I’m alive. I stumble from the salty depths, marine richness dripping from my legs. Turning, I gaze in wonder at the world of my own creation.
Lutania. Here, people are born from the sea, at different ages, with pre-set, unknown life spans. Neural pathways cross on the day of determination. Massive degeneration. Confusion. Fear. Aggression. People become uncontrollable, rip their clothes, claw out their eyes. They must be sent to the sea.
I glance at my naked self. Kienan Burk, my main character. He is me. I know how he lives, and I know how he dies. I dread page 337.
Voices. Tender shushing. “Don’t stare,” the woman says. “It’s just another new face.” She hands me a set of clothes. Blushes. Walks away.
Suddenly I’m in the swamp. Snarling. Screaming for freedom.
Page 335. Blood drips down my cheek. Shadows overtake me and stab me with knives. I’m dragged to the shoreline.
Page 336. I escape.
Page 337. I scream at the stars. Extending my nails, I rip open my eye sockets and gouge out my eyes. Left, then right. Hot life pours down my tender, inflamed skin, as sharp metal sends me to sleep.
The sea made me, and the sea will take me back.
Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday: