Return to Dry Life, Human

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of an Octopus' love for a drowning sailor

Submitted: February 27, 2015

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Submitted: February 27, 2015



Plummeting through the cold, you’ve broke through the water’s surface but the cliffs continued.  Your descent is slower now—colder, crueler;  You’ve cut off your senses by holding your breath, no sense of smell, no taste, no hearing, and I know how the cold soaks through, how the epidermis fades, how the sea corrodes, how pale your skin becomes as the sun fades in your heart.  I see your arms spread, I see your legs drift apart.  You lose your shoes.  Your shirt slides aside, bubbles over in the back.  You see the fish scatter.  You’ve seen them filleted at the docks and imagined what it was like to hold their cold bodies to the wood as a sharp knife and skilled hands make quick work to preserve the mellow flavor, and now . . . and now the shirt drifts away, and it seems like your heart is beating smaller, like its abandoning those veins not at the core—heart of a tree in winter, heart of a stump, why would anyone cut something down that could remain warm for so long?  Ah, but it happens, and it hurts, and isn’t that what you’re running from?  Isn’t that what you hoped to escape from by immersing yourself in the emerald green, the artic depths, the absolute cold? 

Mollusk.  With many tentacles.  I arise.  From the reef I bloom.  Hateful eyes, oh terrible touch I coil.  Wrap and your limbs feel so strong, strange to be so solid, pull and you are heavy and so I wrap wrap wrap wrap and I realize how fragile you are in such a static state how I could rip how I could examine you now another starfish if I rip you will there then be two; will there then be two equal parts death or if I quarter will the warmth go to one piece and the light into another? Oh divided creature let me grow pointed through the fauna on your head, see the plankton sparkle as we near, as it gets warmer now, the layers, lighter, laughter, I return you to your kingdom.  I see you blow, I think that’s good but let me coil around, drag you through that topmost layer towards a gradation oh the undertow , barnacles, sluice, the sand and tentacles become legs become arms, I blow, it becomes a struggle for me.  I am strong.  You are dead.  You are heavy.  Here, I’ve brought you back to this place.  I’ve made sure your ears can drain, I know the saltwater’s in your mouth, overwhelming.  It’s up to you now; I cannot help you any longer.  I could wrap.  Squeeze your limbs.  Make your heart remember.  Those little veins, they need warmth too—all your little extremities are beautiful.  I could give your heart some pressure.  Turn your head, try to wake up, try.  Would it jolt you to see me?  Feel my cold slime, how it slithers, a vague phallic shape, suckers that leave marks.  Yes, it would seem you are looking at me, hear the ocean behind me, see colors, smell of fish and sand and saline you curl and your arms and legs and trunk they all bend around me and I don’t want to be there you’re not trying to crush me you’re not you’re not but slippery I escape aside.  You’re coughing.  You’re crying.  You make a sound.  It’s disorderly compared to breath of water, small, insignificant, you realize this, I know you realize this.  It’s good that you realize this.  It’s greater than you, it’s more.  Never will your voice be as great as the sea’s, and that is good, creature, that is very, very good.  That means you are free to grow warm and straight as a tree.  That means I could not have ripped you in two, or quartered you.  You were not filleted by the fishes.  You must now live with the knowledge of what it feels like to sink.

You see me.  I am not warm.  You reach your fingers out to me and it hurts when you touch me—I am more delicate than I believe.  I retreat—8 legs go where I must, though eye to eye I could gaze into yours forever and ever, my slit iris, your black moons 8 legs carry me my domain, my comfort . . . I become immersed.  I hope you stay on land. Stay on your feet.  Dry out.  Stay away~~Not out of fear.  Let me hear from you again by boat, dry, dry, dry and solid, admire the deep from the top, keep the others from drowning, spread the warmth I felt in you in the weakest moment of life all over the land.  Keep breathing.  Draw down from the heights.  All the places I can’t go.  Think of me.  Be glad.  Evolve. 


© Copyright 2019 Keisha Gamman. All rights reserved.

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