~wildflower~

Australia

15
she/her
Loves music, nature, poetry, emotive writing, thinking
Passionate about the environment
pianist, Christian, tall
~in love with the stars~
Joined April 2020

Proud member of the (unofficial) AHPU (Abnormal-Height Peoples' Union)

Message from Writer

Previously called ‘Daisy + Sage’
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“Not all those who wander are lost” - J.R.R. Tolkien
“You can choose to either see the weed or the wildflower”
“Somehow, after everything, she still bloomed I’m the way she was meant to” - Morgan Harper Nichols
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Favourite words: whisper, echo, amongst, wanderer, lost, forgotten, meadow, galaxy, stardust, wisp, sonder, luminescence, nubivagant, solivagant
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Those in the Shadow of the Vessels

May 15, 2020

PROMPT: Creature View

4
I am whale. 
I swim, I sing, I love… I need others.
And I remember the old days. Those were the days when the water was clear as a crystal lake, phosphorescence glittering around us like the constellations of an endless sky. The days when we danced to the ocean’s enchanting melody of soft splashes and moans that seemed to echo from the earth itself. The days when we sang our own chorus, communicating in the intricate hums that only we understood, finding comfort in the unity of a song of silk that twined us together when we were miles apart. Those were the days before the vessels came. Now we sing alone. 

I am awoken from my remembering with a start as I feel the graze of Baby’s flipper against my side. My heart warms at her touch. No. I am not alone. Even if I cannot hear the calls of the other whales over the constant sound of the vessels, I have Baby. She is all I need. A familiar attentiveness sweeps over me as I spot a group of sharks in the distance. But I am whale. I am smart. I know that they will not dare harm Baby if she is with me. I know that we are safe when we are not alone. 

We continue swimming towards the South as an ache forms in my chest. Time for air. I gently nude Baby to let her know that I am going to the surface and she must wait. Up, up, up; I glide through the water. Up, up, up; my chest cramps and my fins get heavier. Up, up, up… and I splash through the surface. I heave in air as I arc through the sky, but just as my nose dips back down, I see it. A vessel, approaching. I hear the difference immediately. The sound of the vessel comes in waves that pulse through the water towards us, a drumming echo of clicks and booms. It is only soft now, but I know it won’t be for long. It is not safe. The sound will be too loud - it will hurt us if we stay. I must move away with Baby. Baby? Where is Baby? I turn around frantically in the water, but I cannot see her anywhere.

“Baby.” I call out in my deep melodic song that only she knows. I stare down into the pale grey of the ocean depths, but there is no movement, no reply. Click, click, boom, click. The sound of the vessel grows. “Baby!” I call again, louder this time. There! A small, agitated call reaches me from somewhere below, barely a whisper. I plunge into the depths of the water towards the sound, my fins aching against the weight of the ocean. Why did she leave? “Baby, come!” The sound of my call reverberates around me as I wait desperately for a reply. “Baby! Baby!” A blind fear covers me when I finally hear her voice again. That was not a call. That was a plea. She is in danger. The sound of the vessel is almost deafening, but I barely notice it as the fear drives me on. I plough towards Baby’s voice, when something flashes in the corner of my eye - a tail and a pointed fin. That was not Baby, that was a… a… Suddenly the ocean is consumed by a thick darkness, as if a veil of shadows has been cast over the world. I only glance up for one second, just long enough to see the huge vessel looming on the surface of the water above, but it is enough to lose sight of the fin – of the shark that has my Baby. 

“BABY!” The darkness is so thick that I cannot tell which direction is up and which is down, let alone where the shark was. Click click. I am consumed by a debilitating panic as I thunder out my despairing song over and over again, but it is no use. Click CLICK. I cannot even hear my own voice over the vessel’s sound that stings my ears and roars through me. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. The world seems to be spinning in a nightmarish disarray of blackness and noise, the motor of the vessel a deranged rhythm to the melody of muffled party music coming from the deck.  I am swimming in a chaotic mess of movement with no destination as a sense of hopelessness prevails. I need baby… I need her… Finally, the shadow of the vessel moves away, but I do not move. Because deep down, though I cannot bear to admit it, I know it is too late.

I slowly swim through the water, as if pushed by an invisible current. I see the blood before I see her. There are at least ten sharks gathered around that murky cloud of crimson. I hover silently, my heart throbbing, as I watch her clean bones slowly sinking to the ocean floor. I should never have left Baby… I should never have left. I let out a slow, anguished moan. It reeks with all the pain of my heart and reaches on and on, searching for something that is already gone.
I know that this would never have happened if she could hear me – if it weren’t for the vessel, yet I know that mine isn’t the only loss. I know that there are thousands of vessels across the entire ocean. And I know that, because of them, no one will hear me. I am whale, and I call out the broken song of my soul because I need others… but I am alone.

Two months later...
Many nights have passed since lost Baby, but the ache of my heart remains a shadow to my every movement. The setting and rising of the sun may console the eyes with its beauty but will never heal my soul. Yet, since that day, everything has changed. The vessels are gone. Maybe it is mere coincidence, or maybe Baby was the final sacrifice - I will never know for sure. I do not understand it, for I am smart, but my heart had forgotten hope. Yet, even when we believed all was lost, hope crept up on us, awoken from a too long rest, coming upon us with such force that we are overwhelmed by a disbelieving joy. Our voices reunite like the long-lost pieces of a puzzle that is finally solved, everything exactly where it belongs. I call out my song and it rolls from my lips, weaving in and out of the voices of a hundred whales until we are one choir and our sound fills every space. As my story carries across the ocean, the beauty of the melody seeping deep into my bones, I know, in my heart, that Baby hears it too.
Blue whales had an acoustic range of 1000 miles in 1940, but now they can only hear up to 100 miles away. This is a result of noise pollution, largely from vessels travelling across the ocean, and affects their ability to communicate. These whales have a lifespan of 80-90 years, meaning that some of them were alive before this happened.
Also, sorry this got so long! Thank you to anyone who has the endurance to get through the whole thing!

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  • May 15, 2020 - 11:13pm (Now Viewing)

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4 Comments
  • outoftheblue

    Love the imagery in this piece!


    6 months ago
  • batman_is_a_cracker

    Howdy. Thanks for entering in my comp! The results will be out by June 14.


    6 months ago
  • ~wildflower~

    Thank you so much, acrosstheuniverse28! I’m so happy that this piece had an impact on you and you enjoyed it!


    7 months ago
  • acrosstheuniverse28

    So sad, but so beautiful!!! That first paragraph is absolutely gorgeous, with all the description and imagery! I was in tears by the end, but I loved how you ended on a hopeful note. Awesome writing!


    7 months ago