Story example: Life in the Aquarium: A Trapped Land Dweller’s Nightmare – 30/07/19

One forced foot in front of the other, she trudged through the sticky affray, of the seaweed clinging to her calves and knees and ankles, on this otherwise fine and calming day. From the outside of her world, things appeared safe and sound, but on the interior, and within her screaming mind she would find there was no end to the curious crowds. Peer into the glass separating she and them they would, so dutifully, knowingly and freely, without any understanding of her paining anguish and agony, of being bound by her once land dwelling feet.

Why was she here, how had she arrived here, who was so cruel they would capture a land dwelling individual and place her within a rectangular, tiny vessel, for all the world to see, why she suffered so freely? For it was not the simple physical paining that caused her to groan, it was the mental pain of being all on her own, with only fish for company and sea rocks and squid, all the occupants which could quietly exist. With her, she needed verbal stimulation, and emotional context, and someone to feel her warmth, and of their love she could experience that emotion again, for how could one coexist simply with barnacles, crustaceans and fish by her side? She had left so many others in her previous world behind.

This woman’s tale was utterly miserable, could there be a shining light? To witness, to daydream about, something which could save her from the Inside. But no one from her former life knew whereabouts she gone and what she had become, and trudge all morning, noon and night did she, waiting for a hero to come. The curious crowd always pointed and would speak, of how interesting it was to watch her scene. Of the sadness which covered her expression, so clearly overwhelming, was there not anything positive worthy of me saying?

Sadly, it was not the case, it were as though she were a mermaid trapped on the land above, but reversed, she had been plunged deep within this aquarium by a nasty man who thought so little of humans, apparently unworthy of respect nor love. He believed anything was up for capture, as long as it could breathe underwater, but how could this be? She was a woman of the earth, the land, not the sea, and indeed, he solved that problem with a click of his fingers, one, two and then three! He was handy with contraptions; he created for her a breathing apparatus, quite like what divers used, except this last for centuries and ages. She was forever doomed to a life beneath the water, not even afforded residence into the cool, calming sea, but a facade of that world, perfect for viewers such as you and I to permanently see.

With no friends to save her, she even stopped trudging in the temperature controlled water. What was the point, when there was no emotions or excitement to feel, not even of impending danger?

All of a sudden, one morning, a man rushed from behind the crowd.

“Sharon, Sharon! I will save you!” and he thrust his thick elbow into the glass before everyone, causing a collective gasp, and an accumulative, “Woowwwwww…” The water exploded forth, the glass shattered everywhere to be seen: coral, mussels, molluscs, seaweed, all an aquarium owner’s both nightmare and dream. All for the picking, for those who wished to glean.

To Sharon, the trapped Land Dweller’s surprise, she recognised her best friend Scott from the land of the Outside. He had changed so much, gained much weight, grown a thick beard, but still she couldn’t believe she hadn’t recognised him immediately, but then again, she had had much to fear. A striking human he was, he had missed her ever so much, he had caught wind of her entrapment from yonder gossip amongst the fields.

And here her saviour was, hugging her with such protective kindness and a warm embrace, she felt so loved, safe and reassured, by his presence, and she knew by his side she would never leave. He had saved her from a life of paining, agonising and utmost loneliness indeed. She felt so overwhelmingly grateful that all she could do was limply hug him back. Later she would express truly how much she missed him and her former life with words spoken, uttered, sung, and actions made after the fact. She knew he understood how much she appreciated him, and his saving of her, and while the aquarium owner would never be brought to justice for capturing and never intending to release her, Scott and Sharon would live together, their friendship growing stronger, then into love each day, a little by little, a little more.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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