The Loan Beach Walker. (13.7.9)

The night is still, silent as motion can be. A silver moon hangs low across the water, casting it’s light over the rippling waves. They crest at the beach and break over the dark sand. Rocks and seaweed are light against the black sand beach. A sea wall up the beach a way, now the end of the beach, stacks logs against it and things live there. Things besides the children of the day in their imaginations as they play.

Things that you’ve never seen, things you couldn’t see even if you tried.

The beach is full of people in the day, practically swarming with them. They’re alright. They live behind the sea wall only a road and a sidewalk away, where the beach used to end. They put the concrete down and built the wall. They hold the sea at bay yet wish they had more contact with the natural. With something they haven’t touched. Only when they wade in the water and the kelp brushes their legs do they think about this, and then it’s only I wish I could see more, or holy shit, what’s touching my leg?!

Tonight the water is alone, the people are gone. The colors fade between blue, blue green, silver, gray, and black. The picture is layered, water, waves, crashing surf, layers of beach, logs, sea wall, and a jagged reaching of buildings and people’s creations behind it. The fence and gate keeping the sea from the people and the people from the sea are locked. No one should be here.

The beach is alone, nothing shares with it the space beyond the fence at this time. The consequences of such an action are severe, and no one should tempt the harsh government of the time.

The tall figure of a man walks along the beach near the surf’s edge seems to fade into the shades of the beach. He walks here alone every night, watching the sea and the surf. He knows this beach, every contour. He knows what the people bring to it, and he knows what they take away. He watches as it changes, and he feels a calmness the sea brings out in him.

As he walks, occasionally he stoops, plucking a piece of plastic or bit of fabric from the sand. With each thing he picks up and stows away in his bag, the line of his jaw tightens. A spark of fire lights in his eyes, and burns his soul to see the rubbish left here. This is his place to be himself, alone, with his thoughts and himself. Everything he sees is a personal insult, an affront to the sea.

He’s been a boy when the wall was constructed, he had been watching the men always moving things around, building, creating, destroying. Yet through everything, even when the beach looked its worst, it had been his. More than anyone else, it was his.

And no matter what the people did to it, the sea seemed to like them. To care about them, help them. And the beach was his, friend. He would help its task, and he would keep it safe, as much as he could. He and the beach, the man who walked along the monochrome layers of sand and salt and waves, and the water that rose and fell to his step, they were a team.

This piece was originally written for the Seattle Acquarium’s Creativity Inspiring Conservation creative writing course, and was displayed during their 2013 student art reception.

The statement written for the program:

I feel like there’s a deep connection between people and the environment, I think it communicates with us, and I hope it will get easier to find people who are willing to try and listen.

Parasites and Monsters. (18.9.24)

The ship floats calmly amongst the waves on the high seas. Ship’s Captain’s words carry, his shouts ferocious. The ocean may be calm, but aboard the ship, they prepare for fighting. Frantically.

.

They came from the water so long ago. Now they sought to tame the oceans. They threaten all the world, parasitic and tasteless. Loud, abrasive, and crass. Seeking our destruction.

We must wipe them out. They hunt us. We’ll return the favor.

We only wish to live, but we will defend.

.

Only a birds’ eye view could see the monsters the ship prepared for.

Beneath the waters there was a seething mass. Old creatures, born of this earth millenia ago, yet far more traveled than earth alone.

These were no simple Kraken.

This mass, was beautiful as much as deadly.

Flesh tendrils drifted, twitched, and slid together. Deep shades of red, this was a pinnacle of evolution, change, and combination. Their massive bodies surrounded the entire area of the ship. Even racing, it could never escape the grasp of the writhing below it, if they thought to grab for the ship like kindling.

The bodies were reminiscent of octopus. Smarter still. Except, the textures. They were diverse. Jelly soft tendrils. Chitinous claws. Plated metal covering larger sections. It wasn’t technology, exactly. It was more innovation and design itself, built within biology.

If the fear that spread from the ship as a black cloud of evaporated sweat weren’t so great, it might be a moment to stand and marvel at the beast beneath the pretty blue waves. At the feathery tendrils feeling out the bottom of the ship, cataloging each barnacle they found.

The stillness of the morning is torn when the ship’s canon fires into the waves.

.

Parasite fired first.

.

It was over, ship there in the blink of an eye gone. Pulled down, ripped apart, and swallowed, into the red creature, no visible sign it had ever existed at all.

Peaceful morning, peaceful existence, resumed.

Potential Accumulated. (19.2.23)

Imagine, a city in gray monotone. Noir aesthetic, perhaps with the odd pop of color only occasionally. It’s raining there, striking an odd balance between warmth and chill. The motion of the city blending together into a stillness.

A few people in this city feel balanced within themselves. But most are lonely, brave enough to stay the same, yet lacking the strength that a sincerely offered ear lends. Without quite the bravery to be the first ear in the domino line of change; listless islands they.

Stories are experiences, ideas, woven with magic.

When the metaphorical ink of potential accumulated, would-be written stories, becomes physical force unseen within.

Does it bring hope or sorrow?

Yes. Exactly.

The Woman Dipped In Ink. (19.2.12)

Red dress. Black dress. White dress.

White dress, black flowers, red petal tips.

She drifts through the world. Rain pelts the glass in fat, running droplets as she watches. Their streams distort light, views through the window. Inside, and out.

Her fingertips trail down the pane. Longing, loneliness in her eyes.

Ink seeps from her. Constant, viscous, pooling. From her fingertips, heels, hair, tear ducts, it seeps and runs from her, pooling in places, sticking in others. Reflecting slick highlights.

As she drifts, the ink runs like tears around her. It fills her footsteps, dissipating in rain and evaporating into black stains in the sun. It’s left dark and unseen on anyone she touches, without her knowing. It bubbles up through the skin at her throat, sliding down her chest through her dress’s weave without leaving trace, but marking the whole world around her.

The rain is a mild, warm background noise in a cold city, accompanying her tapping footfalls as she walks through the alley slow, barely feeling the rain. The edges of petals on her soaked, summery dress the only spots of color in the scene.

Soaked in experiences turned potential, is this

Her beginning or her end?

She walks, a lifetime of untold stories no longer contained, flowing away from her in fine rivulets.

Pockets. (19.3.8)

If there are infinite universes, with infinite combinations of physics and laws of nature, then surely there is one universe improved that there are not only proper pockets in women’s clothing, but also pockets in time where rest can happen without existential dread, missed deadlines, or time passed.

Unfortunately traveling to such a marvelous place is impossible as of yet.

Perhaps, by the time our personal rest pockets arrive, some of this world’s injustices will be no longer.

Brought to you by International Women’s Day, exhausted optimism, and accidentally being on time for a moment.

There are many more serious things wrong in the world than missing pockets. There is more time for seriousness tomorrow.

To all who whose energy is spent surviving, I love you.

Niche Nerdery. (19.2.14)

The world is full of cracks and crevices. They shift and shimmer, intersecting and enveloping each other, each with its own evanescence. They build and erode, with their own personalities and evolutions.

Thousands upon thousands of cracks exist. The maze rearranges itself, new beacons unseen for trips not yet undertaken, no matter the scale.

Adventures await, find yours.

Nerd.

Strange Paths Traveled. (18.12.14)

Shivers run down my spine and across my skin, prickling hairs and cascading in the air around me.

Darkness envelopes me, lights spilling out in front and shadows around all the rest. I can feel the speed and motion deep in myself, but the world is still. Going by fast, faster sometimes.

There’s rain and wind swirling, mixing with the shivers and cascade of sensations.

Can’t tell what’s within or without now, which twinges belong to me and which belong to the wind in the trees in the world.

When the rabbit runs across my lights, motion and momentum jerk at me, warning and reaction in one. Its eyes dart through mine when it turns and runs back into the darkened storm.

Omens and protections set about me, taking turns. Shivers of demons skittering, looking in my bubble of light and movement, then prickling warmth of protection earned, given, even stolen. Rabbits innocent or no, truly omen or simply crossing paths; nape of my neck demands answers I do not have.

My vision swings through the shadows at the edges of my light cast and for one split second there’s giant bat wings, nearly missed, almost imagined.

Caution, anxiety, of travels increase, but the speed steady. Shadows flick and fade, melting up and over me aimlessly back into themselves behind.

I don’t look back at them.

Raindrops scatter across my vision, my light, but are gone in an instant.

Dark red stains in odd patterns disappear, sweeping beneath me on the blackened path.

I don’t look down at them.

The music swells at the background now. Beside the turn there’s twisted remains, flayed limbs of inordinate numbers, all connecting back and shining with sinew and muscle. The viscera that should accompany such a display nonexistent, only clean cut grass, fading into pine needles and dirt of forest edge. Whatever’s inside stays there tonight.

The body’s piled together and barely hidden under a piece of black plastic, stretched taut and shiny over odd, protruding angles.

This is normal, not to be given a second glance.

***

The sun is shining brightly when I wake, sun streaming across my cheery curtains, my blankets, my bed.

There’s a colds sheen of sweat all over my body, and my blankets looked like they’ve been tossed aside.

I can remember only a warped echo of my dream, but even the brightness of the sun, the chirping birds, with sheer normalcy to comfort me, I can’t shake the dread that grips me.

I can’t remember, in my dream, what was I becoming?