It was warm, despite being wet. It was calm, peaceful, but that's not why I am here. I felt weightless, yet I sank to the bottom.
I opened up my eyes and saw the blue-tint color of the waters, specifically, the sea. Hmm, it was a beautiful sight to see, especially when the fishes passed me by, swimming by as if they know I meant them no harm at all.
The sunbeam that managed to stabbed the surface the ocean brighten up the ocean floor that I stood on. The warmth of the light caresses me like how a parent's hug. Corals and other sea-plants, especially algae, dotted the entirety of the bottom painting the floor with fibrant life
I blew out streams of bubbles and, surprisingly, I managed to breathe underwater. It was a convenient since I couldn't swim.
But what I saw to my side was. . . a tree? What was a tree doing here? Underwater?
I took my first step towards it, but flinched in pain. I retracted my foot, and saw what it is that caused me the discomfort. It was a knife. What was it doing here, well, I have no clue. I just got here.
I took notice of my surrounding, seeing all the underwater land and its life-forms floating by casted a sense of ease. Heck, the sharks were just passing me by, not bothering to even attack me.
Then I glanced at the only thing that stand which was the tree and the knife. I didn't think much of it, but I laughed at the funny sight, only bubbles came out of my mouth.
I glanced at the knife and decided to take it for good use or something
I scooped it up in my hand and observed it. Just as I was observing the oddly polished utensil, I heard the muffled scream that drew me away from it. Up ahead, a dark mass of polluted smoke approached me.
Immediately, all of the fishes dispersed leaving me behind to face the entity floating towards me.
I could discern an unknown figure along with two glowing white orb within the smoke as it neared where I was. I didn't feel the need to run nor was I concern, but it was pointless either way since I was underwater, after all.
When the smoke approached, it stopped in front of me, I was able to see what it actually looked like. The figure I saw in the smoke was actually a person, or what looks like a person. The orbs were its eyes, which was began to frighten me as they continue to stare through me.
We continued this staring contest until it stooped low enough for its head to be at my height and spoke.
"What brings you here? Who are you to be brandishing a blade, when you have not the mind of a killer, the body of a warrior, and the power of a king?" It said, its voice distorted and muffled under all the water.
I tried to speak, but all that came out were bubbles.
"You who has no voice believed to be free to speak when spoken to when in the presence of us, the spirit of sea that devour those who disrespect us and any who stands before us?" It said menacingly.
I shook my head and waved my hand in hopes to convey that I meant no disrespect, despite the hypocrisy when it asked me questions that are meaningless in the first place.
"Let silence be your virtue, for it is the virtue of the sea you are now in. Obey our law, and maybe you won't die a painful death." It loomed closer towards me, and I couldn't help but brought the knife closer to defend myself. It stopped, regarding me with indiscernible eyes. "You resist? Do you fear I may harm you?"
"It is true, I will harm you, for you are a trespasser as well as a prey for the predatory to eat when hungry. Accept your faith then I'll make it quick and painless."
I stepped back, the knife in my hand pointed towards the spirit in hopes to ward it off if it gets too close.
"Why must you resist?" It asked, quirking it head while the cloak of smog seemed to be unending to stream out as it covered the entire floor. "You have no chance to survive."
Hearing that set me off in a panic as I continue to pivot backward, anywhere but near this spirit. It was no use, that was clear, but I convince myself that land maybe near by, so I pivot as hard as I can, while holding the knife towards the approaching danger.
"Have you no common sense? You are nowhere near land, yet you continue to run. Your pathetic attempt to escape us is nothing but a fool's wish." It attempted to dive at me, but I waved my knife and managed to ward it back.
It dove for me again, but I pivoted to escape its grasp and swung the knife only to hit empty water. The spirit was angry, at the same time confuse if the tone of its voice was any reference as it kept on speaking to me.
"You will tire out, and that will be the time we will strike."
Well, I'll make sure not to tucker myself out. I kicked the ground as hard as I can, making my slow, very slow escape from the monster that wanted to eat me. It's even trying to persuade me to be eaten. Just, wow.
I kept up my escape, swinging my knife when I needed to keep the spirit back, taking a slow walk to conserve my energy. To be honest, I was getting tired. I glanced at the sun and noticed that it was getting dimmer and dimmer.
The spirit looked at the ocean surface as well, watching the light of sun dying, painting the ocean a darker shade. "The sun will be gone, and it when it sets, you won't be able to save yourself from me."
Hearing that, I pushed even harder against the waters, pressing backward in hopes that I can outrun the sun. I hoped with all my heart that a land or some sort of shelter would present itself soon. Seeing nothing but open ocean, I continued on while fending off the spirit that was getting close.
I looked to the surface directly at the sun, and prayed in my mind that it would please continue to shine just a bit longer, to shine the way when I reached shelter.
But it was too much for that wish to come true.
The sun had set, with it the light was gone leaving me in the darkness. The only source of light I could see was the glowing eyes of the spirit chasing me. I waved my knife, hoping I could stab it in the dark, but it turns out it could clearly see me.
I wanted to cry out of fear and pain when the light was gone. I was alone with a monster that wanted to eat me and I couldn't see where I was going. But there was not time for it, for I couldn't rest not while the monster was closing in on me.
I had no choice but to keep walking in the certain direction I was heading. The spirit spoke no friendly advised to me, only screech, roared, and even shouted me in anger. It's voice was the only thing I hear in the dark abyss. It's eyes were the only thing that provided as light.
Then I tripped over a rock, causing me to fall on my back. As soon as that happened, the spirit rushed over at me with an animal-like screech. It was about to devour me whole, but the knife was in my hand and it backed away.I tried to stand but doing so only allowed an opening for the monster get me. So I did what I had to do, I pivoted the ground again with my back against the ground, scraping away my shirt and skin.
It was painful but I moved on. The spirit went for my leg, but my knife was still in reach to scratched the spirit which was enough for it to back away. Seeing my chance, I took the moment to stand up. As soon I was vertical again, the spirit charged viciously nearly colliding into me, but it swerved at the last minute to avoid my knife.
Again, I continue to run with the spirit giving chase.
For what must have been like hours of running in the dark with the spirit giving up on attacking but waited patiently for me to tire out, I glanced at the water above and noticed the surface was getting closer and closer. I couldn't help but smiled and let out a stream of bubble in what was supposed to be laughter.
The spirit on the other hand was livid. It began it attacks on me again screaming, "No!" It charged at me, but I swung my knife forcing it back, but it recovered even faster than before; it attacked with so much fervor while I was spending my strength too much when I should have spend it on running.
"No one escapes death! No one runs from the inevitable!" It cried angrily, it voice rang into my ears like a thousand voice screaming. "Accept your fate! Accept it!"
I swung my knife again and again, but fatigue was bearing down on me, its weight increase by the second.
"Come to me!" It charge at me, but I was too late because the spirit managed to wound me.
I let loose streams of bubble on what was supposed to be screams, my free hand pressed against the scratch on my chest. But I couldn't stop there. I kept running backward with the knife outstretched awaiting to stab it.
The water above was getting lower and lower to the point I could see waves crashing on the surface. The land below me was leaning more and more where I had to lay on my back so I could move up while still facing the thing that wanted to kill me.
"No! Do not go! Do not leave!"
I could reach the surface of the water. I stood my with my hand outstretched to reach up. I could feel the air. Land was close! My energy regenerated, my feet working overtime to reach the shore if it is behind me.
No. I couldn't afford to be pessimistic!
With the renewed strength, I pivot as hard as I can. The spirit tried its best to get me, but this sense of hope in me fueled my arms to be able to match the speed and attack of the spirit. With careful, hard steps I moved back, sensing the water above me getting closer and closer.
Just as I made another step, I felt my head breaching the surface, air caressing my hair. I took a chance and glanced back and saw land from below the water, standing like a promising gate to sanctuary.
Pain flared on my arm and I dropped my knife. The spirit managed to scratch the my upper arm which due to the fact I was distracted by my blind stupidity!
"Now! Do not resist!" It said menacingly, lurching towards me with incredible speed.
But I ducked under the attack, leaving it to swam passed me and blocking off my escape. Shit! I picked up the knife again and charged forward, my body too tired and angry to care about what I was doing.
The promise of safety and here the spirit just stood in the way!
"Wait! No! Stop!" It cried, swimming backward as I made my way toward it.
With the knife pointed at it chest, I used the current of the wave which propelled me towards the spirit. I crashed into the being, and it let loose a torrent of scream which caused a wave to ripple around us. The spirit trashed in pain, whipping me off and sending me over it. The scream was still audible behind me, but now I focused on reaching shore.
With as much strength I have left, I run slowly until my head finally breached above water. I took in my first breath of air and savor it as much as I can.
When the water reached above my shoulder, I began to kneel as I can crawl my way out. My legs were too tired, but my arm might as well help out.
With one hand after another, I clawed my way to shore. I placed my hand forward and felt something coarse yet grainy. I scooped up this material and brought it to my face to inspect. It was sand.
I held it closed to me as I laid on back, the wave slapping gently at my feet. The sky dark and stars littered the entire canvas. Clouds strayed into my view before it goes away.
I laid there, my eyes glued to the heavens above. Savoring the beauty of it all.
Then a orange burning like color covered the sky, the star fading away little by little. I cast my tired eyes toward the source of the light. Rising in the horizon was the sun, it light greeted me like an old friend.
The first noise I made when I was on land was one I couldn't forget. I cried. Tears streamed from my eyes as I cried in anger, joy, pain, and relief. The mixture of emotions was confusing but I couldn't stop.
I cried for over an hour before the adrenaline let up and left my whole body tired to the bone. Fatigue was pressing down on me like a heavy weight on my chest, and I was too tired to even lift a finger.
Then, as the sun rose, comforting me with its glow, my eyes closed on their accord and I fell asleep with tears flowing from my eyes.
When I woke up, the first thing I saw was the sun glaring at me from above, searing my eyes for even daring to lay eyes on it. Whatever, it abandoned me to the monster before. I shielded my eyes from the light, and sat up to inspect my surrounding.
I saw the sea in front of me, its waves weren't at my feet anymore so it must be low-tide. The beach I was sitting on stretch on and on to my sides. Behind me were trees that towered above me, casting a shadow that urged me to come over and sleep under.
To that I can't disagree.
I picked myself up slowly, before I lumbered weakly towards the desired sleeping spot and rested with my backs against the coconut tree. It couldn't get any better than this.
After I rested, I went ahead and started to explore the island. It was filled with many trees. The island was small, very small. I think it's big enough for like 30 people to stay in. It has no hill, just a rich habitat filled with trees.
Eventually I had to go find food for me to eat, and I wouldn't be any more surprised than I was; the island was filled with food in the abundance!
Coconuts for drinking, its meats desirable for a snack; bananas by the handful, every one of it was delicious; Breadfruit that tasted weird, but nothing like a little fire to cook it right up so it can be more desirable; and the mangoes, oh, the mangoes are to die for.
These were the only available food I could find, but it didn't matter when I continue to eat fervently. The tastes were so enjoyable I couldn't stop! Different flavors to explore and taste.
After having my fill, I went back to the tree to sleep off the food I ate. It couldn't get any better than this!
Next day came, and immediately I went off to get some more food to eat, I was starving! I collected more and more variety of fruits and went ahead to eat them all one by one.
Then I went back to sleep by the shade.
Morning arrived, the first thing in my mind was to get something to eat. As soon as I reached the groves, I leapt at the branches filled with mangoes and ate to my heart's content. But, for some reason, the more I ate the hungrier I get.
I ponder this thought some more, but I waved it off so I can eat some more. After having my fill, I went back to the tree and slept.
The next morning came, and all I could think of was what I would eat. But I was getting too lazy to even walked towards the groves for mangoes or breadfruit, so I decided to have some coconut from the tree I was sleeping under.
I spent my energy climbing the trunk until I finally reached one of the round, promisingly delicious, coconuts. I managed to pry it off of its branch then set off to husk it. Then I proceeded to crack the shell against a rock.
Only, instead of milk leaking out from the shell, it was blood that poured out.
I screamed as I dropped the shell, backing away to the beach and wave behind me. I stared at the sight before me, shock and disgusted at the amount there were pouring out, pooling on the ground.
Then I heard a sound coming from the forest. The sound of creaking and heavy footstep getting closer and closer. I could see someone standing standing under the shadow, watching me.
"Eat." It spoke, its voice gravel-like and hollow, scaring me out of my stupor. A hand stretch out-wait, it wasn't an arm; it was a branch that is shaped like an arm with its twig-like hands opening to reveal a mango. "Eat."
I glanced at the mango, then at the shell spewing blood, then back the entity. After a while, I shook my head.
The being dropped the mango and walked towards one of the coconut trees, the shade covering its entire body from me seeing its true look. The being reached up, its arm stretched onto the tree above and picked a coconut. It husked the coconut's cobra with it's bare hands then cracked the shell in two. It offered the shell to me, the inside bloodless and filled with promising white meat and clear milk. "Eat."
But, again, I shook my head.
At my refusal, the being threw the shell aside with much force. I could see it shaking, as if in anger. "Eat!" It roared at me. "Eat!"
I backed away. The being began to throw a tantrum, swinging its arm decimating every tree nearby. "Why won't you eat!" It cried, finally stepping out of the shadow revealing a horrifying sight! It's body was that of a man, but vines, branches and twigs pierced entire body which. His limbs were replaced by branches that acts convulses as it moves. His head was growing out branches and out of one of his eye-hole. The other was left empty, but the way it was looking at me seems to show that he can see me.
"Eat!" The thing screeched before it ran at me full charge, its arm raised at me to catch me.
I turned back and ran towards the beach at full speed. I could hear the monster scream getting louder and louder as it neared me. I could feel the twigs scratching at the back of me head.
Then I tripped over and fell into the water which was shallow enough to just drown my hands and legs. I turned back awaiting the horror but it was just standing at the shoreline by the border of the sea and land.
It stood where it was, its face contorted into a snarl. It couldn't walk into the water!
"Ahh, it don't matter." It spoke, walking back. "The seeds have been planted. It is growing within you. Soon. Soon, you will be like all of us."
I felt a pain flaring at my arm and I looked to see a sapling growing from it. My eyes widened in a panic, and I tried to pull it out but I couldn't. I felt the pain grow from my arms, legs, head, chest, and head. It was excruciating.
I cried again, it just wouldn't stop hurting!
As I cried on the water, the sun set again, leaving me once more to my pain. To the monsters.
The end of the chase.
I opened my eyes, looking around and saw that I slept in the waters just near the shores. The sun soaring above me, it light wasn't comforting as before. I raised my arm and saw more sapling growing from it which elicits more pain. I scratched at the discomfort, but didn't soothe the pain at all.
I looked on to the beach and saw the monster still standing by the trees, it's smile seem to make its own face even more grotesques by the way it just twisted in the wrong way.
It didn't matter. It wouldn't get me. Or would it?
I look at the amount of sapling, and a branch, grew even more and more. I don't know what to do. What have I become? No, I don't want become a monster, but how I stop this.
Then, I glanced back to the sea, and saw the no other way. It was hopeless. I am going to die by becoming a monster. I raced to this island for salvation but only receive damnation. Why is this happening to me?
The pain flared, and some of the saplings became twigs. Soon, they will be branches. Then, very soon, I'll become a tree.
"Come ashore!" The monster called. "Come and rest in the shade!"
Should I? I have come too far for this, yet I wanted to leave it. Are my sacrifice for naught? No, it wasn't for nothing, it was just a mistake. A mistake I couldn't take back, but I could correct.
I stood and with my last act of defiance, I turned my back against the monster and walked back into the sea.
"No! Come back! Come back!"
After my head submerged, I didn't hear its voice any more. I continue to walk into the sea, the pain all over me flaring uncontrollably, but I pushed on. I continue to walk, my direction unknown, but it didn't matter. If I was going to be turn into some sort of tree, I'll be a tree underwater. At that, I laughed out loud at the funny sight in my head. It's a pity if I don't get to see it.
Sun began to set, but I didn't mind. As a matter of fact, I didn't care. I continued walking some more, but it felt like forever and the pain was already at the point where I couldn't more my left arm properly.
Then, in the distance, I saw a dim glow. I know that source of light!
With more steps I made my way towards the light, the sand kicking up due to how hard I ran. I cleared through the rocks, corals, and sea plants until I come across the source of the light.
Before me was the spirit that chased me from before spewing death threats and such, but this time the knife was still in its chest, laying on its back to ground, and its eyes dimming. Was it dying? I knelt before the spirit, my branch-covered hand reached out and gripped the handle of the knife. As I did, the spirit moaned in pain.
Guilt welled up in me, knowing that the pain I inflicted on him was probably worse than mine. I couldn't leave it suffering; at least there has to be one of us that suffers not both.
I pulled out the knife, causing the being to scream in pain at first then it ceased. Slowly, the light in its eyes glow brighter and brighter.
Then it rose to a vertical standing, observing the wound on its chest. The it glanced at me, it eyes brightening even more.
"You." It spoke in surprise, which was not I expected. "You return."
I tried to stand, but I was stuck in a kneeling position, the growing branches have left my legs stiff as they are.
"And you have changed. For the worse, it seems."
I wanted to speak, to tell it what had happened, but only bubbles comes out of my mouth.
"You assume to speak again. Silence must be your virtue, since you action aren't anything to be proud about." It said condescendingly as the spirit swam around me to observe what I have become. "You are in pain, no?"
"Then should I leave you like that? After all, you ran from me to live, and saved me from dying by your knife, so I could spare you as a reward." It said with a voice that broke no emotion.
I shook my head as rapidly as I could.
"Oh, then what do you request from us?" It asked, looming close to my face, or what was left of it.
Pain flared from my eyes, Then I could feel one of them being pushed out until it did. My eyeball floated in front of me. I raised my hand and touched where my eye was supposed to be only to feel a branch sticking out of it.
I couldn't help but cry silently, sending a pleading look towards the spirit. I begged for help of any kind.
The spirit said nothing at first before it looked away. Then it said, "There is nothing that can help you. Dead is your only hope for peace."
I feared that would be the answer. I dreaded it. I had awoken to this place, fought for survival, only to make a mistake that puts all of the hope I had to live out of the window. There was nothing I could do. I felt so hopeless than the time I was chased underwater.
I looked up to the spirit and held out the knife to him.
"What? You want us to end you?" It said. I nodded. "We are sorry, but we can't."
I looked up in shock and anger at its response.
"Once you have been cursed, we cannot do anything to stop it not even giving death to those who are inflicted by it." I wanted to scream in rage, in outcry, but my mouth was clogged with branches closing off my throat.
The spirit stared at me for a while, before it swam off, leaving me to suffer.
I cried as long as I could. I couldn't move my left arm, and I couldn't feel both of my legs. My chest was torn by the branches sticking out of it. And if I were to describe my head, I'll say it was just filled with saplings poking out from the head if the pain was anything to go by.
In a fit of anger, I stabbed the ground repeatedly, but it only made me notice how my right arm was getting stiff. So I stopped.
I sat there, quietly waiting to finally become a tree. To die by becoming a tree, how ironic!
I waited as hours passed, counting every second until I ignore time for the sake of my sanity. Waiting until death arrives.
But a splash overhead told me of an unexpected arrival.
I turned my head upwards as much as I can, and saw figure of a person. A person! It was a person!
I glanced at myself, seeing it all connect somehow. The tree I saw before was person, leaving the knife for me to take on and survive. But I failed like that person before failed. Would this new person failed like us?
No! Not on my watch!
As much I can, I pressed the knife against the ground and began to write my stiff arm wasn't making it easy, but hopefully it'll be worth it.
Then my arm contorted and shifted as it changed on its own. I placed the knife by my writing and waited for the pain to end. As I did, the person landed beside me. It was a boy, his hair dark and short, and his clothes were casual just a blue shirt and green pants. His eyes were closed, but he was breathing if the bubbles were any clue.
I watch him as he opened his and glanced around. The first thing he saw was the treem which was me, then the knife and the writing besides it. He knelt, his head reached where mine was so we have the same height, and he read the what I have written on the ground:
"TAKE THE KNIFE, AND LIVE LONGER THAN ME."
When he picked up the knife, glanced around, then just walked away in a direction. All I could hope for now is that, he lives longer than I did.