I still have dreams about the island where I grew up. There’s some half-true version of it in my mind, where everything is both bigger and smaller, where everything is the same and entirely different. There are large fields of grass where there should be a highway, and the ocean extends forever instead of butting up against the other landmasses nearby. But the ocean is shallow, and you can walk out and out and out and the water will never go above your waist.
I return there again and again when I sleep, running over these imaginary fields, stepping into a shallow ocean that never ends. Even when the dreams are nightmares—they often are—there’s something comforting about returning to this place that I know so well despite it being entirely unfamiliar.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(n.) from Greek háls—”salt”—and Greek -graphia—“writing”
A description of the sea.
After months at sea, his ink begins to run dry. He doesn’t want to alarm anybody, but they are weeks out from land and magic doesn’t work in advance; it’s now, it’s present. He can’t simply write that the waves will be still until they reach land, because the ocean is untameable. It takes coaxing and compromise, a delicate balance of flattery to awe, to get it to do your bidding.
There’s yet blood in his veins, and a knife will provide more ink. But as sure as the sea will swallow his sacrificed poems, it will also swallow him.