The winner of my first creative challenged is Heather Montford, from Sackets Harbor, NY with her story Freedom.
There was freedom in the water.
On the land… People weren’t free on the land. They hurried back and forth, their heads in their phones, in their tablets. Their heads were down because anyone who was seen as too proud or too free were looked down upon those looking down on the world from their windows in the high metal and glass buildings. People on the land worked for people they didn’t like, at jobs that drained the very lives from them. People on land went home to families who would not look up from their phones, their tablets, their computers, their gaming systems, their televisions and Blu-ray players.
People on the land had no sense of wonder, no definition of imagination. There was no time in the day to look up, beyond the grayness of their city worlds, to marvel at a sunset or wonder at the colors in a rainbow after a downpour. There was no time to read, to see movies of one’s own making playing in their heads as they read wondrous words across the pages.
Nobody enjoyed the beach she now sat upon, the glorious cliffs of white stones and the faces carved into them by a nature much more patient than the world as a whole. None of the people on the beach with her stopped to look at the rays of sun streaming like rain through the clouds over the island just yonder. Nobody on the beach sat and listened to the music of the water, lapping gently over the stones and shells on the shore. For some of them on the beach, that had been their intention. To forget, even momentarily, the pressures of the world on land and lose themselves in peace, but their phones held their attention, and they were not free.
She was tired of life on the land. She was tired of not being free to see the world around her. She was tired of being alone in a world overflowing with people. She stood, and shook the sand from her skirt. She slipped off her shoes, and dug her toes into the pebbles, the shells, around her, relishing the feel of each one.
She stepped into the water, feeling it wash the dread and gloom of life on the land away from her. She walked forward, to her ankles, to her knees, to her waist. Her skirt drifted up and became a pool of white ever present around her. She walked until her feet lifted from the ground, and she stayed there, treading water.
She could already breathe better.
When the sun set over the horizon, and the sky turned from orange to a dark, navy blue, her legs turned into the tail she had so missed in her years upon the land. She dove beneath the waves, and she was finally free.