The sea is long.
Deep too, but i only float over, looking down at strange worlds through my reflection. occasionally a passing habitat or creature catches my eye, but i’ve learned to ignore siren songs. To reach those deep things almost always means drowning, if not on the swim down then on the one to return. In safety the closest anyone comes is only after so much study and preparation and equipment that the whole thing becomes more of a science experiment than that wholly transcendent experience only found in the risk. To dive in naked and reach your lungs’ limit while pressing bare hands to the blue whale’s cheek and watch your whole reflection float in his eye as it all falls black, is a moment that refuses to be anything but your last.
Today the only fish i give any real thought to are the ones linked to me on either side of the food chain. I pay the deep no mind and only catch shallow glimpses while looking down to hunt. I live on open water, cloudy as the grey skies it reflects, and as far as i think of it, every fish, dolphin, or leviathan breaching the surface along my cruise did so directly out of nonexistence, and after splashing back beneath, returned to it. This is a logical nonsense to defend against the idle mind causing a panic at the sight of these erupting monsters paired with the idea that one of them could be rushing up toward me any second now. The sea loves these thoughts and nurtures them well.
While looking out at the water, thinking things for their countleth time, i see something. An enormous shadow, dwarfing that of any whale i know, rushes directly toward my little lifeboat. At the moment before impact, i freeze in dumb hesitation, and only feel disappointment in my lack of reflex as some of the fish in that giant swarm smash into my boat, recache up into the air, then fall back to rejoin the flood. I cut my sulking short and reserve feeling relief for later as i snatch my net to seize such an opportunity. The net is cast out, and in the instant it touches water, is filled so fast and forceful i’m pulled from the boat into the stampede. Darkness engulfs everything and chargers through me, only opening up a few inches ahead as the mass splits to pass around, and as quickly as they were there becoming everything, they were gone. I stay floating under the surface, still half in shock, looking for my net. Without finding it, i look out in the direction that wave was swimming from, and see another shadow approaching. Underwater it’s obvious this shadow is only one creature.
A whale is coming.