Not All Is Lost, A Selkie Found Me

Their is no trace of humans above this sea. Just the random parts of  vessels below the water, crashed into the seabed. Some of the ships are very old and I can even make out the carvings of the vikings on one particular ship I swim by. Then other ships are much newer, you can still see the paint on them and the sea has yet to clam them as its own. All these vessels seem to be just as present as the corals that surround me. It is almost as if this is their home and a natural place for them to have wound up.

Considering the fact that I have not seen or heard a ship in all the time I have been here, I decide to swim to the surface and maybe find something to lay upon in the warm sun. A nice warm rock is all that I need, I want to feel the warm air and soak up the ever-burning rays of sunshine.

As I swim around and search for a good place to rest, I have an uneasy feeling that something is watching me.  All the coral I pass by seem to be just as relaxed as the day that I arrived in this sea, suggesting that what ever is following me is not a predator to them. But something, close by, is boring its eyes into me. It is the same feeling I get when a swarm of sea nettles just sneak up on you out of know where in the Pacific Ocean. Just when I am about to double back and find a large coral to hide in, I see it. Or at least the back-end of it, which had one black flipper and one half white/ half black flipper. I would know what flippers those were no matter what sea or ocean I found myself in. Those flippers belonged to a Selkie!

“Hello, I’ve seen you and know what you are. There is no use in hiding from me, I know you have been following for some time now,” I call out to the water waiting for it to come out from hiding behind a larger piece of coral.

“I promise, I won’t hurt you. I only wish to speak with you,” I continue on, thinking how funny it is just a couple of minutes ago I was contemplating making that exact hiding move. Slowly but surely a little black nose sticks out from a bright white and yellow coral.

“Hi, there. I am Iara. And you are the first Selkie I have seen in these waters.”

“Hello,”he bashfully replied while coming a little further out into the open where I could see his whole body. If  I didn’t know what a Selkie was I would have easily mistaken it for your average, everyday grey seal. The only difference between the two are their flippers, well at least under water. Selkies are known for having one flipper that is half white while seals have all black flippers. When a Selkie is above the water it is able to change its form into that of a human. I have never seen it done myself but I know they can pull off their Selkie skin and shape shift into a person.

“My name is Dylan,” stated the Selkie.

“How long have you been following me for Dylan?”

“Not long, you leave quit the surf behind you for a place that in normally so calm. You were easy to find and follow,”said Dylan.

“What do you mean I was easy to find? Have you been looking for me?”

Dylan froze for minute and looked at me intently trying to decide whether or not this was a question he wanted to answer. Then finally he said, “Yes, I have been looking for you ever since Looney Loney mentioned your meeting 3 days past.”

“Looney Loney, is that what you call the Aspidochelone,” I snicker, trying to keep my manners about me.

“Well of course! You think there is another Aspidochelone around here that goes by the same name Loney?”

This time I let out a full bellied laugh. I can not contain myself. I have never met a Selkie who was so full of humor. “Why do you call him Looney?”

“That’s simple,” replied Dylan, looking relieved to see me laughing. “We call him Looney because you will go looney trying to talk to him for any length of time.  Although, I would have to say you are the exception to that rule. From what I have heard, you spoke with him for over two days straight.”

“Was it really two days? Hmmm, I knew it was a long time but I had no idea I had let that much time pass us by.”

“May I ask you a question now, Iara?”

“Yes,” I nodded.

“What were you so interested in talking to Looney Loney for?”

“Well Dylan, that is kind of a long story. But if you have the time I would be more than happy to explain it to on the surface.”

“Okay, then to the surface it is,” said Dylan looking quit pleased with himself for the conversation seemed to be going better than he had first expected.

“Do you know where we could find a nice rock to lay upon? That is what I was searching for before you started to follow me,” I asked, giving him a little smile with my eyes.

“Of course I do. There is a great rock just a jet from here. We will hope on the Gulf Stream Current for a just a minute, I’ll show you the way,” said Dylan as I swam along behind him.

*More to come tomorrow Lotophagi!*

 

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For all you other writers out there – Try This

A cure to help writers block is to be able to step away from the subject you are writing about and to try something new. Even if you can only spare 5-10 minutes today, I want all you writers to try this! Then if you are feeling brave after your ten minutes are over, please share your writing with me! I would love to read some of your fresh ideas.

* Write from the point of view of anything not human–an insect, an android, a potato, a belly button. Try to invent and develop a diction that represents the frame of reference of this thing. For instance, if you are writing from the point of view of a shoe, it is likely to have extensive knowledge of and opinions about flooring, but a limited concept of the sky or human heads. (This exercise is from Janey Burroway’s book “Imaginative Writing.”)

 

“I feel everything with my whole body, from one end to the other.  I move slowly taking in all of the textures and all the while feeling for something to eat. Sometimes jagged sharp  parts poke into me from above and below. The pokes from below are usually caused by the rocks uncomfortable edges. Most of the time the jabs from above come from a fish or another animal larger than me but moves the same way I do, I am intended to be its meal. I like to suck rocks into my mouth and spit them back out while I am looking for something good to eat. My five arms help me move around the sandy,watery world I live in. Sometimes I can get into trouble and one of my arms will become seriously injured, I can grow mine back. I have been told that from up above I am full of bright beautiful colors.  I hate it when creatures talk to me this way. I do not have eyes and therefore, have no idea what a color is, let alone any thing called bright and beautiful. My world is harsh but it is the only one I know. Without my sense of touch, I would be forever lost. All I want to do is make it through the day and hope that my next mouth full of sand has some food in it! ”

-Being a starfish came out to be a little more depressing than what I thought it would be.

My Name is Aspidochelone

“Are you truly him? Are you….” What is the name? I heard it long ago but has it been so long that I have completely forgotten the name.  I know many ancient cultures had a name for this creature…..”Ah!” “Are you Aspidochelone?”

“Looooney, pleease calllll me Looooney, ” sighed Aspidochelone as though responding any faster might have cause him to rush the day.

“You really are him then?!” I sputter as if I can’t get the words out of my mouth fast enough.

“Mmmmmm,” replied Loney

“So have you really killed as many stranded sailors as legends suggest?”

“Fiiiiire, I doooon’t like fiiiire,” he mumbled

Loney slowly shifted his front flipper as if he got barnacle bumps just thinking about fire. I heard a story once from a grey whale about how Aspidochelone’s shell looked like an island to the land walkers. The parts I can remember of the story say that his shell even had sand and trees on it. But once a sailor was stranded on his back and built a fire, Aspidochelone would sink lower into the ocean to make the burning stop. Thus, causing the sailor to drown. Centuries later Aspidochelone was re-named Jasconius. Humans thought of him as an evil monster in the water for he would for sure kill you if given the chance. But judging by the looks of him, the only thing that scares me is his slow speech. I might end up wasting one hundred years just trying to have a short conversation with him.

“Loney, may I ask you a question? Where are we?” I eagerly responded unable to believe I have met the giant sea turtle of legends passed.

“Neeeew,” asked Loney with a very slow sideways glance at me. If I hadn’t know better I would have said he was staring at me but it seems he operates on a different speed than most creatures.

“Yes, I am new to this water,” I replied.

“Nooooo, neeeeew,” Loney sighed asking once again staring intently into my eyes this time.

“No, I am not new to water. I stopped counting my age once I reached one thousand.”

“Ahhhhh, soooo neeeeew.” He stated, making it clear he was no longer asking it as a question.

“Well how old are you? Most would think living past one thousand years is very old,” I respond feeling a little offended that he thinks of me as a fish of the sea.

“Tiiiimmmme, veeery looong,” he said.

“Loney, could you please tell me where we are?”

“Hiiiiddden, extreeeeeeamlyyyy hiiiiiddden.”

“How is it you came to be here Loney?”

He looked at me long and hard before responding, it was almost as if I had asked him a trick question. Finally, after what felt like three moons coming and going, his sapphire blue eye stopped staring at me and he looked at the bottom of me and replied, “Swaaaaam.”

With that he slowly closed his eyes and started to rise to the surface. I had a feeling that Loney was ready to sleep and that anymore questions I might have for him would have to wait until another time. That’s if I could suffer through such a slow and vague conversation again. He may have been the first creature I have seen in these waters, but there must be more around and preferably someone who wasn’t so slow of speech.

Swimming half a league away, I paused to turn around and fully take in the image of my first acquaintance in this sea. Giant wasn’t a word large enough to describe Loney. The very tip of his shell that I could see from underwater almost shimmered the color of gold while his flippers were spotted in different shades of cream, tan and brown. His head had now disappeared into his shell and only his turquoise nose was left poking out from inside. His nose was not smooth but had a few scars on it. I imagine a ship or two might have tried to set anchor there only find there was no bottom as Loney’s nose also looked very slick. Loney is nothing short of extraordinary! To imagine such a creature of this size still alive in this world is amazing, even for me.

Welcome Lotophagi!

It took me a little while to decide how to name my blog. For anyone who truly knows me, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I have settled on a title and username that is mythical and suggests creativity.

The lotus tree is a mythical plant that first appeared in Homer’s, “The Odyssey.” This tree bore fruit that when eaten by humans, had a drug like effect on them. The person no longer cared about loved ones or their native land. Instead they became content and only ate the fruit of the tree for the rest of their lives. These people where known as Lotophagi.

Now I am not saying that I am a Lotophagi, but I will attend to those who wish to lose themselves, even if for a moment of time, in my writings. Hence, why all of my comments and posts will be listed under the name Lotophagi Nymph.

Now please, sit back, relax and let yourself gaze upon my imagination.