Author Topic: A pitiful attempt at a short story  (Read 2067 times)

Offline Penta

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A pitiful attempt at a short story
« on: August 08, 2010, 10:43:58 AM »
[Okay, folks. I am, for no reason I can discern, very depressed today. Hence, I'm writing to keep away the darkness. I mention this because this might turn out to be incredibly dark. I'm writing stream of consciousness, too, especially meriting the warning...As well as a warning that this will probably suck horribly, but I post this...I don't know why, but I'm posting it. *Shrug* That said, for TrekBBS and SCN readers, try to figure out where this is set using only the information in the piece below. I'm not so depressed as to not try for a little game. (Everybody else, it's too easy to guess if you know me at all, but if you do guess, I want more specific guesses.) This story rated T for dark thoughts at the least.]

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
It's own appointed limits keep...

Standing on the boardwalk, the human male in a Starfleet-issue flight jacket, civ T-shirt and jeans under it, sneakers replacing his more-usual-now Fleet-issue boots (with socks, this time - not totally normal for this area), couldn't help but remember that ancient hymn as he looked out into the Atlantic Ocean. He always did, whenever he looked out at the sea, on any world. But especially this sea, on this world.

He'd grown up with it, really; the house where he'd grown up, where his parents still lived, wasn't all that far from the ocean. The cries of seagulls were as familiar an ambience as the smell of the salt in the air, as the grinning face mural on the building behind him.

It was just early enough in the morning that there weren't many people around, even in the first week of August. A few people jogging, or walking dogs, but the nighttime partiers were asleep (or passed out, same thing), and most other people were just getting up. Kids had the Italian-American Festival, still going after centuries (basically out of inertia, any heritage long since diluted), this week (same as every year, weather permitting) to occupy their nights, though that was more for locals than out-of-town folks. Teens and grownups had other ways to fill the nights, few really changed over the generations; some wholesome, some not. It was early enough that the lifeguards weren't even on duty, yet, even.

So he did what came naturally to a local kid, or at least it always had to him, even if he was in his 20s and not so much a kid anymore. In one smooth motion, he swung up over the guardrail and dropped to the sand below, landing easily on his feet with only the faintest sound. Beach badge?, he thought as he felt his feet hit the sand, Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth, flown above these sands and through the sands of solar winds of how many stars and done a thousand things you have not dreamed of, and you pester me for a beach badge? The scars on my mind are my beach badge!

Sure, he could have used the stairs, but then he'd have to bypass the gate, and that was a pain in the ass, in part because of the authenticators looking for the damned beach badges.

Then, brushing off the sand he'd kicked up with his landing, he walked forward. Even at this hour, he could feel the sun.

His mind was a jumble, he'd admit that. Life was more complex than when he'd last been here, just after Flight School.

It was infinitely more complex. Which meant that the darkness surrounded him more often, more than he'd ever tell a soul, whenever he stopped moving, stopped trying, stopped fighting to keep it outpaced. Despite everything that you'd think would ward it off. His work, his responsibilities, his career.

And all that meant that the waves called to him as he walked forward, one foot after the other. Come on in, the sea seemed to whisper. Let us embrace you. The sleep will do you good. The rest.

It was tempting, tempting indeed. He could just walk forward, let the waves take him, and it'd be over soon enough. Even if he was a strong swimmer, he knew the local waves. There was a strong enough rip current here to make a rescue hard, especially if action wasn't quick. And so every year a few people drowned, even with a strong crew of lifeguards and modern technology and medical knowledge. What would be one more?

But then, a voice reached his ears, even as the waves lapped at his sneakers.

"You aren't thinking of swimming. Nah. Not looking like that," the voice called, almost teasingly.

"Sure I am," he replied without turning.

Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Hands, he corrected himself, one on each shoulder.

"I was wondering where you were when I woke up," the voice noted, softer now. "I figured you were out, figured you'd be here eventually. You're not thinking of swimming at all, are you? Swimming, after all, implies you'd try to escape the rip current." It was still soft, but there was a hint of accusation to the words.

"Maybe I would, but maybe not. Not actually has some appeal."

"Oh, shh. Shh," the voice replied, hands trying to turn him. "You're moping. The strong, cocky, joking boy I fell for wouldn't give in so easily."

"How do you know I am that boy? That I ever was?" He replied.

He let himself be turned, then, and then his chin be cupped and tugged, as his face was turned towards that voice's, those hands' owner, looking into the eyes of the human woman who looked at him with a small half-smile, her eyes, an earthen brown flecked with gold, locked on his.

"Because I've known you too long, silly boy," she replied to him, her voice still soft, soothing as her hands held his cheeks. "I've known you too long, seen you take too much, to be fooled by you...By you giving in to your fears, your worries. The man I fell in love with is the same as the man standing in front of me. Even if he might deny it, even if he might forget it, I know it."

He was about to reply. "Rea-" But then she stopped him.

With a finger placed against his lips, she silenced him.

"No more. No more words from you. Not now," she said firmly, pulling him into a soft, gentle kiss, her lips warm against his, her tongue lightly playing at his lips invitingly.

Then, as she pulled back barely an inch, she breathed softly into his ear. "No more words for now. Just remember, I'm here. I won't let your fears have the last word."

Then, ever so softly, her hand moved from his cheek to his hand, slipping into it softly and squeezing, firmly yet gently, warm affection radiating from where her thumb rubbed his wrist.

"Come along," she beckoned, tugging him with her as she walked back towards the boardwalk, a bemused smile on her face.

[For those who wonder: that's all I have - like I stated at the beginning, this was "write, to think of something else, anything other than the thoughts in my head, until it feels done", not something I have any plan to (or idea how to) turn into something bigger. Sharing came basically on a whim; I don't usually share my non-PBEM writings.]