SHORT STORIES: The City And The Sea

"Silence, ease, rest, escape. Escape. With each dive, escape."

The air dense, heavy, exhausting, the seconds so impossibly short, pouring away in a steady stream whose alarming drone was inescapable. And as this stream ran hopelessly into the cracks of the dusty pavement, a terrible thirst held him in agony, as he longingly beheld the torrent, helpless.

The screams from the city were muted by the immeasurable weight of the sea. He stared around, his visions affecting him slowly, at a digestible pace, each atom appreciated in its precise and laboured beauty. The colours were somehow richer, the greens and blues unbleached by the sun’s charmless rays.

The atmosphere was oppressive, cloying in the lungs of those who retained the desire to breathe it in. Each movement, each step, stifled by the uncomfortable act of respiration, painful at times as the toils of the city unfolded. An inexplicable yet exhausted determination fuelled him, and its root was now so far downstream that he couldn’t reconsider.

Beneath the water, he began to release his bounty once more, drifting up to the surface in perfectly formed spheres. His body was held in breathless stasis, as the gentle sway of the tide slid around his body, covered in pimples from the refreshing swell of the saltwater. No thought entered his mind, the ramparts left unmanned, for another silent moment as frenetic energies poured from his consciousness into the welcoming vacuum of the azure emptiness.

From all sides they advanced. Respite found only in ignorance, confrontation simply unthinkable. Onwards, onwards, shots fired across the boughs, the concrete and steel pressing down, and the road rising and narrowing on every hopeful lift of the head.

Silence, ease, rest, escape. Escape. With each dive, escape.  

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