The Old Man and the Sea

Last night, I sat at the mouth of a humid lagoon, so covered with moss and trees that not even the bloated moon’s light could penetrate the dew-dripping canopy. How strange it was to me; I had not been here for a very long time. The stone beneath me was clammy and cold and behind it was the opening to a cave, long abandoned by all but an old mother.

She gestured to me and slowly rose to greet me. When I was much younger, I would rush to meet her halfway, tripping on slippery smooth rocks and stinging myself on the glistening bones of her past dinners. I was much too old now, though, and I waited calmly, patiently for her to seat herself beside me. Her weary bones creaked like an old ship and her scent was strong and salty. She heaved a great sigh between her rotten teeth and I choked a gag back down my throat and locked it away behind a polite smile.

“You see, dearest,” she gurgled from deep in her belly, “nothing lasts forever. Not even the sea.” She raised a fragile hand that looked ready to crumble like a neglected sand castle and points to the sea. The moonlight was strong there and illuminated the otherwise intimidating black waves. Its light was merely anemic on my hands, though, as I shifted to give her more room to sit. I tried to convince myself that I was not shying away from her; when I was young, her power was overwhelming and I cowered in her presence with each meeting. Now she was decrepit, a pitiful shell of her former glory. I wonder if her power had outgrown her and had gone looking for a new home.

What I once revered, I now pitied. Her laughter was once the tides crashing against the shore, the call of sea birds, and the song of the whale. Now it was a thick trickle, pathetic and weak. She was very tired.

“I suppose not,” I told her. Her shoulder sagged and her damp, weedy hair fell onto her naked, shriveled chest. Her breath was wracked and wretched. I did not understand what had happened to her in the time since I had last seen her. The old woman laid a slimy, webbed hand on my elbow and simply gazed silently up at me, her eyes wide, but cloudy. I swallowed my baser instincts again and just nodded.
Sighing again, she rested her head on my shoulder and side by side, we watched the moon lazily sink into the sea.

In February of this year, I was still extremely new to the town. I had no in-city friends, I was far removed from a church/coven I’d only just started to feel at home with (despite never formerly meeting them), and I was broke and jobless. This short story came in the form of a dream in the midst of an extremely tumultuous time in my life and, to this moment, I think it was Yemoja speaking to me from deep inside. I shared it with a close friend, but now that I feel I’ve pulled myself out of that cycle of depression (protip: depression usually comes in cycles, difficult to cure and a bitch to treat), I can actually share it.

I will hopefully be doing more writing in the future, but if it isn’t dream/faith related, I will probably just link it through my Tumblr, which is for more creative pursuits.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: