Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chapter 1: The Beginning

I was born by the sea. We lived in a small house at the top of a hill, near the beach. Every day my mother would carry me down to the sand and let me collect shells as I waddled to and fro. As I got older, I was allowed to go into the water. My father taught me how to swim by the time I was three. Swimming was a glorious feeling, and I imagined that it was quite like flying. I would spend hours down by the shore, and my favorite time to go down was right after the tide had gone down. I would run down and stick my face in a tide pool, daring my eyes to stay open long enough for me to see a starfish or a clam that had been swept in by the tide. I would come up for air and rub my burning eyes with a smile on my face.
But that was then. This is now.
When I was about five years old, the biggest storm to hit that beach in years rolled in. We had gone out onto the water in our little boat, and my father couldn’t paddle fast enough. Before we knew it, the boat had capsized. I flailed around under the water, trying to remember which way was up. I finally reached the surface and inhaled deeply. I looked around frantically, trying to find my parents, but I couldn’t. They were nowhere to be seen. I went under the water to look for them, but it was churning so violently that it was all I could do not to get swept too far down.
I abandoned my efforts to find my parents and instead clung to the upside-down boat as the waves carried it to the shore. Once my feet were on the sand, I collapsed out of exhaustion. I curled up into a little ball and cried, screaming for my parents. No reply came. I sobbed as the waves lapped at my feet, trying to comfort me. Seagulls began circling overhead, calling out to one another. I looked up a number of times thinking I had heard the voice of my mother or father, just to find a seagull screeching to its companion.
I waited on that beach for many years, hoping that my parents would miraculously appear out of the water. They never did.
During that time, I got my sustenance from the sea, catching fish and pulling clams out of tide pools. I boiled the sea’s water and drank it. I bathed in the sea and slept in the sand. My best friends became the seagulls above me, and the beautiful creatures below the water. I felt a pang of guilt each time I caught and cooked one, but I had to survive somehow.
Then, one morning many years later, everything changed. I awoke to a bright and sunny morning above me, but something was wrong. I heard no seagulls. The lapping of the water sounded different…heavier, almost. I immediately panicked and thought there was a storm coming in. I hopped up and looked out to the sea, and I realized that there was a storm coming in. But it was not a natural storm. It was a storm unlike any I had ever seen.
The water was black. I stared at it, and realized that it shined with an unnatural rainbow of colors. It looked thick, and when I reached out to touch it, I realized it was slimy and heavy. I stared at it, completely perplexed. I knew it was not right, and I knew that it did not belong here. But I had no idea what “it” was…
Just then, I heard a cry. It was one of the seagulls. He had landed in the black water and was coated in the unnatural ooze. I saw him, flapping helplessly in the water, and I did what first came to mind: I jumped in. I swam as hard and as fast as my arms and legs would carry me, and I pulled him out of the black water. I carried him back to the shore and tried to clean the black water off of him, but had little success. I knew I had to do something… I knew I would need help… I had to leave the beach. The place where I had spent my entire life…
I looked back out over the water and realized that fish had floated to the top. Beautiful, vibrant colors could be seen poking through the darkness. I was shocked. This black ooze was poison, and it was killing my fish.
I determined right then and there that I had to discover what this monstrous liquid was and who had put it here. I had to find a way to clean up the mess it had made. And, most of all, I had to make someone pay.
The thought of my parents was pushed to the back of my mind as I trudged along the beach, heading towards the nearest humans with a seagull cradled in my arms. The only thing I was thinking about now was righting the wrong that had been done to my home, and the home of so many others.
They would pay--they would all pay. They would fix what they had broken and they would clean up the black poison. And if they didn’t… They might not live to tell the tale…

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