Thursday, April 26, 2012

Island 1/2

A short story

There is an island out there somewhere. It may be an island only in the mind’s eye but I like to think that it exists somewhere in the universe where matter and form are synonymous with thought.

This island is beautiful and lush, basked in light. There are well-known paths that trace intricate routes throughout the course of the island. And the island is surrounded by a vast enormous sea. The water is a deep blue. A blue untainted by pollution or even sediment. The water is calm and navigable nearly as far as the eye can see.

But just on the edge of the sea is a magnificent storm. The clouds rumble in the distance. They tumble and darken trying to encroach on the island’s calm waters. The rain in the distance is heavy. Thick sheets fall making a wall of gray.

I stood on the pier of the far edge of the island and looked back. The beautiful comfort of the island made me feel at home. I looked at the island’s volcanic peak. It thrust into the air defiantly, serving as a beacon for those trying to weather the storm.

I walked down to the beach where a man was tying fish nets. It seemed that he was pulling the net right from the sandy shore. I watched him curiously. He would examine his line, yanking on the cords and retying the knots, and then he would pull more from the sand. I came closer to get a better look.

I could see that the net was unfinished and still merged into the ground. At the point where the net became part of the sand there was a section that was black with ants. It was moving, changing the sand to line. As I peered at the joint I realized that they were not ants but letters and words tightly packed together. Some fell off the net and turned back to sand. Many turned into the net.

After a fashion, the net was finished. The man looked at me and smiled. “It’s time to go fishing I suppose.”

I nodded at him slowly. He stood up and walked out into the surf. As he did so the waters parted and land followed him. He turned back to me and called out, “they don’t believe me. The ocean is getting smaller and the storm is getting closer.” I didn’t know what he was talking about. “I’ve spent my life trying to catch a fish in this shrinking sea, you’ll have to tell them when I’m gone.”

With that he cast his net out into the water, and pulled it in slowly. When he pulled it out there were only rocks. He pulled a rock out of the net, and held it gently. He turned to me and tossed the rock at my feet. “It’s getting bigger. Every day.”

He tossed his net out once again and pulled it in. Again, only rocks. I sat in the warm yellow sand, picked up a handful of fine grains and let a slow stream fall from my palm--turning my hand into an hourglass. I looked closely at the stream of sand as it fell. Some grains spontaneously burst into letters and chains. Sometimes words spontaneously formed.