This time around, I took the writing prompt to heart and made sure to actually include the words in my story. I hope you find this piece amusing and will consider the request I’ve posted at the end. So glad to be back in the WEP challenge again. It’s the best writing challenge I’ve come across.
Anybody, Save Me
How can my throat be so parched when I’m surrounded by water? No matter how hard I try I keep gulping down pounds and pounds of sharp grains. Throbbing constricts my efforts to push forward. My nostrils blister as the particles scratch and burn my nasal passage. The notion of weightlessness is but a faint, cruel, memory now. My feet are lead; my hands are clawing nubs. Coarseness rushes to my lungs and punches out any remaining air leaving behind only a saline sludge. Stabbing blindness and stinging deafness are also claimed by the sludge and I know now, I’m in way too deep. This must be what it feels like to drown at sea.
But, wait. There’s something pulling me. It’s pulling me down even further than I thought possible, aiding the death that lingers in my final thoughts. No one should have to experience their last seconds of existence so vividly. Why – am – I – not – dead – ye…?
What was that? Where am I? Why aren’t I dead?
Wait. I can see. I can hear. What the heck? I can breathe, but I’m still under water. Wonder if I can talk?
Yep. I must still be pretty deep. All the colors are somehow a bit grey. But… it’s not cold. At least I don’t feel cold. He he he. I do feel weightless though. I feel like I could float, maybe even fly. Ha ha he he. There’s no reason I should be feeling this good. Pretty sure I just drowned to death, but …
Whoa, am I seriously bound? What the effen heck is happening? Why am I chained to the – the – I guess, the sea floor?
>Ping. Ping. Glur glur. Glur glur. Wooosssssssshhhhh.<
“Ah, there you are. You’re awake.”
Did I seriously just see a green fish person whoosh up to me? “What the holy heck are you?”
“Oh, my love. My sweet mortal. I am your savior?”
“Uh, no you’re not.” Are its eyes fluttering at me? “You’re some magic welding sea monster who brought me back from a death I was just beginning to accept. Please, I beg you. Send me back to my doom?”
“Aren’t you silly. I know this will be quite an adjustment, but once you acclimate, everything will be fine. You’ll see. You’ll be happy here with me.”
“No. This isn’t right. I died. I should be dead.” I sure as heck shouldn’t be trapped by a sea monster. “I’m guessing you’re a nice sea monster and all, but I’m pretty certain what’s dead is supposed to stay that way.”
“First of all, I’m not a monster; just because I look different from you. Secondly, you died a horrible death and I saved you. Would you really rather go back to being a bloated sinking corpse?
A bloated corpse sounds terrible, but if I’m dead, it’s not like I’ll know. This situation, on the other hand, is downright scary. “Sorry, you’re right. I had no right to call you a monster. It’s just that I’m not used to talking to creatures with scales and green skin. Oh, is creature offensive?”
“No, creature is fine. Besides, you’re my favorite creature in all the world. That’s why I saved you.”
“But, don’t you see. You didn’t save me. You brought me back to life. Why would you do that?”
“Oh goodness me. I’m so glad I set these alarms. We’ll be late if we don’t hurry.”
“Late for what? You haven’t told me why you brought me back. And while you’re at it, why can I breathe underwater now?”
“Oh you, silly guppy. We’ll have our whole lives to learn about each other. We really must hurry.”
“What do you mean we have our whole lives? Please, for all that is decent in this crazy world, will you tell me what’s going on?”
“Fine. If you must know, I’m Fae of the sea. I grant wishes from time to time. And your wish was irresistible.”
“My wish? What wish?”
“Your last dying request. ‘Somebody, anybody, save me! My lover’s trying to kill me! Save me, please! Save me! I’ll do anything to repay you!’”
“Wait. I didn’t say those words to you. I was pleading for my life. I was being thrown overboard. I wanted someone to pull me out.”
“Well, I heard your plea, and unfortunately I can’t pull people out. I can only pull them down. I also can’t restore human lives, but I can reshape a mortal soul into something else. You have been given a second chance. A new life among the merfolk. A life you will spend wed to me.”
“Wait, merfolk? Wed? What the holy…” I can’t believe a scaly webbed hand just mushed my face.
“Sorry, we don’t look like your human fairy tales. But when you live this deep, what do you expect?
816 words in progress– Anybody, Save Me 2018 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas
So, I tried something a little different this time. I wanted to be as descriptive as possible while not using any gender-specific words. I was hoping to tell a story where the reader could decide for themselves the sex/gender of the characters, but I’m not really sure if I pulled it off. I’ve seen other writers try to use gender-neutral pronouns, but most of these efforts have left me feeling disconnected from the story. When I thought I didn’t like romance and could never write it, I challenged myself to dive in and do it. While the work I produced may not be award-winning, it’s not too bad and it’s made me appreciate the genre and those who write it so much more. So that’s what I’m trying today. I’m diving in to see if I can write a gender-neutral story and have it actually make sense. Please let me know if this worked or not; this really is a learning experience for me.
If anyone is interested in the finale to my five-part series, Music My Muse, head over to A Small Gang of Authors to check it out.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords