Remora

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about two lovers in a fantasy world.

Submitted: September 05, 2016

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Submitted: September 05, 2016

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Here is a silhouette dancing within a pale aqua-marine mist. Her beautiful curves hide behind a waterfall of leaves. Below us a beetle rights itself, and then seeing the sky's reflection believes it is still on its back. Small, idle twigs shed their weary skins as a meddlesome wind passes by. Likewise, a shaft of light defies my grip and glides toward the daring dervish. A perfect oval sculpted from light tears through the mist and frames her face. Her sly smile masquerades behind a constellation of freckles. Long red labyrinths shimmer and capture the light. "Who are you?" I wonder. I knew of course. I knew her name. It made me cough like a breath of dust. I could see contained within a leaf the living shadow that was its veins. I could sense the colors adapt and elude my gaze. In that moment I felt just as transparent. Like the leaf, I was a mechanism. Far away, the clicking of cicadas became the unfailing rhythm of my machinery. "Remora" I called out, still fettered by tangents of thought that fled away from her, into the past, and into the unknown. She called out my name. I refused to listen, to acknowledge the truth of his humorous dream. Then, without warning her fingers interlocked into mine. An orange dress brushed against my ankles, and for a moment made the world flash like a photograph. "Did you see me? I was in another dimension" she asked. Her hand reached toward my collar and drew me near. I closed my eyes. It was polished and chilled by the fresh mist, and like a mirror seeking out my soul. Unpredictable leaves pressed against her dress like quilt patches. "Let me collect them" I thought. Before I could answer a mote of cloud appeared from the alliance of our absurd sighs and became the hilltop home of an obnoxious ladybug. We let it pass slowly by, following it with our eyes. The elements of nature retreated into the ghostly mist leaving only a few featureless lines and the bold invincible hue of her lips. "Kiss me". I did. Steam rose from the coupling of our hands - one hot, one cold. Inside a mad calligrapher wrote in red ink. Nature's elements returned, balanced into a perfect formula. "Okay, don't think, follow me". Where was she taking me? Ahead of us a patch of silvery grass festering with snails bent downwards. It led us to a passage into the wood. Below us a stump bursting with mushrooms looked like a king fattened from a feast. I held her hand as she stepped over it. Here the mist was thin and flavored with the venom of imagination. We tiptoed past slumbering vines and tall pillars of ticklish moss. Overhead the canopy consumed the last morsels of light. I reached around her waist and drew us across a desolate quiet, the kind that waits and anticipates the traveler. Eventually we reached an oasis of light where the canopy was rent asunder and white threads dangled like silkworms. Buzzing squirrel-bees scampered overhead, showering us with pollen. Now we were seasoned with all the spices of the forest. "Let me see your pocket watch, I think the compass can show us where it's hiding" Remora said. I dug into my pocket and lent it to her. The golden item was small, circular and engraved with the seals of my clan. After examining it for a moment she thrust an outstretched hand toward the west, where a corridor of swirling darkness awaited us. When we arrived on the other side, I at first conjectured that we had tunneled through to the other side of the world. Everything was upside down. "It's the reflection, silly" Remora giggled, and pushed me toward the spacious gleaming pond. Rising up from the shore was a vast assortment of bismuth crystals. "Just like ice cubes in a glass" I thought, "but born from the reflection". Remora sat me down on one of the steps and took off her sandal. She showed me how to skim the surface of the water for crystals, lifting up her foot in a new glittering costume every time. "Hey handsome, I'm up here". Before I knew it, she was sitting on top of me, her hair in my face stippled with yellow dust. With a gentle whisper she blew the stray pollen off of my face and kissed me. Ripples of time passed through us. That, and a realization that we had lit the fire that made our thoughts and memories melt like candlewax. I began to recycle my thoughts, so that I could forever be in the present. Gusts of wind raced through our fingers. We moved in tandem with the melodies of singing water-striders. Then … as I blinked my drowsy eyes I saw it. A letter, floated toward us from the far reaches of the pond. “Open it” Remora said “You Are Cordially Invited to Attend – Our Humble Ceremony – A Wedding – Mr. and Mrs. Reflection” “Should we assume this is real” I asked. “We should assume everything” she answered as an explosion of laughter, a great force touched down on the water and summoned tiny dumb waves that blindly ran into each other. “Granted”, I replied. My counter to her true belief in the absurd petered out, and could never be completed. My mind was imprisoned by something else. I glimpsed at it, not far from us on the shore of the pond. All the wilderness was like scales of paint, endlessly overlapping, and made you believe you were waking up again at every glance. It grew from the bottom of the water, smeared and dirty with color. But even more grand, more elegant, more surreal was the sight directly in front of me. A tall tree and its opposite, one entity as if glued together at the ends. A wide landmass of roots bobbed in the water like a bloated starfish. “Let’s go” I said, stealing one more daredevil kiss as I lifted us up and raced around the rocky shoreline. “What’s the big idea” Remora panted, catching her breath. From the shore, a thin zigzagging root connected to the main body. Going first I crossed the bridge. For a minute I was a tight rope walker, holding my arms out, putting one foot in front of the other on the slippery trek forward. “Now it’s your turn … oh … hello”. Remora stood right in front of my nose, grinning ear to ear. “Now what do we do?” she asked. I beamed right back at her. “Assumptions” I said. Out of the east a fierce wind shook the tree. We held our hands out for the foliage to drop down. The first – a rusty porous ruby – fell right into our trap. “Drop it” I instructed. “Why? Are you crazy?” She did so and let the specimen sink, and be absorbed into the bubbling glass at our feet. Seconds later it arrived, an intriguing phenomenon to say the least. A red flicker rose up from the water. It wobbled and oscillated through space. A sudden gasp of awe escaped from our lips but was suffocated again by a torrent on all sides. It rose and fell, and locked away the world behind a swift green current that wouldn’t abate. I imagined myself on the outside seeing an enormous green globe – like the earth, spinning into oblivion. Crashing against the tree we held it tight. My nails dug into the bark. Later, as the wind died down I opened my eyes to see an engraving carved out, it seemed with a formidable knife, “Welcome All to the Realm of Reflection”. The wide gleaming pond stood in front of us. It was all the same, except the reflection in the water was the real world. From the clouds to the tops of the trees, the landscape shared its essence. Outlines that distinguished one object from another were absent. Sashaying trees blended into one another. Above, the clouds were even fuzzier than usual. I studied the intersection of the two. The green drifted through the white just as the white drifted through the green. Ripples from the pond soared across the entire world, making it shiver. I looked over to my compatriot to see if she was still the same. “Every time” I muttered. An icy exhilarating rush of air climbed down into my lungs and then up again like the first breath after a mint. She was just as beautiful as ever. The crazy ripples that shot through the ether disheveled her hair. Remora slapped her forehead, “Ah! We forgot to bring a gift”. Without pausing she led me into the jungle until we came out again among the most abstract people I had ever seen. I felt my brain drop to the ground like a coconut off a palm tree and drool drop down my lips. “Shhh … we are late” she implored. Remora and I sat down on the bench. Reflection me and Reflection her were at the altar. “Do you, Mrs. Reflection take Mr. Reflection to be …” “I do”. They kissed, yet as they did both began to whimper and fell to the ground. I walked out into the aisle with Remora and sat down by their side. “What’s wrong?” “Oh were happy … we really are” one started. “Until we kiss” the other sobbed. “Why?” I asked. “Look at us, we are reflections but we can’t become one, truly one for even a moment. That is what keeps us away from happiness”. “I know what to do” I said, lifting them up onto their feet. “Let’s go”. Remora and I returned the way we came. The small island … our island was covered in a carpet of leaves. Despite the shadow I could see the inner workings of them all. The hum and click of a cicada reminded me of my own predictable heart, turning its gears until the inevitable. Rustling through my pocket I retrieved that ancient golden item, my pocket-watch, noted the time, and tossed it headlong into the pond. In the water’s canvas we could see the two of us come together as the ripples encircled it all.


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