Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Swimmers and the Land

January 24th, 2018 by G.

They are a slow and sleepy people, drifting in the upper waters, lazily flapping open and closed their gills. They idly avoid going deeper, where the oxygen is lower.

Sometimes one swims to the surface and tastes the pure air. They have lungs to breathe it, this people. When they do, they wake up. Vigor, alertness, acuity. The sea, it has been said, is salty from the tears of joy and sorrow they weep when they first come up for air.

The surface of the sea is choppy. It is cold up there. Waves dowse the swimmers. Gills dry out and lungs choke on unexpected mouthfuls of water. It is hard on the surface. Most skies are cloudy and grey.

Through dreams and visions and barely perceptible patterns in the currents and, some say, glimpses, the swimmers believe that there is far off land, where one can stand and breathe the air. As best they can, they are swimming towards it. They have been swimming towards it for years.

Their muscles ache.

The apologists among them say that the hard swim will tone their bodies to stand on the land.

Perhaps it is so.

But it cannot be denied that many–many–give up and sink back down into the water. Even those who keep swimming swim in fits and starts.

Others scoff at the dream of land. Air! Air! is the goal they say. And they train their muscles not for the hard slog of endurance swim, but for the quick bursts that leap out of the water. There are devices that would lead to battering if used to move through the waves, but can help to soar up out of them.

They launch nearly straight up into the pure, glorious air. “I can finally breathe,” they shout to the swimmers struggling below, and they are not lying. They are faithfully reporting their experience and what they are experiencing is true to reality. Air with no gulps of water, air with no waves slapping in the face, air with free and soaring flight and no gasping pain to swim swim swim.

Their acceleration up slows and slows and finally reaches a moment of zero-g, then they plunge back down through the air. Faster and faster, till they hit the water at incredible velocity, breaking bones, and plunging down into depths from which it would be hard to reach the surface again even if their body was still whole.

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
January 24th, 2018 07:03:47
1 comment

January 24, 2018

I wish I had written that.

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