Short Stories

Short Story: Lost

“Can you hear the ocean roar?” 

I’m asking you, as I have lost the deep waters long ago. All I hear is the silence of the world and the wind howling in the desert. The oceans were stolen from me. I don’t know about you. Maybe you still have them, but mine are lost. I still remember standing there on the shore, watching out to the sea to the swooping seagulls, the white over the water, the boats and the fishermen, the little round rocks smoothed by the water. And there, as the sea would wash my feet, I would hear its gentle whoosh, soothing every inch of my being. Back then, I knew how to live. Now my bones have gotten stiff and brittle, and my mind keeps losing time, yet my memory insists I’m as young as yesterday and the oceans are there.

If you still have them, tell me what you can see? Are the whales still there? Do they sing their songs as the sun dips into the sea? Ours disappeared before the waters were gone. They left without a warning. Some say the whales took the oceans with them to the lands where the dreams weren’t lost, where the heart still spoke of the verdant soil. Now, there is barely anything green to call our own. I would give anything for the oak trees, the magnolias, and the apples. We kill our young and the old because this desert of ours can’t endure. It’s a miracle I’m still alive. They keep me for the old poems. The stories about the luscious forest I saw cut down when I was so young that I understood nothing of the world I lived in.

But soon I’m to go as well. I have taught everything there is to the next generation. They know my poems from word to word. But I fear the next generation has lost the meaning of what I have spoken as they repeat them. There is a longing, an empty one. They have not seen the trees that shin to the skies or the otters that play in the shallow waters. They recognize only death, accepting it as forgiven. I try to tell them that once it was the celebration of life that brought everyone together. They nod at me, yet they prepare for the journey death will take them when I look away. All born to wait to join the whales and the deep waters to the netherworld.

If it is so, please tell me, and I will go in peace. The sun over me is scorching my skin, and there is no time for returns. I’m sure you are a product of my delirium. My last solace before the desert will have my water and my bones. So can you hear the ocean roar? Are the whales there, and will you let me walk amongst the magnolias and the oak trees? Or is your planet dying as is mine? My tribe is the only one left. The sand will polish their skulls in a generation or two. There are no rockets to take them into the skies as the stories spoke when I was still able to laugh. No, there is no written word left either to carry them through. This is the end of our line, and I wish I could blame the demons of the deserts. I can’t. So can you hear the ocean roar?

Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

1 comment on “Short Story: Lost

  1. Poignant and mounrnful story — a beautifully writen cautionary tale,

    Thank you ❤

    Like

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