The Ocean's Children

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
I'm sorry, ocean. But I've made up my mind, and this is what I'll do. I can't live without them.

Submitted: March 16, 2014

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Submitted: March 16, 2014

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The Ocean's Children

 

We live in an underwater world, my friends and I. It's a wonderful place- we talk to our fish friends, we swim around, and explore the deepest parts of the coral reefs. Terrarium Ocean is where we live- we don't dare venture out too far.

Everyone has died out a long time ago. My parents, my friends' parents... they're gone. It's only my friends and I who live here now.

The place where we live is an underwater palace made of white coral. Colorful seashells are embedded, here and there, on the walls to give off a sign of beauty. There's windows, but no glass. There isn't any doors either, but there are doorways.

Sitting on the underwater palace walls, I survey the world that I'm so familiar with. A small town is laid out on the reef, unaccompanied (besides from the occasional hundred fish that swim around the place). Salmon, Mackerel, and Trouts of varying colors are spotted everywhere you look, along with other fishes. Rays slowly make their way around the town's streets and in the distance, I spot the dark shadow of a large whale and overhead, the sun from the world above shines on my homeland.

Our skin enables us to breathe underwater. We're all pale, my friends and I, because we never step out onto human land- the world above water. We're all thirteen years old but we can take care of ourselves down here.

“What are you thinking about, Eric?” a familiar voice asks me.

Smiling, I turn to look at Lynn. She's one of my childhood friends- shy, beautiful, and cheerful. Her long blond hair shone brilliantly against our blue-ocean surroundings. She's wearing a red and white sailor suit- something that she must've found lying around. It's where we find most of our clothes- around, in random houses.

“Nothing really,” I tell her. “Just thinking about how amazing this place is.”

Lynn smiles and sits down on the wall next to me. “This place is,” she agrees, “but just once, I'd love to walk on land. To look around and see humans...”

“They take plenty of fish already,” I say, my tone sharp. Everyday, tons of fish are being taken from the sea. Wasn't it enough that they had their other sources of food? Why did they have to take fish too?

Lynn plays with her hair, twirling strands of gold between her fingers. “I know you don't like them, Eric. But still”- she waves her arms around excitedly -“it's another world from this place! Aren't you curious to see their world?”

“Nope,” I reply. A brightly colored bluegill fish swims to me, brushing itself against my arm. Grinning, I pet it gently and watch as it swims off somewhere to my left. “I like this world. There's no need to be curious about what's up there.”

She laughs, shaking her head. “That's so you, Eric.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” I ask her, raising an eyebrow. I reach over and flick her nose lightly. In response, she makes a face and rubs at her nose.

“We're not kids anymore,” she says indignantly, “you don't need to treat me like we're little anymore. We're the same age!”

“Could'a fooled me,” I retort with a smirk.

Before she could reach out and strangle me, I jump off the palace wall and swim up- stopping a few feet above her.

“Too slow!” I tell her, laughing. I perform a few flips.

She's laughing too, as she gets up and jumps towards me. Together, we swim towards the highest palace tower; on the way there, I'm trying (very easily) to dodge her attempts at hitting me.

Once we reach one of the open windows of the tower, I swim in, followed by Lynn. We land gracefully on the room's floor and look around.

“This is where Caspian sleeps, right?” Lynn asks me, naming our other friend. She looks around.

I survey the room also, taking in the neatly made bed, and the shelves full of books. “Looks like he's up already,” I tell her, and we walk out the doorway into a long hallway. A whole school of fish swim around us as we make our way to the last room on our left- where our other friend, Daria, sleeps.

She was awake, her black (almost dark blue) hair floating wildly around her head. She's wearing a plan, white sumer dress. She looks up as we enter, and grins.

“Love birds are up already?” she inquires, and I feel my cheeks burn a little.

“Where's Caspian?” I say, ignoring her question. I ran a hand through my dark red hair. “We can go out farther into the sea today”- Daria's eyes light up excitedly, and I quickly add, “Not too far though.”

“I'm right here,” a casual voice says behind me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watch as Lynn turns around to look. “Caspian,” she says, sounding exasperated. “What are you wearing?

I turn around to take a look myself- and what I see makes me choke.

Caspian was bare-chested, wearing baggy cargo pants. Two bright green leeches were stuck on both sides of his chest, a starfish had made a nest of his dark hair- and his stance was unusually proud.

Daria and I burst out laughing. Lynn looks bemused.

“You look ridiculous,” she informs him.

Caspian sighs and droops a little. “Help me get all of this off,” he grumbles in a low voice.

This was a perfect chance to get him back for all the times he's made me feel like fish food. Smirking, I cup a hand around my ear and lean towards his direction by the doorway. “Come again?” I ask, grinning broadly. “What did you say?”

Caspian looks at his feet, saying something that sounds oddly like, 'mumble mumble'.

“Whaaaat?” I ask again, leaning even closer.

Caspian throws his hands in the air. “Fine! Help me take all of this off!” He shoots me a devilish smile. “I'll get you back for this, of course.”

I grin and waggle my eyebrows at him, as if saying 'bring it on'. Caspian rolls his eyes- he's big talk, cocky, a bit too bossy at times, but overall, he's a very good buddy to have.

“It's not my fault that those things are on you,” I add, walking towards him and taking hold of both leeches. “How did you get 'em on anyway?”

“No idea,” Caspian answers, dismayed, “I woke up like this.”

Lynn walks over to help me pull at the leeches, whilst Daria's still laughing.

“Shut up and help them, Daria,” Caspian says, haughtily. “It's not that hilarious.”

It took several minutes for the animals to get off. When we succeed, we were all sitting on the ground, as the leeches took off through the doorway and the starfish latches onto a spot on the wall near us.

“Good,” Caspian says. He throws himself upwards- landing on his feet and dusting off his pants. “Where are we going to today, guys?”

There's basically nothing to do in this world, so we take small trips to wherever we want.

“Let's just pick a random direction,” I say. I stand up and walk over to the open window, stepping gingerly on the sill, and jump out. Everyone else follows me, and we swim out over the palace walls, above the abandoned town, and towards the vast expanse of sea and reef.

We spot a few dolphins ahead of us. Daria, our professional animal mimic, calls out in dolphin language.

The dolphins reply happily, and we all join in. My dolphin calls are a huge fail, Lynn's calls sounds like dying hippos, and Caspian's are halfway decent.

As we swim through the wide ocean, surrounded by fish and sea water, I watch my friends laugh joyously. It was a nice day- a perfect day, like everyday. Smiling broadly, I knew that for the rest of my life, I would continue to be as happy as this.

If only I knew how wrong I was.

~~~~~~~

Hours later, we were sitting on a massive rock. Fish came to nibble at our toes as we talk about our dreams that morning.

“I had a weird dream about being a fish,” Caspian tells us, waving his hands around. “It was really odd. I think I had legs.”

“Then you couldn't have been a fish,” Daria points out. “Fish don't have legs.”

“Maybe he's a new species in his dream,” Lynn suggests. “He's a fish with legs.”

“Imagine that,” I say. “Caspian, a fish with legs.”

We all think about it for a second, and a creepy image pops into my mind. I make a strangling noise, just as Caspian chokes and mocks hitting his head against the rock. We all laugh.

Smiling, Daria gets up and swims off the rock. “Watch me!” she calls out. “I'm going to pretend I'm a fish with legs!”

And she does. The upper half of her body she allows to float as she kicks out with her legs. We all laugh, not because she looks silly but because she seemed to be struggling.

“Oh well!” Daria shrugs, grinning. She's a long distance away from us. “Anyone else wanna try?”

Caspian begins to stand, but something stops him as he peers out into the ocean. His eyes grow wide then.

“What's up?” I ask, and look out at the ocean myself. Then, everything froze.

It was a shadow of a big net in the distance. Crowds of fish swam their way towards us as more of them were carried into the net.

And the net- it was making its way towards Daria.

“Get out!” Lynn shouts at the far-off Daria. “Get out of there! Come here! Come back!”

“What?” Daria yells back, performing a few flips. “You want me to continue trying?”

“She doesn't notice the net,” I say, panicked- just as Caspian flings himself off the rock, swimming as fast as he could towards her.

No!” I shout, running off the rock and swimming towards them. Lynn follows me and we swim across the ocean. Lynn's yelling, shouting for them to get away from the net- but I zone everything out, concentrating on swimming as fast I could.

Ahead of us, the net's coming faster. It swallows up schools of fish, just as Caspian reaches Daria. He points at the big net, and Daria's face is slack with shock.

“Swim back!” I order them. “Don't just tread water! Come back!”

But before I knew it, the net was upon them. Lynn's screaming and crying by my side as we swim helplessly towards the net- it was beginning to scoop up it's contents now-

Caspian has Daria by her hand and they were both near the opening of the net. Swimming as fast as they could, they try to escape. Swimming with all my might, I head towards them, reach the net's gaping entrance and pull at it whilst Lynn tries to grab their hands.

Caspian's hands clasp Lynn's just in the nick of time, and his hand is clasped with Daria's. I smile with relief as Lynn begins to pull them out-

But all of a sudden, the net jerks upward violently. Caspian tumbles out of the net with a cry and Lynn's crying super hard now-

Daria. She was in the net.

“No!” we all shout at the same time.

Daria smiles helplessly down at us as tears make their way down her face. At the exact same time, Caspian, Lynn and I lunge upwards- swimming as fast as we could towards the net, screaming and swearing.

But before we knew it, the net disappears above the surface and Daria's taken away.

No!” Caspian shouts, continuing to swim up. “Come back here, you stupid net! Release her!”

Lynn and I were right behind him, yelling Daria's name- just as an underwater wave unexpectedly blasts us back a few meters.

“What in the world?!” I call out. We fight against it, but the wave manages to succeed- shooting us back towards the abandoned town and palace.

“No!” I cry, holding out my hand back to Caspian. As fast as the wave was pushing us back, I could only spot Caspian through bubbles and my vision- it was all blurry- but my eyes focus on Caspian as he too, disappears above the surface.

Lynn's screaming somewhere by my side. With all the strength I had, I fight against the wave but it's strength only seems to increase.

Suddenly, Lynn and I are thrown into a window of the palace. Shivering with fright, I try to climb back out the window- I had to get back to Caspian and rescue Daria!- but I hit something solid. Whatever the thing was, it was invisible. My fists pummel the invisible, solid surface but it doesn't give way.

I whip around and head towards the doorway, thinking I'd be able to get out that way- but the same invisible surface blocks my way too. I groan in frustration and look around for another route out but there's none.

On the floor, Lynn's unconscious. Her body is trembling every so slightly, and the only thing I could do was pull her into my arms.

Daria. Caspian.

We should have never gone out there.

Please, I pray, holding Lynn close to me. Please, let them both be alright.

~~~~~~~

Several days pass. The invisible surface was still blocking the windows and doorway. Lynn awoke in time, and she'd cry against my chest. I'd try to comfort her with soothing words but her crying didn't stop.

I was determined and sure- Caspian and Daria had to be okay. My dear childhood friends just had to.

We didn't leave the room at all, Lynn and I. We couldn't. We stayed in each other's company for a week, safely enclosed in that small room with the invisible surface keeping us in.

Then, one day, everything went terribly wrong.

~~~~~~~

Two weeks after Caspian and Daria had disappeared into the world above water, the invisible surface disappeared. It was a bright morning, and once Lynn and I found out it had gone, we jump out the window and swim out from the palace and town.

“Eric,” Lynn says, her voice weak. “Do you think- do you think-?”

Her voice falters and I understood.

“Lynn,” I say, taking her hand in mine as we swim. “They're alive, don't worry. They have to be.”

Lynn nods and we continue to swim. About ten minutes pass, when Lynn cries out.

“Look!” she yells, pointing above us. I flip onto my back to look up at us- it was a dark figure, a few hundred meters above us-

It was Daria. My eyes could tell it was her- long, dark, hair wasn't common everywhere.

“Daria!” I shout, as we swim as fast as we could towards her.

But she wasn't swimming towards us; instead, she was just floating there.

As we came closer, something about the water felt wrong. Plunging ahead with trepidation growing in my heart, Lynn and I spot it.

A growing red liquid, blossoming forth from a bloody gash on Daria's chest. She was wearing the same white dress that she had worn that day.

Lynn began to cry. I held her, tears flowing down my own face.

“Caspian,” I whisper, “where's Caspian?”

Several moments pass. I make the first move, by reaching out for Daria- taking hold of her hand. Feeling her wrist, not a single beat of a heart was sensed. Turning to look at Lynn, I tell her, “Let's take Daria back. We”- my voice cracks a little -“we need to bury her.”

Crying, we swim out way back towards the palace- Daria held in my arms. Lynn's holding her hand as we land on palace grounds.

That day, and continuing into that night, we bury Daria by a small garden of underwater lavender. We both knew that if they had killed Daria, there was no chance Caspian could survive.

~~~~~~~

The next morning, I wake up in bed. Lynn and I had fallen asleep in the same bed, holding each other and crying, as night overcame our world.

Turning over in bed, I mumble, “Lynn?” My eyes still closed, I reach out to where her hands should be-

But nothing's there.

My eyes fly open as I jolt upright in bed. “Lynn?” I say, panicked. And immediately, I knew where she had gone.

Not bothering to put on my shirt, I jump out the window and swim back towards the surface where Daria had appeared; adrenaline racing through me.

No, I think, no. No, no, no, no, no.

I mentally kick myself. How could I have lowered my guard?

Reaching the spot just underneath the surface, I tread water and survey my surroundings. Sighing with relief, I notice no more bodies.

“They're still alive and up there,” I say, and I begin to swim my way up towards the surface. I was going to get them back, as fast as I could. I didn't want anyone else to die, not when our parents had left us a long time ago.

But my relief was short-lived. Just five feet away from the surface, a body crashes into me unexpectedly.

My heart drops into my stomach and everything becomes slow motioned, as my vision is filled with beautiful, blond hair.

I look down slowly, blond hair restricting my view... but looking around it all, the wide-eyed face of Lynn stares back at me.

Blood drenches through my shirt- and I knew. Even without the blood, without the red filling my vision, I knew.

Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a boy with dark hair, floating precisely two feet away from me. The boy didn't move, and I knew it too.

Caspian. Daria.

Lynn.

Everything stays afloat as time seems to stop. They were gone. All of them, my friends, my only family, the people that I truly cared about.

Who was cruel enough to do this to me?

Just as rage begins to fill me, a sudden realization hits me at full force.

I'm alone. All alone.

I'm alone in this world- the world that I love so much.

“No,” I whisper, but there's no use. Nothing can bring my friends back; nothing can undo all of this.

I don't want to be alone. I can't live in this world- I can't live at all- without my friends.

Fueled with new purpose, I lightly push Lynn's body away from me- giving her one last hug- and I swim my way up. Nothing is on my mind, as I reach over to clasp Caspian's hand in what would seem our last handshake.

This time, an even stronger wave hits me, pushing me back towards the palace. My will was solid- no, I will not live on my own- and I was able to fight against it easily.

I'm sorry, ocean. But I've made up my mind, and this is what I'll do. I can't live without them.

Within seconds, my head breaks the surface and sunlight overwhelms me. Looking up, I notice a wooden harbor- something I had only heard about in the abandoned books in my world below.

People gather as I climb onto the docks. Birds call out as I stand up to face the tanned humans standing before me.

“Look,” a woman in a brown dress says. “It's one of them again. Maybe he wants revenge for his buddies.”

Everyone in the crowd laughs, but I don't feel anything. My eyes caught on a group of burly human men, walking towards me with leers in their voices and wicked glints in their eyes.

“Oh, looksie here,” one of the men says. “You're as pale as sheet- you must be one of those fish people.”

“Do to me what you did to them.” I watch their amused faces. “Kill me. I don't want to live anymore.”

Everyone in the crowd laughs. “A lot more willing, this guy,” says one of the men. I could easily sense someone creep up behind me, but I, with a smile on my lips, allow my death to happen.

I'm coming, you guys. Lynn, Caspian, Daria- I'll be joining you three soon. Just wait.

~~~~~~~

The town cheered as the water boy fell back into the water. The foolish child! He had wanted to die; what insanity was that? Highly amused, the village's rogue guardsmen granted the boy's wish, laughing. That boy really was an idiot- he should've stayed under the water!

They had killed the water kids without hesitation, and for no reason at all- except that they were freaks. Really, people who can live and breathe underwater deserved to die. Many of the townspeople agreed to that consensus and did not object to their unfair deaths.

The minute the water boy fell into the ocean- his stomach ripped wide open- the ocean's currents began to stir. It was angry, the ocean- those humans had gone and killed off every single one of its children- and now, no one would be able to inhabit the ocean's town. Anger and rage boiled within it's waves.

That day, a massive never-to-be-seen tsunami destroyed the whole of it's town and it's people. No hesitation, without a thought; just like how the townsmen had killed off the ocean's children.

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~~~~~~~

Theme Song (Aqua Terrarium by Yanagi Nagi):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-1BSdWHwAc

Inspiration: Nagi No Asukara (highly recommended anime! XD Do not worry, no one dies in there)


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