Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Just Be By Emma Jones

I am falling.


Falling, as a single drop of rain, tossed from the thickest of cloud. Like that drop of rain, I will crash into the sea and become nothing.

The water is too great, too strong. It purges my drums, fills my throat, burns my eyes. I am the water and the water is me: we are nothing and we are everything. We are perfectly transparent. The clarity is overwhelming. The sun looks straight into my soul, burns straight through it. No time for feeling.

And so I am numb. Numb and so cold I burn. So trapped, I am the freest I have ever been- will ever be.

“Danger is best ignored. Pain is not felt, only acknowledged. Keep walking and the waves will crash on. Why stop? It will only rain again. Why should we all drown? No, let them drown. Invisible is best.”

The nothingness hurts. Hurts more than any pain that could be inflicted. No sound, no light, no sense: just darkness that isn't dark enough. Still, I float. Still, I am here.

“We cannot interfere with nature. Some things are meant to be bad. Let it be.”

When will I be free? When I stop being me.

“Inequality is distance, distance is kind. They can be different, we can be.”

Hit me. Punish me. Destroy me. Better dead.

“Why sacrifice everything in place of morals? Love is not real, not necessary. Just be.”

I will drown and they will mourn the life they could have saved. I will burn and they will marvel at the fire they ignited. I will scream and they will retract their hands.

“Don't change. Don't feel. Let them be.”

I don't want to be.

“When the bodies rise up to the shore, when the people are broken, when we have done too little, just keep walking.”

They keep walking.

“Away from the waves.”

Away from me.

“Should, could, would: all no good now.”

There's still time to save me.

“It is their fault, their problem. There is nothing we can do.”

A hand is all I need. Something to break the nothingness.

“It's not that bad. They will survive.”

I did not survive.

“A toddler washes up on the shore. The newsreader looks stern. We shake our heads, 'disgusting'. Disgusting to show us this over our tea.”

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