing that death was chosen with the slicing of my lifeline, I finish my quest. The chest now empty, I lay in front of it a small token of my presence, several stained nails. Were they ever to be looked at closely, a faint etching could be made out on each; it was a simple reference: ‘1 Cor 2 2’. The empty chest was a reminder enough of what was found empty so long ago. The treasure of knowledge was gone, my breath gone with it. My strength vanquished, my deed done, I breathe in deeply the sweet grace of the ocean. It won’t be long now. Life begins.

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