Sea Creature

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
November 2017

By Sophia Gallegos

Descending. You go down, and as you go down the light begins to change. You notice scattered fish in the upper level. Then you see the yellow light that brightens the surface dim. As it dims, the creatures become darker, as if to blend in with their watery homes.

Like a rain forest, the sea has levels, and as you go down it’s as if you are in an elevator. Every floor is like the changing of a color. You feel as if you are descending into your grandfather’s basement that is full of relics he obtained when he was a kid.

Then you’ve reached it, the light switch in the basement. It brightens the room with wonder. You gasp as the large and gel-like silk body balloons past. You have never seen anything like it. Its limbs wave like spaghetti as you twirl it on your fork. Its body has slight color, you suppose, but you can’t be certain due to the lack of light. It looks a bit like velvet and you long to touch the large jellyfish but remembering that jellyfish usually sting, you retreat. Noticing that this one seems to have blubbery limbs, you begin to wonder. Then your question is answered. A fish swims down from above and you watch as the large jellyfish grabs the fish with its limbs instead of stinging it. It shoves the fish into its balloon of a body and relishes the taste. You study it, and as it begins to descend you follow. It descends. You descend.

Then panting, the purple brightens and sunlight breaks through the dark. I wake up. The version of me in the dream dies. “I know it’s real!” I say.

I rub the sleepy sand from my eyes as I slowly put on my slippers. I stare at the snowflake patterns for a second. Then I announce the declaration in my head that I made two minutes previous. I know it’s real! I shake my head as if to release the memories of my dream so that they fall out my left ear and land in a pool by my bed. But, unsuccessful with the extraction, I simply get up.

I stumbled to the kitchen where my dad was making waffles in our Belgian waffle maker. The upturned belly of my cat gave me a smile, and I rubbed her as she purred with her face pressed against the heater. I then stood up and helped my dad with the waffles. As I poured the batter into the iron, I wondered why waffles were only made in one print of checkered squares instead of many different patterns. It seemed dumb to have a singular pattern. I wished I could eat a waffle that had birds flying across it or a large elephant eating a leaf. Then I thought of all the people in the world and their differences and how maybe we had in some era agreed to make waffles the same so that we could all be united by them. Maybe so that we could feel as if we were all sharing something because waffles had a standard, and we had created that together. Nodding to myself, I decided that that was the answer. Then I quickly ate my waffle as I read the front page of the news. My dad tugged the news away from me saying that my young eyes shouldn’t be infected with that rubbish. I sighed and stood up to get ready for school.

After I had meticulously packed my school things in the order I would take my classes, I walked to the bus stop. There I met my friend Jez (short for Jezelle). “Judy!” she called. Looking up I smiled, but I noticed a group of kids surrounding her. Wondering how she could have possibly become popular in one night I ran over to her.

There was a circle of mist around her from all of the open mouths that were breathing into the crisp air. Everyone was singing along to the song that Jezelle was playing from her iPod. They sang,”Hey Jude, don’t be afraid, take a sad song and make it better.” A smile broke across my chilled face because I realized that they were singing to me!

I smiled at them all and as I did I thought way, way, way, back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Judy was born on crisp November morning. The first few years of her life had been spent doing the usual things like learning words and burping. When she was five, she got a bike and it immediately became her best friend. When she was eight, she took interest in creating small board games, but after a kid named Walter destroyed her best one, she gave up. When she was nine, she became best friends with Jezelle and they have been friends ever since.

But the most important thing in her life happened when she was eleven. Ten days after her eleventh birthday, her grandfather passed away. When sorting through his old things, she found a dust-covered journal. The journal held so many secrets that it took her the whole year to figure everything out. When she finally finished reading the journal, she read it again and once more after that. The journal told of many different sea creatures that were so foreign, few believed that they even existed. But Judy refused to just push them aside, even though her father had told her many times that no such creatures could possibly be real. Judy decided to take the matter into her own hands and began to look up many of the creatures on the internet. To her dismay, she could not find many of the creatures that were in the journal. She found references to a few, but the most profound one she discovered was a large jellyfish that had thick limbs and velvety looking skin. She knew that one day she would search for it and she could not wait for the day when she would begin.

Sea Creatures Sophia Gallegos

Sophia Gallegos, 13
Kula, HI

About the Author

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