Between Us and the World

By Mary Sadz

There was a wanderer on the shoreline. His hair was fair and thin. He stood at the edge where the waves reached for his bare toes. Each one reaching with fingers of sea froth. They ran further on over the shore as the tide came in. He minded the rise of the water at his feet as it softly crept around his ankles.

He was the only one around to enjoy this. He couldn’t remember the last time he was able to share a wonderful moment in his life with anyone. It was all a blur, a reflection in the seas long obscured by waves. He did remember all the times the vast waters tried to pull him down and drown him in their violent swells. This sea was vicious and seemed to make a game of pulling him down.

He stepped back slowly as the water played at reaching to his knees. Not again, he wouldn’t let it happen.

A cold wet hand shot forth and gripped his ankle like a vice. Then the whispers began. They floated through the air and caught in his head like a fly on fly tape. The sudden jerk felt as the hand tugged his leg out from under him sent him falling, flailing his arms as he crashed to the sand on his side. There he clawed at the sand unable to get a firm grip. His hands dragging and creating clumps of moist sand. A crest of another wave came forth. More hands reached out like striking snakes. When they hit, their bony cold grip sunk into his skin and pierced his body with a dreadful cold. The seductive whispering and sound they spewed as they tore out from each wave began to cloud his focus. He looked out over the beach as he was dragged slowly by the tidal hands. The beauty and serenity of the land, the island that he himself swam towards to escape the rising seas, began to fade in his eyes as the salt and brine began to overflow his mind.

He reached out with one last hope like he had done many times before. He could never let the beauty of the island leave his heart. He caught hold of a rock amidst the sand and pulled with all his strength. He could feel the hands slip as he heaved himself forward from their tremendous grip. Their only weakness was the water they came from. One more pull and the sea slipped from his legs and he was free.

He dashed up the sandy shore. The wretched whispered words falling away in a wispy trail behind him. He then hopped up on a rock. The rock where he would always perch and watch the mysterious miserious sea and the wonder the sky reflected upon it. The island was his home, his life, and his greatest experience. He could never let that fade away into the disarray the sea sought of him. This was his seat in the world.

The sea was a wonder and a teacher. It was also dangerous. He needed it for sustenance and he needed to study it to predict its every move.

In this story, ‘the sea of chaos’ is a dreadful representation for all the things in life trying to drag us down. It’s very composition is made up of the hands of all the souls it has successfully washed away, which it grab the protagonist with. Now the island is itself a metaphor for hope, peace of mind, happiness, and freedom from conformity, or being like and thinking like everyone else in the chaos. One could even infer that the island in the story is a place to hide from the waves of invisible torment.

unnamedMary never quite liked her name. She grew up in a forest in the middle of nowhere, Iowa. She moved and changed schools several times in her life and almost didn’t graduate. She spent most of her time in school drawing, writing, and daydreaming instead of doing classwork. Whenever she makes art she doesn’t necessarily try to draw anything but builds upon whatever shape that she happens to make on the paper. She spends a lot of time writing, thinking, and philosophizing the spiritual meaning of things. She’s been troubled emotionally for most of her life, and feelings have definitely been an inspiration in her works. Over all, she’s very thoughtful and creative.


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