Hiding from that terrible woman was what we did every day. Hiding in a pocket of darkness, wrapped around each other. I would say something stupid, she would giggle, and I would use her silky, pinkish-tinted blond hair to cover my red face. She didn’t mind, it would only cause us to become more entangled in one another. That was our thing. Our daily routine, you could call it.
Being in the foster home for as long as we had, it was hard to feel loved, so when you had a friend, you would never let go. But we were different. We were closer than just best friends, choosing each other over getting chosen.
In an orphanage, Emy would be the obvious choice. She was tall, blond, pretty, and shy to the bare eye. Once you got to know her, she would reveal her feistiness and confident nature to you.
I reach out my hand and sweep the precious strawberry golden locks out of Emy’s soft, olive, freckled skin and prompt her chin up. She shyly looks down at the base canoe and giggles to herself. When she looks back up at me, I smile to let her know that she is safe with me. She bites her lip and for a second, I regret making the first move until she smiles back at me with the warmest smile I’ve ever seen. The crystal clear sea sparkles with manta rays and dolphins swirl around us as we lean in.
Her soft lips gently press against mine as the warmth from the sun makes it seem like we will float on the playful waves forever, as her tongue brushes against my teeth and slips in as she puts her hands on my neck and pulls me closer to the point where I can feel her heart race. I grab her waist as she tugs tenderly at my collar, she wraps her legs around my body and I sit down, still holding her waist with one hand but put the other hand on the bench so I don’t fall over. We sit there with the sparkling waters, kissing as we continue to melt into the sunset.
Emy pulls away and gazes into my eyes only a few inches away from my face as I take a breather. I only half get my breath back before she runs her fingers down my short, deep brown hair and places her hands back on my neck, she pulls me off the ledge I was sitting on, to the bottom of the canoe. I look up at her as she slowly squats down. Our eyes are locked as she sits in a W stance on my lap. In this moment, she looks so beautiful that I can’t move or even breathe. She slowly pushes me down with her palm in the middle of my chest. In a movement, she now has her hands on both sides of my head, she leans forward, hopping onto her knees, coming into an adapted plank.
In that moment, as we stare into each other’s eyes, and our body heat keeps us warm under the ever-darkening sky above, I am glued to the ground, and her arms locked in place.
Until she does move. And yet again I am scared she has begun to regret this. She then starts laughing, and I feel relieved, but then concerned. Finally, I realize how strange this situation is, and how stupid my face must look. I also loosen up, and begin to laugh with her.
Emy lowers herself to kiss my cheek, and I pull her into a hug to safely plop her down next to me. We giggle, and look up at the stars. As Emy tries to point out constellations, I think about my life. Better yet my future — with Emy of course, she is my life. I think about this moment. When we go back, will we forget this? If we go back, will we be transported back in time, to before we had experienced this feeling? Do we have to go back?
Of course, we do. I’m not stupid, we don’t know anything about the real world. We would completely start over, a clean slate, you could say. But maybe that’s not a bad thing. Starting over. A life with her. Nothing could be more perfect. Nothing.
I quickly shove the idea out of my mind, and try to think of the present. And what I can do to make clear to her that this date isn’t an experiment, or a summer fling, and that she is my everything, and I want to be her everything. Before I can think of what to say next, my heart has beat me to it. I sit up, and Emy looks at me, a tad bit confused.
“Emy,” I say, barely a whisper. Emy senses something off, so she also sits up. I look away, embarrassed, and I almost can’t continue. She puts one hand on my shoulder and uses the other to hold my hand that I am not leaning on. We lock eyes and share a small smile. The warmth flows in from her kind touch, and I now don’t see a reason to not say it.
“I love you, Emy. I have for as long as I can remember. And not just as friends or family, my love for you goes deeper than that. You are my life and have been, always.” She releases from me, and looks shocked. She seems like she is about to say something, but I guess I will never know. Because right there and then, the canoe is flipped over, and I hit the water with a smack.
The water isn’t clear anymore, the tide seems high when it is only deeper from an essence, pushing the sand around, so it is blurry and there is a shadow cast around us.
Wait, us? Where is she? I open my eyes wider, the burning sensation where sand and saltwater mix up in your eyes covering up the feeling of something coming up behind me.
There is a minute where I see her with her precious golden locks floating in the water, and her eyes are closed while sharks circle around her, giving me only a few glances at her. All of a sudden, she opens her eyes. The sharks dash away, as I look closer, I see she is looking slightly over my shoulder with a blank expression other than a slight look of anger, and a bit of evil in her eyes. I flinch, and a little bit of air escapes me, but I stay calm. I look closer, her eyes normally ivy green are now a deep magenta, I rub my eyes, not believing what I’m seeing. I open my eyes, hoping that it was just a mind trick because of all the sand and seawater, and that she would be her normal self again, but when I open my eyes, I don’t see her. I look all around but I can’t find her anywhere.
Where could she have gone? Suddenly, something warm and furry brushes my neck. Could Emy be playing a trick on me? I turn around, hoping to laugh it off, pull us up and figure out what happened.
The smile fades from my face as I see a slimy tentacle that is connected to a much bigger, bulging figure with rows and rows of jagged, rusting, moldy teeth that has deep, red blood gushing out of its mouth, making the water around me darken as the blood flow starts to pull me towards the monster. It takes me a second to figure out what I am going to do, but when I figure it out, my petrified state only leaves me spazzing out.
Without warning, the tentacle latches itself to me and squeezes almost all the air out of my lungs, its nails claw at my bare skin, leaving bloody bruises all over me.
I still can’t see Emy, so with the last of my breath, I yell for her. Still no sign of her, and that is the last bit of oxygen inside of me. With the water filling my lungs and pumping the last bit of air out of my system, I go limp, and my world starts to blacken…
I awake with a squeak. Sitting up, looking in all directions, not knowing where I am, my familiar den with dark purple curtains on the moldy window that looks out into a brick wall (beautiful view) has been replaced with dim crystals and rocks to create a shaded cave which I am in. I have been washed up in this cave, it is clear to see, the only question is… how?
Clearly, I came in somehow, but where could I have come from? I look around, seeing no obvious exit, and wonder if there was no exit where I could have entered. I slowly put my shaking hands on the ground and push myself up, removing some of the excess dirt and sand from my clothes that smell heavily of seawater. I touch my fingertips to the edge of the wall that I am closest to, and start walking around the perimeter of the spacious cave, feeling all around to make sure a hidden door is somewhere around here.
Halfway through, I start to get really bad headaches, they start getting so bad that I collapse to the floor, hands clenching my head, screaming so loudly that some crystals fall off the ceiling, but I can’t hear, having this migraine hurts so bad that I can’t hear anything. It starts getting so bad that I keep starting to blackout, but have it pass just as I start to faint. Then, as fast as it comes, the brain-crushing headache finally passes for good. I let out a sigh of relief and unclench my hands from my head revealing blood, (yikes). I quickly wipe that on my shirt and get up and cautiously start tracing the walls with my fingertips again. Soon after that, I fall unconscious as memories flood back. I start to remember what happened on the previous night, the ride, the kiss, and the monster. I now also remember small memory clips of how I got here. I see myself rising and then falling, and then another clip where I scream, and then the echo of my voice causes rocks to rain on me. That’s probably why I fell asleep. I look on the ground, yep, these are the rocks that hit my head. I look back up, must have been a nasty fall, sharp boulders, and slimy moss surround the opening of the cave which would make the attempt of my escape fairly brutal.
Once, twice, five times, I try. There are blisters, bruises, and cuts all over my body, making the purpose of climbing halfway up and then falling down because my arms are about as thick as a stick, then brushing myself off and giving myself a pep talk, saying that I am going to get all the way up and that I am not going to give up halfway, but of course, I would manage to give up.
On the sixth try, I hear a neutral-toned voice say, “Oh, you should probably give up, you’re never going to get out anyway.”
“Well, I think I will with love as my determination,” I manage to grunt as I pull myself up to a rock that I didn’t see before.
“Well, it’s your fault we’re in here,” she snarls. For some reason, that freaks me out and I fall to the ground. Brushing myself off (again!).
“C’mon, man, I was farther than I ever went before!” I mutter, still not turning around. “I mean, I was right there, I could have reached up and — ”
“Carna,” she whispers. The only person who calls me by my real name is Emy. I whip my head so fast around that my neck starts to hurt.
“E-Emy? It’s really you? Oh, Emy, are you okay?” I exclaim. ”I’m so sorry,” I whisper, coming closer to her. I reach both my hands behind her neck and pull her even closer for a kiss. Only for her to push me away and flash her magenta eyes at me and say,
“Stop being so nice like you were to my mom when she didn’t expect you to be gay.” Her eyes look into my soul. It is that moment when something inside of me sinks. Just then, the ceiling comes crumbling down.
“Emy, what’s going on!?!” I breathlessly scream through the pile of deadly sharp boulders that have come down and just barely missed me. The rock rises and scatters across the walls and the empty space that used to be the ceiling. “E-emy. Emy, please, j-j-just tell me what’s g-going on,” I whimper. She just makes a half-hearted attempt of laughter.
“Hahaha, ha. That’s like what your mother said to me when you didn’t have the guts to tell her that you were lesbian, instead, you ran off like a little baby and hid in some shelter or some crap like that, leaving me to lie to your helpless mom, making me seem like the bad guy when you’re just sitting around doing who knows what, having me do all your dirty work,” she screeches in my ear with a look of either pure disgust, or pure hatred, maybe both.
“Em, I — ” I say with all intentions of apologizing, until she cuts me off.
“Oh don’t ‘Em’ me,” she scoffs as the rocks that I totally forget are there start flying across the cave with a flick of her wrist. “You are the one who convinced me to steal my dead parents’ boat just to have it flung around in the open ocean.” Then, as if I were mad at her, I yell back at her, hopping around trying to avoid the flying rocks.
“You did not steal the boat, you borrowed it.” Realizing how wrong I am with every word I say, I hesitate, allowing one of the rocks to knock me off my feet.
“Oh really, taking it against my mother’s command and then trashing it would not be considered stealing?” she squeaked, her hand now throbbing back and forth, sending boulders smashing into the walls, making everything fall on us.
“Emy, you’re right, I shouldn’t have done that, or anything else. I shouldn’t have been a baby, and hideaway, I should have come clean to my mother and told her I was gay, but that doesn’t mean you should make this whole cave come down on us.” Emy doesn’t stop.
“Emy, please, I-I-I love you.” Emy falls to the ground and the rocks drop. “Emy, are you back?” I whisper, shaking as I carefully step forward. She rocks back and forth and starts shrieking. While the color drains from her face, a ghost-like figure starts to separate from her face, but just as the demon is about to leave, it gets sucked back in her, giving the color back to her face.
“No!!! Emy will never come back! She is mine forever. She willingly gave me her body,” The demon snorts. “And now I will destroy you.” Emy’s body starts glowing brighter and brighter until she is blinding me. I close my eyes as the cave goes down.
As soon as I open my eyes, I see that I survived another rock attack, by jumping in a crevice right before the walls come down on me, but what about Emy? Sure a demon that wants to kill me is possessing her, but I still care about her. Would a human body survive if a demon is possessing it? I don’t need the answer ‘cause little do I know I will be finding out soon enough. It starts with a low rumble, and as it gets louder, the rocks start shaking, Then it starts to get to the point where the noise becomes screeching, and the rocks fall out of place. Soon, the location where I am standing becomes discovered by the demon, and the treacherous sea monster waiting to feast on my flesh.
“Hi?” I whisper stupidly, hoping to make up with the monsters. For a second, nothing happens and I think that it is over. “Oh good, I thought I was going to die for a sec — ”
First, I feel it, another burning sensation, except it is on the outside, then I see it, the flaming red fireball melting anything around us (even the rocks). I panic as my skin starts peeling upwards and the ground starts to suck me in.
“Ahhh!!!” I yell as I jump away from a drop of boiling rock liquid from the raging fire that makes holes in the ground bigger than me and Emy combined. What to do when standing in the middle of a burning fire under a pile of melting boulders? Then I see it, the small opening created by the screeching noise would be the perfect hideout. I crawl through only to remember that is the only way out, and the only way for the fireball to get in, so I am going towards the threat with my near red skin that is still on fire… oh well, can’t go back now, the fire still in there has melted the rocks over the hole and now has solidified. Great.
Before I know what to do, I am whisked up into the clouds by the easily recognizable barf-colored tentacle. Only this time, if I don’t get out soon, my ribs will probably crack. “Please don’t do this. Please don’t kill me, I know that I have been a terrible person while I have been trying to keep my life together, Emy has helped me see the error of my ways, and I hope to change for her and for the better of me.” The monster’s grip on me loosens. I try to shoot a hopeful glance at Emy, but she has disappeared. I look at the creature’s black shadow of a body, and stare dead into its beady red eyes as its glow fades slightly. “Please, I don’t want to die here, I want to be at home with Emy by my side when I finally nod off. Don’t you?” The last thing I see before I fall to my death is the red glow coming back to its eyes.
When I open my eyes again, I am in Emy’s bruised arms at a nook in the still-standing section of the cave, the crystals shine against Emy’s soft smile, forgetting whatever demon was inside her for a moment or two.
“How long was I out for?” I whisper, brushing a golden lock out of her scared face.
“For only a few seconds,” she replies, holding my hand to her face. I pull her into a tight hug. Realizing that I just fell from the sky, I panic and pull back.
“What’s wrong?” Emy asks, loosening her grip on me.
“How am I not dead? Am I dead?” I yell.
“What? No, you’re not dead, why?” she questions, looking concerned.
“The fall. When I fell, wait, did you catch me?” I exclaim. She smiles at me warmly. “Wait! What about the demon, did it leave you alone? Did you defeat it?” I ask, hope in my eyes, while also pushing away as far as I can still being in her arms.
“Well, not — ” Emy cuts herself off,
“Exactly,” the demon voice finishes. She falls, dropping me. She holds her head in a circling motion.
“Emy, pull yourself together!” the demon voice inside her screeches, making her shiver uncontrollably.
“No! I will not give in to you!” Emy yells, trying to separate herself from the demon. Seeing this, and not knowing what to do, makes me hate myself, it is horrible watching this, but I can’t just leave her to fend for herself, what type of heartless monster would do that?
With this destruction, whooshing noise becomes louder from a small section of the cave, but I don’t turn because I am too busy trying to figure out what to do.
Then, something starts illuminating the same dark and damp part of the cave that is not destroyed by the demon. Abruptly, white flames erupt from the illuminating section of the cave, blowing up the whole place and leaving rusty white spots in that area. Ouch, that must hurt insanely. From the dust comes the terrorist sea monster, which has a look of hunger in its eyes. I guess it has come to take my soul, too.
I watch, petrified, in fact too much so I can’t even hear the constant battle between Emy and the demon. I look down, sensing a tickle that is constantly getting worse. I realize that the fire has gotten to me and my skin has been rotting for at least five seconds because the fire has some sort of acid chemical reaction that is eating at my skin. If I didn’t feel it before, I definitely feel it now, the pain of it tearing through my skin, even muscle is too much for me to handle, even with it slowing down, it is eating at me pretty quickly. With some muscles gone, standing is not an option, I fall back, hitting my head, hard.
“Uhhnn!” I moan, rubbing my head. “Ahhhhhhhhh!!!” I scream, the pain of my muscles overwhelm me with absolute and utter pain! If that isn’t enough, the Kraken-like creature is now charging at me. I try to get up, but all I can do is sit still. Sitting stiller than stone, wondering what to do with my seemingly last few moments on Earth. I build up the courage to say my last words.
“Through everything we have gone through, we have stayed together. I have always loved you Emy, even before I knew I did. Through thick and through thin, you have always been there for me, and I love you for that but I’m just sorry that I have not been the best to you these past few years, and I’ll understand if you don’t forgive me for that, but I just wanted to let you know that I love you!” I cry as life fades away from me. With that, I close my eyes, hoping my death will be an easy transition to Heaven or, more likely, Hell. Lying, running away from home, and making my girlfriend do all my bidding for me will not get me into Heaven.
Thump thump, thump thump.
Is all I hear.
My heart beating, everything else is silent.
Scared to open my eyes. Cold all around me, I shiver.
Scared to open my eyes… I do anyway.
Slowly, my eyelids open to see my bare, scarred feet, drenched with blood. Confused, I quickly look up and see the same cave I was just in but only, the creature is leaving the cave, looking satisfied. Maybe the shot did hit me and I’m dead. That would make a lot of sense, and why is Emy sleeping? Nothing really made sense. If I’m not alive I wouldn’t get the honor of Emy in my living Hell, unless I got into Heaven. (But we all know what the chances of that would be after all that I’ve done.) On the other hand, I would still doubt that sleeping is the last thing she would be doing while she tried to battle the demon.
I walk over to her, and look down, seeing a big tear of fabric near her torso. I feel my jaw drop when I can see deeper than just her skin, but before any sounds can come out, I feel the warm, heavy breathing of something behind me. The moistness, and height of where it came from make me freeze. I gather up courage and slowly turn around.
The Kraken thing looks at me as if it were grinning. I feel as if there were something building up inside of me. To my surprise, it doesn’t feel like fear, it feels more like anger. A deep rage burns hotter and hotter inside my soul. Suddenly, I do not think that Emy is sleeping anymore. I don’t feel like she is safe.
And I have a strong feeling it has something to do with the Kraken. I feel it with each heave of its breath, and every time a basketball-sized glob of drool falls to the stone floor we are both standing on. I sense that it knows something I don’t.
In the moment of stillness, the Kraken suddenly gets impatient for a reaction, and it swings at me. Somehow, I manage to dodge the attack as if I know it will happen ahead of time, and with even more anger fueling my actions, I charge at the oceanic beast, and manage to throw it across the cave in one fell swoop.
As soon as it hits the ground, it vanishes in a cloud of dust. I don’t even take the time to process how in a flurry of wrath, I have not just lifted, but thrown the foul creature who had probably weighed about a ton all the way across the cave.
Not even a little bit. The first thing I do is check on Emy. Being able to take a closer look, I realize how much damage was actually done.
“God! Emy, this is bad. This is really bad!” I panic. She then wakes up, and looks at me with a sad smile, as if she has already accepted that there is no hope.
“But…” I speed up, trying to put on a brave face. “If we get you home now, we can patch you all up, and we will be alright! I-I-I mean you will be alright.”
I start to pick her up, but I stop when I realize she feels very limp in my arms as if she were barely even there, but she is there. All the way there, so I try again. This time, I try to ignore the emptiness within her and get her out of there as soon as I can.
I stop when I feel her small, stone-cold, hand against my arm. I look down to see her warm eyes politely asking me to put her back on the ground, so I do. How can I deny my dying girlfriend’s request even if it means a zero percent chance of her survival?
NO! There is no way she would have me stop trying to save her. She knows what would happen to me if she stops breathing, she knows how much she means to me… but does she?
What am I even thinking? Of course she knows. She also knows what I could do to save her. That’s why she stopped me, she has a better way to save herself, a faster way to secure her survival.
“Okay, so what do you want me to do?” I ask, energized. She looks at me as if I had asked her if she wanted to do jumping jacks while fighting a bear. “You know… to save you and all?” I feel my voice get all scratchy, and I swallow hard to push down the bad feeling that has started to arise. She opens her mouth to say something, but without even realizing it, I cover her mouth.
I have just asked a question, but I don’t let her answer. I don’t even know why.
Yes, I do. I don’t want to hear what she has to say. I know it will be something bad. I KNEW IT THE WHOLE TIME! Ever since I saw her there, I’ve known she is losing to the universe, I’ve known she is slipping away, I’ve known she is almost gone, I know…
… she is almost dead.
Her eyes are wide but understanding as I release her mouth from my tight grip. My hands go up to my face and I rub my eyes. Hard. It hurts, but I hope I will see a different image when my eyes defog.
“Hey!” Emy tries to yell, but fails due to lack of breath support. Her failed attempt causes another wave of emotion that blows through me. I can see her readjust as she looks at the pain on my ever dampening cheeks.
“Hey,” Emy whispers this time. “Don’t do that.” She gives me a partially disapproving look. I look at her, confused, and she removes my hands from my eye region. I sigh, a bit relieved knowing that she still cares about me even during what could be her final moments. She also sighs, and brings my trembling hands to her face. I restabilize, as her warm breath slowly comes in, and out, from her subtly parted lips, onto the backs of my hands. Which she has placed on her cheeks to which her slightly pointed nose pokes out in the gap between them. It is slightly uncomfortable, but I don’t really notice. How am I going to get through her eventual departure?
“Carna?” she whispers into my hand.
After this, Emy and Carna share a moment where Emy tells Carna that she loves her but that she has to go on without her and, with that, Emy dies. Carna then finds some wood on the beach that she pulls together and puts a sail on and has to find her way home from being on this island in the middle of nowhere. I guess you could say that she was lost at sea 😉