Author’s Note: This story is based on a picture I saw on Lisa Lancaster’s latest post. It spoke to me and I just needed to write a story to go with it. So, here it is! 😀
The creature had been born in darkness and black water. So, it yearned for light and land.
The yearning was there inside of the creature from birth. Yet, the creature’s mother discouraged any exploration of their dark home.
“Darkness is safety. Darkness is life. Light is not for us. Light is unnecessary.”
“But why do we have eyes? Why do we see? What is that for?”
“It is only for hunting and for guiding us through the dark. Our eyes serve no other purpose.”
The creature understood her words.
It did not believe her. And the yearning burned inside.
The yearning pulled and pinched and demanded.
The creature tried to obey its mother. Yet, the yearning was strong. So fearsomely strong.
“What is the worst thing that could happen if I search for the light?”
“The light is cruel. The light pierces. The light blinds. Do not seek it out. Stay in the dark. Stay here with me. We will be safe inside this eternal night.”
“No. I need to find it. It calls me. It beckons. I can’t keep ignoring it. I need it.”
“No! It is madness! Stay with me! Please!”
“NO! I will be free of this dark!” The creature slid into the water and swam away from her.
She jumped in and pursued.
The creature’s bioluminescent eyes lit up its surroundings and broke through the water’s gloom.
It swam as fast as it could, barely even knowing where it was going. It just knew that it would find its way out. Somehow it would find freedom.
“COME BACK!” Her voice rippled and surged in the water.
The creature clenched its teeth and pushed through.
Keep swimming. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Keep going forward. Find light. Find freedom. It’s there. It’s out there. I will see it at last. I will.
“DON’T LEAVE ME!”
The water took on a different smell, a different feel, a whole new look. Its darkness changed. It mellowed. It lightened. It brightened.
It felt good. It smelled delicious. It tasted like fresh water. It wasn’t stale anymore.
It tasted like life. Surprising new and wonderful life. Nothing to compare it to. Exciting, ecstatic, electric life.
The creature raised its head above the water and there.
The light was there.
The light poured in through the mouth of a high ceilinged cave. The cave that had been the creature’s home for so long, for too long.
The creature listened for its mother’s voice.
She was silent.
It looked back at the dark.
She wasn’t there.
She had left him.
She couldn’t face the light.
She’d given up.
The creature turned its face back to the light. Its eyes glowed blue in the semi-dark.
I could go or I could stay.
It’s my choice.
The creature slipped seal-like into the water and swam into the light.