Devaki. S is a writer, aspiring author and literature enthusiast living in Mumbai, India. She enjoys spinning short-stories and rainy days.
The Emerald Earthling
Everything was a smeared mess of blues, only bits of white sea foam and fraying clouds here and there. Blinding light, a translucent sheen of gold covering its beams, touched the tips of low waves, which barely lifted up before flattening out again. Under the reflective veneer of the sun, the ocean was a constantly shifting scene of milky ripples and cerulean water, sometimes mixing together into a flat grey, unsightly but deep, and just clear enough to spy the flickering silver scales of a lone pilchard. Floating above it was an emerald marble, the size of a boiled chickpea, probably a misplaced piece in a child’s set of peg solitaire, left in the sea in the wakes of an unfortunate sea-wreck some decades back.
In spite of its heavy form, the marble continued to roll on the surface of the water, spinning and spinning before dipping underneath for a minute, and then re-emerging in all its virescent glory. The pilchard followed it furiously, his tail whipping and thrashing, ready to nudge the sinking orb of green back to safety. The creature seemed not to understand the lifelessness of the object, but instead saw it as a fellow critter, out of its element, and in dire need of help and companionship. There was gentleness and reassurance in his taps, as he continued to push his friend with a flimsy tail and the tip of his short nose. However, to the pilchard who was barely the size of a child’s palm, the task was no less than a quest of heroism. At his sides, his delicate fins, see-through and black tipped, moved speedily, as his lithe form cut through the salt-water.
The pilchard had been swimming with his shoal, a couple hundred of his own tribe, when he had caught sight of the peculiar thing rolling by itself on the sea bed. It was trying to inch forward, but was repeatedly pulled back by even the gentlest, most fleeting currents. He continued to look at the struggles of the bead as the shoal rounded in formation, and as he did, he felt pity for the creature. He witnessed a particularly strong flow of water, created by a passing eel, sweep the marble back to where it had painstakingly inched away from when he first spotted it. When this scene of vulnerability ensued in front of him, he resolved himself to help the young earthling reach the shores of a nearby island. It was without a doubt a reckless decision to separate from his family, for he knew that alone he stood no chance of escaping a predatory intention, but he braved his way through the thoughts of peril for the stranded soul.
Now only a few meters off the sandy shores surrounding his destination, the pilchard felt in his heart that he had done the right thing, as he sensed some form of imaginary joy unfurl from the pirouetting terrestrial at his side. As the land crept upwards toward his belly, the pilchard increased his efforts and sped up, not willing to keep the happiness and relief from his newfound companion any longer than absolutely necessary. Finally, he chose a shallow pool amidst some strands of seaweed and pretty obsidian stones, as safe enough for the fellow by his side, who to him seemed worn-out after the long swim. He tenderly laid the marble down and swam in circles around it, letting his fins glide over its smooth surface in a quiet farewell. With finality, the pilchard swam away, wishing only the best for his comrade, who had been but a stranger mere hours ago, but had still trusted him unconditionally and risked this journey by his side.
The trip back was lonesome, the pilchard thinking in silence of the company of his new friend, wondering where life would take it. He kept low, and carefully flitted between swishing leaves and odd coloured coral. After sometime, the massive silver shoal he knew as family lay before him, and he rushed to join into the familiar crowd. However, just as he reached the first straggling members of his brood, his attention was caught in a glint of green he had only recently become acquainted with. The marble moved much like his sweet friend, but through some sense of intimate attachment that they had unknowingly created, he knew the difference. Nonetheless, he was full of unwavering resolve to help this wandering outsider back to safety.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
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