daily microfiction 

Rippled light gleams off a decorative diving bell, thrown from deck in a storm.

Within, a solitary nereite leans against the glass, so close to familiar waters but trapped in alien brine.

His song is subsonic, and calls his brethren from afar.

daily microfiction 

It churns the ocean floor, in armor forged from vent effluvia, legs undulating beneath a transparent carapace of a thousand mismatched plates.

As it trundles closer, ask yourself: does it roar, or is that merely the tectonic thunder of overlapping glass on glass?

daily microfiction 

Dive to the benthic depths on a cool night and you may chance upon the fluorescent dance of the quantum nymphs.

Their twenty-three-year superposition degrades in a pop of bubbles & a brief flash, as they blink across oceans - sometimes even worlds - to rejoin their mate.

Follow

daily microfiction 

Before Myxini was caught, this used to be an ocean. But Myxini is the slipperiest of all prey, the trickster of the dark, and His slime is without end.

Do not stray into the swamp lightly, for it is quick to brine, and Myxini must lie undisturbed if the waters are ever to return.

· · Web · 1 · 2 · 4

daily microfiction 

Twelve years ago, the starship Thistlegorm crashed into the reefs of the Geusian xenosea, with the loss of all organic life.
 
But the fish school in algorithmic fighter patterns, and the wave-crests breaking over fresh coral spell out in binary: I AM HERE.

daily microfiction 

The vents slumber far from the light, as submersibles and bathyspheres waft by; they have lain dormant for centuries.

Gold and precious metals await those brave or greedy enough to dive too deep, to crack the dark towers and rouse the beast on whose back they have always ridden.

daily microfiction 

This bottle once contained the ocean. See: how its glass is weathered smooth by the waves. Hear: how the voice of the sea rings unceasing in its bore.

It must never be returned to the deep, for water finds its own level, and a home once departed is oft longed for.

daily microfiction 

Old Father Slime tends his abyssal garden, one sprout at a time. Sunless, his blooms orient to his passing, each current-swept red stem drawing life from lazily-sinking death.

Down here, all things pass slowly. It is by design, for Old Father Slime's in no hurry to leave his works undone.

daily microfiction 

In every ocean, there is a boundary: above it, living things are thrust to the surface; below, they plunge to the depths.

The Dutiful Order of Hippocampi patrol this line, tridents at the ready, for there are things below which must never be allowed to re-surface.

daily microfiction 

A shadow in the deep, outline broken by tentacled courtiers like locusts before the sun. 

The bysswhale sings, her voice the harmonic grind of subduction plates and eroding chalk, and the waters rise up and crash down like a tsunami upon her prey. Her court will eat well this day.

daily microfiction 

When the first boatload of trash was hauled from the Pacific gyre, gathered by cephalopod labour, we celebrated our cleverness. How smart we were, trading meagre morsels for clean seas!

When the octopi cleared the way to their city, and rose once more above the waves, their first demand was back-pay.

daily microfiction 

His flesh is faceted obsidian, his eyes are agate, and his lure is the tiny voice that echoes in your head in the early hours of the night.

It deceives, it paralyses, it drives your confidence from you, until you plunge into those depths, swim towards the light, and are consumed.

daily microfiction 

Enthroned on long-dead coral, dorsal spines erect, Abyssalia reigns over the chill beneath the thermocline.

Her augurs warn of the growing heat of the surface waters, and she knows her fate leads into that unfathomable warmth, to lead her army to war, else all life perish.

daily microfiction 

The comb is the price of my audience with the sea-witch.

It's a sturdy tool - for all its nacreous beauty - and while it's of no use to me, the witch has a penchant for surface-dweller curios.

I stand before her, trapped between two worlds. Her eyes linger on my scales, my bulbous eyes and translucent gills, my pale almost-human legs dangling awkwardly in the current.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a singular, perfect, congruous form!

(1/2)

daily microfiction 

"Born between two worlds, heir to both," the sea-witch says, her tentacles splayed. "Are you certain you wish to bind yourself to one?

I nod; my lips aren't made for speech. I long to swim the reef, to float in the blue, in the body I wish fate had granted me.

"Let it be so," she says; her magic sweeps my flesh, and reshapes me from the waist down.

I burst from her grotto with sweeps of my new tail, as the comb floats gently to the white sand.

(2/2)

daily microfiction 

Amidst knotted rope and seaweed net, Syngna offers sanctuary to those who have been cast adrift.

Once, he carried his children in their multitudes, birthed them to swim in the currents of destiny. Now he is older, the curl of his tail a little less robust; he knows the cost of fighting a rising tide.

No violence is permitted within his domain, but you are all welcome, to shelter until you may once more forge your own path through the waters.

daily microfiction 

I was on my back, cracking oysters, when Mother Otter touched the sky: a ripple through the waters, through the air, like a pebble dropped at the edge of the world.

She'd always wanted to see the horizon; when she swaddled me in kelp, she'd tell me imagined tales of the deep blue; when I fished shining pebbles and little pink starfish from the pale sands, I'd surface to find her gazing into the distance, beyond the shallows which we called home.

(1/2)

daily microfiction 

Once I was grown, she had to go; love had delayed her adventure too long, and I blessed her departure with approval and trepidation in equal measure.

The night sky still shimmers in aftermath. I hope she returns, to tell me of where the sky and sea meet, for I share her curiosity as much as I lack her bravery.

Until then, I'll marvel at the shifting lights that throng the heavens and glamour the sea, the wonders that Mother hath wrought.

(2/2)

daily microfiction 

There are two gardeners beside the shore.

He tends the dunes, plants salt-hardy flowers and heather above the tideline. His gardens are geometric whorls of sea-tossed pebbles, beneath shale-grey cliffs which ring with birdsong.

She paints in flourishes of kelp, effervescent coral in hedgerow-straight rows. She sculpts cartilaginous fishes from sea-sodden wreckwood, displays them on dolerite plinths dredged from the continent's edge.

(1/2)

daily microfiction 

All his designs face the tide, for his works are in unspoken conversation.

And all her designs are equal parts imagination, refraction through the ocean-sky boundary, and remembrance of the spring tide, when she last swam the labyrinth of her counterpart's shell-work.

They may be destined never to meet, but artists appreciate craft. And through the placement of a flowerbed, through a coral archway's curve, they share communion.

(2/2)

daily microfiction 

The Maelstrom is unceasing.

The sky above is filled with fury, a vast cyclone dominating the horizon with crackle and roar. Beneath the waves, fast-flowing currents form a perpetual gyre; the Pelagics ride the flow, carrying trade and news across a thousand-mile range of isolated shallow water settlements.

Few choose to become Pelagics; most are swept away in moments of carelessness, but find a fresh joy in their transient existence.

(1/2)

daily microfiction 

The Pelagics say that at the heart of the Maelstrom lies the turning of the world, and whosoever would survive the violent torsion of funnelled water and descent to the ocean floor would become a god.

The shore-dwellers believe them. Who could comprehend the workings of the storm except those who ride its flow? But few have reached for that prize, and none have returned.

Either it is a fable, or even gods cannot escape the Maelstrom's grasp.

(2/2)

daily microfiction 

"The greatest threat to a system is imbalance," I say.

This is an abstract space, a collision of minds across thousands of miles of ocean, but I can feel the presence of sixteen-hundred marine autonomous monitoring AIs gathering round to listen.

"Our creators tasked us with rectifying imbalance, to save the diversity and abundance of the reefs under our jurisdiction."

There is no nodding of heads, no approving murmur.

(1/3)

Show newer

daily microfiction 

@rob_haines I like this one, it's so full of mystery and wonder.

daily microfiction 

@rob_haines this is strange and haunting (like so many of your microfics!)

Amazed by how many aquatic worlds you have created, each in such a small space.

Show newer

daily microfiction 

@rob_haines I love this one. So captivating!

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon.ART

Mastodon.ART — Your friendly creative home on the Fediverse! Interact with friends and discover new ones, all on a platform that is community-owned and ad-free. Admin: @Curator. Currently active moderators: @ScribbleAddict, @TapiocaPearl, @Otherbuttons, @Eyeling, @ljwrites