A Tail of Sorrow - We Shall Sea

by Dimpra Kaleem

She loved to swim.

This was her time - her alone time.

The peaceful ripple of the water and the soft break in the surface tension, caused by her sleek body moving through it calmed her into an almost Zen like state. She ducked down below the surface in order to take in the sights of the coral and the many colourful fish that called this paradise home. The beauty almost stung her senses and opened her mind to other possibilities. Her father had always said that she was a dreamer and if there was ever a place to dream, this was it.

She turned her head to the surface once more and pushed herself towards the blue sky, and as she burst through the gentle waves she felt the warmth of the sun on her face. She looked towards the beach and to the children playing with the sand, who, on seeing their mother waved and called with excitement. She waved back and called to them, asking if all was well and if they were having fun.

From the outside she was perfect - an image of desire and fantasy with the water doing nothing to take anything away from this perception. As she pushes her hands back through her thick auburn hair, the drying seawater leaves salt trails that sparkle on her face, across her long slender neck and down to her exposed breasts.

From the inside however she was filled with despair and loneliness held at bay only by her children and her love of the sea. A dark hatred for the men that took her husband away from her burned in her heart.

He had protested about over fishing the area.

Raised voices turned into raised fists, which in turn saw the flash of a knife. At his funeral she had imagined that the sea had bled at his loss and that the whales had sung his requiem across the oceans.

Fear of their return haunts her daily, powered by the instincts of a protective mother and a grieving wife

The cove was a huge expanse of sand and rock, carved into being by millions of years of erosion by her beloved sea. At the moment it was theirs to enjoy alone - but others would find this place one day and the population would bring their destruction. They didn't mean to of course, but social economics dictated that this place, and places like it, must produce money. Money produced greed, which in turn spawned apathy towards beauty and the gifts of nature.

She smiled at the sight of her children, for even though she knew that the storm would come one day - this was their time.

They looked like their father.

Both of them.

Since his death there had been too little joy in their lives and this trip to the cove was a small gesture on her part, something to remind them that they were still just children and as such deserved to be happy.

She shared in their pleasure of this brief break in what had been such a devastating loss for all of them.

Throwing herself backwards she dived back down to the coral once more.

It was her job to take care of places such as this - something she had studied for and something she loved. Together with her husband they had protected the reefs, but the threat to such places had become too strong of late. Poisons that had been pumped into the sky caused the sea to pull back with the increasing heat, and the raping of the seas had caused the coral to choke, and the sea to dull, becoming sterile - unable to support the abundance of life that lived here. Sometimes she felt as though her tears over such actions would cause the very oceans themselves to rise.

As she turned a backwards turn towards the light from above she was greeted once again by the squeals of excitement from the children as she broke the surface of the water like an explosion, sending shards of colour as the suns rays refracted through the spray, only to be repeated when the crashed back into the waves. She swam gently to the shore and settled where the waves broke against the sand.

  "I hope you are behaving yourselves for Nana?" she said.

The old woman, who had been with them since the death of her son, smiled at her grandchildren.

  "They have been little angels," she said.

She looked around, taking in the scenery. It was quite beautiful here.

  "We will have to go home soon," she said.

This was met with mild protests from the children only to be calmed by the old woman. Soon places like this would succumb to the poisons of the evil that, until recently, had no name.

But she had been given it one when her husband had died, taken by that same evil - Humans.

She watched her children slip back into the sea, accompanied by their grandmother she reflected again on how much they looked like their father - even down to the markings on their tails.

She lay back in the surf and let the waves wash over her until the tide was strong enough to take her back out to sea, and as she sunk into the depths she watched the sky get darker as she went deeper. She turned and swam ahead of her family, leading the way back home.

How long would it remain as such?

How much time did they have?


I hope not.

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