The Exploration

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


The Exploration

 

The sun was slowly sinking, the burning ball of fire gradually making its way from day to night, the shadows becoming less and less visible. The splashes of the water are icy cold with a salty flavor. The color is a clear light blue with a tinge of laurel green, and the breeze is a chilly gust of wind with a briny smell. A flock of birds passes by, skimming their wings against the soft water. Their long wings and tail with straight beaks make it look like a graceful shorebird, shooting up into the air inseparable from its flock. The cliffs are all around the point in a sea stack, old yet pristine with ‘Blue-Green’ bacteria clinging to its edges along with the bubbly sea foam, creating a grape-like and fruity odor that clings to the salty air.

 

There was a streak of movement in the water, and a graceful creature shot up into the air. The lionfish was a distinctive maroon, and white stripes covered the head and body. The fleshy tentacles above their eyes were a sign of danger and caution, yet the flashes of photography continued. The lionfish was lingering near the coast, its eyes darting from side to side, finding my gaze. Its sharp teeth glistened in the sunlight and its fins were colossal, shadowing itself from its surroundings. And soon the shadow was gone, absorbed into the clear light blue sea.

 

A crowd of people walked by, eager to see where the shadow had disappeared. But I stood still, knowing for a fact that the shadow would be immersed deep in the blue water by now.

 

Behind me, I hear loud chattering. I turned and noticed a large group of tourists, huddled together eager to hear the fascinating stories, facts, and myths of this wonderful place by one of the many guides. The priceless Canon 1DC held in my hand, I took a last photo of the horizon, merging with the sea, as the rays of the sun glistening off the seabed like a polished diamond. In a swift movement, I pocketed my camera and swung the backpack over my soldier. As I turned back, I noticed that there was a pile of crumpled cans next to where the tourists were standing. The gassy, black liquid flowing from the open end into the floor, soaking in the natural terrain. Ignoring it, as I turned to leave a familiar voice came into my head. The familiar voice scratching my conscience as I stared at the crumpled cans, whether I should throw them or leave it there, untouched. My mind was clouded with the voice, telling me to follow my decisions and own choice. As I opened my mouth, to call the tourists back and tell them, no voice came out. Shaken, I shook my head and cleared it of all doubt. It was time to leave.

 

The trail was muddy. The edges were littered with crumpled cans and bottles that looked nondescript, fitting in with the natural terrain. In front of me, I spotted dark brown slop oozed as it sat there, its liquid filled with bacteria and viruses. With each step came a squelching noise, the muddy water getting soaked through the shoes.

 

As I stared up into the setting sky, I noticed the crescent moon in the midst of the many stars, it’s faint light getting brighter every second, illuminating the beautiful background. Before long, the muddy path ended splitting into two different roads. The roads were full of fissures, old vines sprouting out like a newborn baby, yet old and moldy. The square-like tiles sat next to each other, dirt sprawled about and its pristine feature spoiled with a touch of acid. Dark was falling fast now.

 

Nearing the end of the trail, the trees started looming over me. Their colossal leaves sat on top of each other, a dull, pale, dark moss green, almost dead. The trunk is wide and uneven, like three people huddled together, trying to stay out of the rain under just one umbrella. The bark breaking of the trunk is rough and crumbly like the underside of a tandoori roti, and it smells a little like one too. The younger smaller leaves are smooth and light, like the satin tablecloth on the dining table. Hopefully, I wonder, they can continue to glow brightly in the night sky before they get damaged, just like their older brothers and sisters.

 

While I walked along, the trail cleared into an empty and winding path, almost over. As dark fell completely, the sounds of nature lit up the night sky. Crickets chirping, snakes slithering and the buzz of bees was all audible in the night sky. An old couple walked past me, a can of coke in each of their hands, and without warning chucking it into the overgrown bushes. Again, the voices filled inside my head, yet I shook them off this time with no doubt. I took out the camera and clicked a couple other photos, the flashes blinding me in the night sky. The moss and fungi growing infected the whole area, speckled with traces of dust that seemed to multiply every second.

 

Coming to the end of the trail, there was an old rickety bench resting in front of me. I sat down, my legs aching from the long and tiring trail. And as I gazed upon the immense, vast forest, I could not help but wonder why the green dull leaves from the trees were invisible to the human eye in the night sky.

 
By: Ahaan Kumar
UWCSEA Dover Singapore


Submitted: November 25, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Ahaank. All rights reserved.

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