Story 4 – Glistening Tails

This is an extremely short story that I wrote this summer. Some people have told me that it was incomprehensible to them, and that was partly my intention. Please leave a comment whether you liked it or not (I enjoy constructive criticism and am always looking for ways to improve my writing). Thank you!

A school of fish swam by her, their tails glistening amid the muddy water, not stopping for anything or anyone.

Why am I here? And how did I get here? She thought, idly lifting up a rock next to her that moved under her gentle touch.

The rock began to walk. Slowly at first, and then it picked up its pace with each languid step. She noticed that it had legs, and that it wasn’t the color of a normal rock – it was a shade of deep purple.

Well, that’s strange, the girl thought, gazing at the rock as it disappeared into the distance, digging her feet into the cold sand of the lake.

A small voice at the back of her head told her that the rock had another name, and just a few hours ago, she would have been able to remember it. She would have been able to do more than just remember the common name for the rock – she would have remembered her own name and her life before this moment.

But in one moment of impact, the course of her life changed forever. Perhaps in another universe, her parents were searching endlessly for her, screaming her name with increasing urgency. And even if they were looking for her, she didn’t know who they were, and wouldn’t believe them if they told her. So she simply stared at another school of fish, wondering what her identity was. As the motions of life carried on, hers seemed to freeze like in a stop-motion film.

Something squirmed under her grip. She thought it was the rock at first – the rock that isn’t commonly called a rock – but it had eyes that she thought resembled her own.

How did I end up with a baby? She asked the fish. When she received no reply, she yelled at the fish to respond, and when she had no success with that, she turned her head down and quietly wept into her worn, mangled shirt.

When the baby heard her crying, she suddenly burst out in tears, bursting with what seemed to be the same amount of tears as the water in the lake. Inwardly, she knew that she should try to do something, anything, to calm the baby, but she couldn’t think of being in any other place but right next to the lake, because all she remembered was waking up right in the same spot that she was currently sitting in.

She enjoyed looking at the fish. They were the only beings alive that seemed to have a purpose in life, and they were always on the move.

Maybe that’s what I need to do, she thought to no one in particular. The baby, as if comprehending what she was saying, ceased crying.

So she rose up, off the sandy beach, and walked along the shoreline of the lake. She saw another passerby on the beach and asked, “Where am I?”

If there was a response, she didn’t hear it because she was too busy gazing at her own reflection, which gazed back at her with an otherworldly glimmer.

Suddenly her entire past came flashing back to her, as if it had never left, and she finally felt complete again. She knew what she needed to do, and carrying her baby in her arms, she set off.



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