Falling

I am falling, slowly falling, into stars. Spiralling into a tide of darkness sprinkled in light. The swell catches and envelops me. My head is tossed with foam. The water cradles my face, strokes my hair, and still I fall.

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Pull me deeper, tighter, closer. Let me see the underwater weeds welcome me with waves. Fish streak by like a fast-flying silver cloud. My breath is released in a burst of bubbles, and still I fall.

The stars do not shine here. It matters not how deep I plunge; he who dives will always find new territory. Kicking, I propel myself to an imagined sandbank. I do not belong to the world of stars – even the kind that float atop the water. The cold soothes me. My heartbeat slows.

There is a ship below, ghostly and beautiful, a kind of shimmering blue-grey. A seahorse sails out of one of the broken windows. I must reach it; I must see where people danced on deck, and laughed and planned for adventures that were never undertaken.

My hair catches on a jagged piece of wood protruding from the helm, and I gasp. More bubbles stream from my mouth and the cold turns fierce, piercing my ribcage. Surging with heat, my body fights back; I tug my hair free, and kick away from the ship, towards the surface...

Breaking the black curtain of water, my mouth opens to let air flood me, and the wind stings my face. I am caught between sky and sea, bobbing in a bank of stars and watching those above blaze fiercely on.

My chest heaves. I am floating, not falling.