Aphelion Issue 294, Volume 28
May 2024
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Of Dreams and Nightmares

by Jenna Letzter

I loved him. Or so I thought I did. Love is a capricious thing, that even after all of these years, how can you even begin to define? Regardless of my inner debates and struggles about love and the like, here I was. Here, with him. I watched his dark, gentle hands as they worked quickly and surely as he knotted the line that helped to steer the wing of the hang glider, but looked away from him before he could notice my stare. He had come back into my life so suddenly, when I had given up all thought of ever seeing him again. Inexorably attached to him somehow, here and there sneaking a glance at him, pretending to not care. And yet… When I left him, I tried to tell myself it was for my own good, for his own good even. I often grow fickle in my relationships, picking apart at everything that I once held dear until I begin to question what I had even had before. Consumed by my energy, my fire, I would strive to make something of my life, rejoicing in my independence. And yet, the days wore on until I would find myself, deep in thought, every hour of my waking consumed by my thoughts of him. Memories that left my heart aching after something that I could not name, some yearning that I was not even sure I could ever satisfy. What did I yearn for?

I remembered the deep cold as the sky pressed in around my ears, not in a threatening way, but as a profound stillness, a peace for the soul. The night sky would be frozen too, so cold that not even the moisture from my breath would get the chance to puff out of my mouth before it had turned into nearly invisible, frozen particles and my fingers would go numb after only a few seconds exposed to the night air. But that cold was invigorating, not damming, and I would breath deeply, amazed to be alive and thankful for all the wonders that the world gave me on that night. We would lie in the snow, bundled well against the wind, staring up at the vast expanse of coldly burning stars in the sky. The sheer expanse of it was breathtaking, something that would hold me in rapture for hours. And he, of all wonders, seemed to understand, seemed to understand that amazement I held. The sky might have been cold, but it was a cold that reminded me that I was alive, that I was oh so thankful for the beauty and majesty I witnessed. Lying beside him and with the comforting snow on our backs, I scarcely ever felt the chill. We hardly spoke--we did not need to. In that, we were similar.

After some time, we would admit that we should go in, knowing that we could lay there forever and still be enraptured. We would stand up and face the gusts of wind that would blow across the expanse of snow to hurl headlong into our faces, but we did not mind it. Breathing deeply of the fresh wind, I would fill my lungs and smile at him as we walked in serenity under the star-bright snow. Even the way back was pleasant, for as we left the open, sweeping ice plains towards the stands of trees, a new sort of wonder would overtake us as a deep silence enfolded under the branches heavily laden with snow. The paths to the house were well traveled and we need not watch where we walked, but instead could look through the friendly darkness for signs of a fox or owl, sometimes even the briefest flash of a wolf. The house would be warm, cozy, by the time we returned to be greeted by his great wolf like dog. There we would retire and take off some of our clothing layers and perhaps drink something warm as we talked about the day and laughed together at the antics of the young dog who always seemed to be smiling in his evident joy of life. It was all so simple, all so clean. In the early morning, when the sun was not yet up and the sky outside was still a comforting and sleepy gray, I would lay in bed beside him and marvel at how content I was.

So soon I had let that slip away. Now all was complicated. I had left the simple world of snow and stillness to go back to my home farther south, for I had responsibilities of my own to keep. I had left the magic of him and his ancestral land to come back to a world that seemed shallow and discontented. Sometimes in the early morning, I would rise before the sun had even started to tinge the horizon with color for my morning chores. In that brief moment, I would stop to stare at the stars in the sky and once again wonder at their vast expanse. The air would be still that early in the morning, sometimes a faint breeze would whoosh past me to fill my lungs and make me smile briefly, but I had closed that part of my life. It was for the better. Sometimes I would still think of Jacob, with his dark hair and ready smile, and know that I missed him. But what did I miss more? Him or the peace and contentedness I received from those icy lands--or had it been a combination of both? For too long, I had tried not to dwell on these thoughts. For too long I tried to push it all out of my mind. And then one day it all came crashing back to me.

We had kept in touch, but not as often as we should have, the lands were not as settled as some would have tried to make the people believe, and messages were often paid for dearly. I learned that he had moved even farther south than I had, to a land that did not ever see the snow, only endless days of dry heat and brown land. I tried not to think of what that environment would do to his spirit, the magic that was a part of him, already my return home found me ill suited to the constant sun and warmth. People were made to live in the environment that was good for their souls, and mine took no joy in the steady heat or blazing sunlight on blue skies. I longed for the stillness of mind the heady winds and snow-laden branches had brought me. I tried to immerse myself in my work. Here is where I was needed. With the great cities mere shadows of what they had been and the people of the world scattered and unsure after the breaking, I had to bend myself for the common good, much as he had, and leave our brief respite of peace. Jacob had grown up in the world of snow and ice, but I had not. I was born in a world full of hustle and bustle; the constant changing of seasons played a melodic undertone to the endless chatter and thrum of the people of the city. I grew up with a strong focus, intent on what I wanted, I pushed all childish thoughts and daydreams aside as soon as they popped up--life was about striving for success, social standing, achieving the goals that society had pegged as important. Thoughts for peace and contentment I pushed aside as lazy fancies, something not to be indulged.

And then the whole world as I knew it had broken apart, not literally of course, but it seemed as if it was so. All lines of communication between cities, great and small, were severed in the sluggish breaking of technology. It started slowly, hardly noticeable really; power outages here, cell phone coverage gone there, but as the years passed, cities grew dark and folk drifted apart, bereft of the technologies they used to keep us together. The world started to grow small once again as people moved closer into the main cities and abandoned their solitary farmsteads and mansions. Small towns and villages were slowly abandoned as people migrated towards the bigger cities and soon forgot about other, faraway ties. The many bright lights that spotted the earth's face soon started to blink out and fade until it no longer mirrored the night sky, instead, only a few largish dots seemed to populate her surface, muted now, but still glowing strongly. The spaces between cities grew thick and wild: beasts long forgotten descended once more on the land, emerging from the shadows that they had hid in for so long, no longer fearing the all consuming growth that had been the human. Many people had died during these times of change. Some grew despairing and took their own lives, others refused to believe the truth that the world had become and stubbornly stayed in their homes as the encroaching wildness slowly took over the lands. Many had tried to renew the forms of connection we had held so dearly, but the earth had no more energy left to give to us--like a woman dying of starvation she had suddenly given herself up to the fate we had created and left us to fend for ourselves. It had been a trying time, and we all lived much more simply now.

I had met Jacob on a trip I had taken to the lands of ice when traveling with a friend to retrieve her mother. It was when the world was starting to break, but far enough along that my dear friend realized that she needed to re-locate her mother and bring her home. Although she had not seen her mother in years, she knew where to look for her and was determined to bring her back, wanting to forge a mother-daughter bond such as they should have had. I knew it would be futile, her dad had raised her for most of her life and would not vouch for her mother's morals, but still, I understood her reason to want to try. With the world's connections breaking, this would probably be her last chance to ever make amends with the woman that she called mother. We had spent only a month or so in the frozen lands, most of which I was alone as she searched for her mother, for there was little I could do to help. The first time I had met Jacob there had been something there, not something so romantic as a spark, but more of recognition of like souls--we were drawn to each other. It took not long conversations or lengthy disputes to get to know one another, we just were, and I reveled in the wild and solitude of the land he showed me.

My dear friend had eventually found her mother, and true to her father's cautionary words, found her lacking in morals or judgment or other such noteworthy motherly attitudes. Bitter with the knowledge, yet somehow assuaged by the truth her mission had brought her, we were forced to return home when word reached us that the airlines were failing as well. It was a rocky and hair-raising trip home that was tinged with sadness for us both. Not but a few hours after we landed, the plane's network of flights started to ravel apart. Train routes started to muddle and halt, what few cars that still held gasoline were already running low, the final pieces of what tied the world together were unraveling, despite all of our best efforts. It was if we had drained the world dry, and now she refused to yield even the barest form of help. My return to my home city found me trapped and isolated along with the others. Not to say that my city was not large or even interesting, thousands of people still populated the streets and filled the air with their voices, but when the city becomes the whole world to you, you soon start to feel trapped.

It took time, but we learned to adapt, learned how to provide for ourselves and keep our beautiful city well maintained and cared for. I took pride in my city and its great skyline, even if its face did not light up at night like it had used to, it was still a place to live that one could look at with pride. The world was suddenly a smaller place, fueled by much simpler means. Kinship started to outweigh competition, people started to slow down a bit to enjoy what they had--life was not so hectic. And yet, I yearned for something else. Every now and then, someone would get it into their heads to set off and travel to another city, but the world was a darker, wilder place and news of other cities was sporadic and unreliable. These people never returned. I like to think they reached another city somewhere out in that darkness and lived there happily, but dared not speak these thoughts aloud, for everyone knew of what their true fates had surely become.

And then one day, someone had come out from the vast darkness and unknown of the world to wander into our city. Word had spread quickly long before I could see the man for myself. I could not believe my eyes. But there in the restaurant, sitting amongst a throng of curious people, was Jacob. He seemed tired and sore, there were a few visible bruises and cuts on his face and hands, but he was whole and he was real. A dared not approach him and avoided him nervously for days. After a while, the excitement over the newcomer to the city had died down. I thought almost constantly of our sweet days together and the feelings I had once felt for him, but told myself sternly that I no longer felt that way; it was best to leave it alone. I thought I had mastered myself, until one day he found me.

He came to me just as I was leaving the large house that was shared between several families and my heart nearly stopped in my chest when I caught sight of him. "I missed you," he said simply, "There was much we left unsaid." I nodded mutely, unsure of what to say, not sure I could control my voice over the unnatural thumping of my heart. He folded me suddenly into his arms, speaking quietly above my head. "I go back to my homeland," was all he said, so calmly, so confidently. I pulled back to look at him wonderingly. "I miss it," he said simply. I shook my head, "I miss it was well, but how did you plan to get there… How do we get there?" I gulped at my own words, but held my eyes steady. What he said had turned something over in me, the realization came that what I yearned for, but had so studiously avoided for these many years was standing right in front of me. Yes, this great city was my home and I loved it dearly, but something about that great land called me, there was a magic in him that connected with me deeply.

In the days that followed, I did not think, only acted, as we forged out plans and gathered supplies. Two others had traveled with him, also both natives of the great icy land that they so desperately wished to return to. They had stayed back amongst the trees to make camp as Jacob had ventured into the city. The hang glider they had traveled so far with had crashed not but a few miles back and become damaged as it tangled through the trees as it fell. I shuddered to think of the dark, sightless nights they had traveled through with the help of such a finicky mode of travel. With the world's technologies lost, it seemed to be reverting to older times and powers, ancient ways that Jacob was still able to recall. I did not dwell on whether it was fate or chance that brought him to me. However, his desperate urgency to return home fueled within me unsettledness that I could not shake that had me growing more and more displeased with the life I led here in the city.

Slowly, the repairs were made on the glider and will it or not, I knew that I would fly with them when the time came to leave. I did not think about what I would do, I just did. For better or worse, life became simpler with Jacob around and I was infected by his desire to return to the peaceful shores of the icy wild land. There the world would not seem so close, not with the stars shining so unhindered all around you in a great expanse of curved sky. Here the forest threatened to encroach the outskirts of the city, the trees were not peaceful, no, but teeming with life that threatened to sting or bite or attack you if should venture too far into the unknown. Here, by the big city, life was returning to the wild and the earth seemed to revel in the beasts that now came back with a vengeance to take over the lands. Far north, the land had always been wild; the peace would still reign supreme there because all was maintained in harmony. "Is there a city left?" I had asked of Jacob one day as we labored on mending a tattered wing of the glider. He paused for a moment, working his hands over the material, muttering something under his breath. "I have had word from my brother," he did not turn his eyes away from the material as he spoke to me, "I know he awaits me there. It is milder in the summer and he has managed to build a small house and make stores for the winter. But of a city, I do not know." I nodded quietly to that, turning my attention to Will and Rebecca as they worked solemnly on the smashed steering gears, seeing the determination in their faces there just as strongly as in Jacob's. Did it matter if there was a city awaiting us? We would have each other. Did I not dislike the constant hustle and bustle of so many people in the city? There was a deep determination in Jacob, a quiet will that I was drawn to. He glanced at me briefly, kindly, and my heart soared: I would follow him.

"Once we get it into the air, we just need to follow the wind currents. It is tricky, and dangerous, but it can get us to where we want to go. In the air, I can guide it from there," Jacob was telling me reassuringly as the four of us spaced ourselves under the enormous hang glider. I knew he spoke of his magic, that extraordinary and yet so simple power of will that he seemed to command. Lifting the glider slowly, carefully, we made our way out of the trees. "We need wind," Will grunted as he hefted his side of the wing more solidly against his braced shoulder. We came across a near empty field on the outskirts of the city; broken stalks of corn littered the expanse of the field. Jacob stood still and calculated, "We can try to run it again, it worked in the desert." Will looked doubtfully over the field full of tripping stalks and permanent ruts in the half-dried dirt, "The air is heavier here, I fear that we lack the strength to lift this up and not let the air push us down. The repairs we have rendered make it more substantial."

"We have to try," Jacob said with a simple shrug of his shoulders.

That afternoon we made many attempts, and all to no avail. The glider simply would not lift. "We need more wind," Rebecca finally panted. We set the glider down and I looked around us, we had attracted a small crowd. I stood briefly for a moment, feeling the oppressive weight of the thick air as it pressed down upon us and thought longingly of the cool breeze that whipped down through the city streets. "The lake," I realized suddenly, "There is always wind coming off the lake, and not nearly so thick or heavy as this." Glancing around again, Jacob nodded in agreement. We had hoped to not draw attention to ourselves by going further into the city, but we had already drawn a crowd in anyways, so we might as well try another plan. The mass of people watched us with looks of awe, bewilderment, fear, and even anger. No one left the city, not unless you wanted to die. Who were we to try to escape our confines?

As we balanced the glider between ourselves and made our way further into the wide streets of the city we attracted more and more of a following. The buildings grew taller and seemed to create drafty wind tunnels, as the air from the lake would come gusting down the streets. The tension among our small group started to grow as more and more people followed behind us, now and then calling and yelling, growing angry at our brash attempt to leave the city behind. People became more bold as we caught the faint sight of the lake in the distance, its wide expanse of gray waves making it seem more like an ocean than anything else. The jeers and catcalls increased and people started to follow closer and make grabs at the glider, we tried to remain calm, but the mass of people was growing. Almost as if we were one animal with one mind, we all four broke into a run together, hoping desperately now to pick up enough speed to lift ourselves up.

It was when I realized where this street ended that I tried to signal for a stop, I yelled to the others that only a steep cliff face and harsh waves would meet us if we continued straight. "Should we jump and hope the air current picks us up?" gasped Rebecca. "If it doesn't we will be crushed on the rocks, and ground into them by the waves," I replied grimly. We continued to run, pushed on by indecision. I feared that if we did not decide soon we would go over the edge whether we willed it or not. Suddenly, however, the glider decided for us. A burst of wind had swept up from the waters and instead of catching underneath and lifting us up, it managed to swoop in and press down on the nose of the glider, causing it to swerve strongly downward in our hands and break free our tight grips. We watched in despair as the glider twirled and spun crazily in a slanting angle into the lashing waves. The mob of people following us caught up to see the demise of the glider and nodded sagely to themselves, no one could leave the city; we were fools to have attempted it. Jacob and the two others had made it to this city from the far southern desert itself, but the outlay of the land here was proving to be difficult to navigate.

We did not dare go to retrieve the glider until the full dark of night. In the course of the afternoon, it had been flung up onto the far side of the rocks and hung precariously there with the waves beating into it, flinging it up and about. The rocks would not let it go, so it continued to be battered between both rock and water. We came up to the edge of the lake at night, through the battered and run down piers, until we were as close as we could get to the glider's location. It was pressed amongst the rocks at the base of an old, concrete building, long abandoned now. The sky outside was dark, ominous, and heavy, not a star to be seen, the weight of the black sky above us seemed to press down and shroud the edges of my vision. An eerie glow was cast from the lamps of the city and reflected off the heavy air, making it night, and yet, not - like a prolonged twilight, but more gloomy, more oppressive. I stood at the edge of the water's walkway and look down hesitantly, the cement face that led downward was only barely sloped, more like a vertical wall, and I did not think that I could do it. It had already been decided that me and Jacob would go retrieve the glider while Rebecca and Will waited on the dock to pull it up, but now that the time was close I quailed at the thought of what I must do.

The water was dark, pitch dark, nothing reflected off those endlessly deep, roiling waters. Jacob was readying himself for the climb down to the water and paused to look over at me. "You can do this," he said with a small smile, "Just like our adventures in the icy land. Remember that day on the frozen beach? Just like that." He put it so simply; I smiled to myself, reassured by his confidence in me. Climbing down the cement cliff face was easy, yet frightening. Jacob made it look more than easy and as the waves started to reach up towards our location on the wall and slam into the hard face, the cascading sheets of water would slide back down around us on their return to the lake to make it seem we were climbing a wall of water rather than one of cement and stone. We climbed down as close as we could get to the body of black water and plunged into it. Right away, the swell was up and we had to dive through the incoming wave in order to avoid being smashed against the wall. The rushing of the water filled my ears and the formidable waves continued to roll their inexorable way towards the wall, but I felt reassured knowing Jacob was swimming next to me.

The others were waiting on the pier anxiously, but I could not think of them now. I reached the abandoned building and its small beach of rocks and cement blocks seconds after Jacob in a haze of water and spray. "Grab onto the ledge before the water takes you away!" he yelled, and I scrabbled against the wall until I found a ledge and made fast as the next wave came to pound against us. The force of the water took my breath away and seemed to batter my whole body, and I felt my grip slipping. Noticing this, Jacob started to murmur a string of nonsensical words and dove under the surface. For a brief moment, the water seemed to heed his calls. Gasping, I made fast my grip on the ledge once more. As the rage of the water subsided, I could see the hang glider a distance away to my right, pressed against a moored boat. Somehow it had managed to shake loose of the rocks and had become entangled again not too far away. Frantically, knowing that the moment of peace was just building up for the next big wave, we made our way towards the glider. Smaller waves still rocked us and kept us sheathed in a mist of water that made our haste difficult. Looking out briefly towards the docks, I realized I could not see the forms of Rebecca or Will anymore. Jacob had noted the same and was scanning the distant shore with concern. Suddenly he yelled, "There, in the water! They must have come in after us once they saw that the glider had moved. There is no way we would have been able to get it back to the docks." I nodded grimly, knowing the wisdom in what they did, but worried about them in the water now.

Once we reached the lines of boats, Jacob hauled himself out of the water and stepped on the mooring lines while I swam under and wove through the ropes as we made our way towards the boat that had entrapped our glider. The boats and their lines were eerie in the darkness and the rocking of them as they rode the waves provided unexpected hazards. Upon reaching the glider, we grabbed it without ceremony and waited for the next swell to propel us towards the others in the water. The water, what once I thought I could manage myself in, was quickly turning into an enraged beast, as if the waves were angry that we had managed to steal back something it had claimed for its shores. Looking up briefly, the sky was still dark and ominous, but the wind had picked up--a storm coming? I swam even harder and tried to keep a good grip on my side of the glider as we made our way into the open water and back to the others swimming towards us.

The black water was everywhere and I tried not to think of what might be swimming under me as I fought wave after wave as it threatened to pull the glider and us under the tarry blackness. When I was smaller, I had used to stand at the edge of the great pier at night, looking out over the waves. The breakwater and small lighthouse had long been washed away when repairs discontinued, and this made the water much rougher around the pier, but I would revel in the spray as it slammed against the stone pilings. The moon would shine down on the water and make it look peaceful, something wide open and magical, endless with possibilities and wonder--like the night sky and its stars. Now tonight, without the stars or the moon, the water was a dull black force that was frightening in its ruthlessness. The sounds of the waves were no longer peaceful; instead, they roared threats and warnings as they smashed into the far off building and rock beach.

Jacob yelled something and started to turn the glider, and I instantly knew what he was trying to do. We needed more momentum to be able to stay atop of the increasing waves. Through many revolutions of the waves and much water swallowed by myself, we were able to turn the glider so its nose once more pointed in the direction we were going and let it ride more easily on top of the water. The waves were increasing in their intensity, smashing us back and forth as they rebounded against the semi-ring encircling us made of the boats, cement building, and the dock's pilings. A wave came from behind and lifted us up suddenly, rocketing us towards the two figures struggling through the darkness. Flying through the water, a hand firmly grasped my arm and I felt a moment of relief--we were together again.

I do not know how long I managed to hold onto consciousness as we spun and tried to swim through the hectic, roiling waves and the desperate darkness, but dawn found us washed ashore on a much gentler beach of sand and tiny rocks. The glider was in pieces. Picking myself up from the sand I looked around to see the others likewise stirring, I could not believe we are all still alive. The despair we felt was like a sinking weight though, pulling us all down. We hardly talked as we put ourselves to rights and make our way from the beach to the little bike path that led back to the city. Dejectedly, we realized through our haze of shocking disappointment that we are hungry, so we entered a small tea shop. The tables and chairs inside were cozy.

Outside, all that was left of last night's storm was a gray sky and a misty drizzle that seemed to quiet the city and slow down the bustle of people, at least momentarily. We dined in silence until Jacob finally spoke, "We can still fly without the glider. We can salvage a few of the parts and rebuild another machine to fly. If only there was an air current strong enough, I could guide it once it was in the air." His brief thought was met with silence, if the air current from the lake was not strong enough, would it even be possible? I momentarily wondered what sort of magic Jacob seemed to hold, certainly nothing from the world that I remembered. Recalling our long walk to the lake, I considered the skyscrapers as they framed the road - so tall that they cast the streets in shadow and seemed to focus the air from the lake as it blustered and billowed about us. As the idea dawned on me, I began a slow smile. "Well," I said hesitantly, "This is the windy city…." And proceeded to divulge my thought. After I had finished, we all sat looking at each other around the table, sharing glances: We would give it a try.

The world was a lonely and isolated place now, filled with humans that were forced daily to stop and take stock of what their lives were about. I still did not know what my place in the world was, what I was supposed to accomplish in my life, but Jacob did. He had come back into my existence and wrapped me up in his desire to return to his homeland. It was now a mission for all of us to return to the lands of snow and ice, it felt almost sacred. And if I died on the way? I thought to myself, at least I would die striving to achieve something; I found my life to be an empty and unfulfilling stretch of time these days, as I remained trapped in the city.

It was late afternoon by the time we had salvaged enough parts to create something that might lift us all up with the wind. The sun had come out and lit the silent skyscrapers as we stood on the wide road that led to the lake. Onlookers came to stare once again, but did not interfere; they knew we were bound to fail. We held in our hands an interesting contraption, one I was not sure would work, but Jacob had been confident. Like a windmill, we locked hands, two facing one-way, two facing the other and we started to walk in a rotating circle. I made sure I was next to Jacob, watching him coyly out of the corner of my eye, lovingly, as he softly spoke to us what we should do. Remaining clasped together, he commanded us: right hand up, and down, left hand up, and down. Slowly we did this through the streets of the brilliant city, with only hope in our hearts. Gradually, unbelievably, we started to lift. And then there was nothing. When I finally dared myself to open my eyes, I gazed out over the water as we glided above it, our arms all still interlocked. Amazement filled me as we headed towards the distantly setting sun as it reflected its brilliant orange onto the water below us. We were going to make it.

* * *

Ben lounged on the warm beach, thinking of his brother. It had been many long months since he had heard from Jacob, maybe even a year. He did not think he was coming. The wind blew a bit fiercer suddenly and he pulled his coat up higher around his throat. It had been nice in the sun, he thought sadly; the warm rays were an agreeable counterpart to the chilly ground. Summer in the land of ice and snow. Farther up, where he had built his humble house, the air still held a hint of the snow that was ever lurking off of the far distant glaciers, but here, at the beach, the sun would shine a bit stronger and become almost pleasant. There was nothing left of the city here, people had left as swiftly as long ago settlers had come to this land when fears of spending a winter without electricity and steady warmth became a real possibility. He did not mind it so much, he, like his long line of ancestors before him, had grown and adapted to this land. This was his home. The wind died down and the sun peeked out of the cloud cover to warm his face pleasantly once more.

* * *

Far out in the distant ocean, Jacob swam on. Oh brother, sorry for the delay, he mourned sorrowfully to himself. The muscles in his arms bunched and stretched yet again as he pulled himself through the water steadily, determinedly as he thought back over his journey. The extra time in the city had pushed him back and the delayed take off there was probably what caused the mishap over the ocean. Unbidden, a memory flashed through his mind as quickly as the lightening illuminating the scene. The glider had gone down into the water, the storm that passed over the ocean had been too much for them to handle. The rain was pouring down on the tattered re-creation of the glider as it floated and tossed about, along with the desperate bodies thrown into the unwelcoming waves. Jacob pushed that memory aside and firmed his mind. Resolutely, he pushed his head into the water and continued to swim. His eyes showed his resolve, he would not waver; he would make it home. His strokes were steady as he glided through the water, his eyes were resolute, unthinking, only focused on his destination. Some inner determination to complete the journey pulled him along, some fate that he could not yet decipher. Maybe never. The waters were quiet, almost still. The steel gray sky reflected itself on the surface of the waves so it seemed that both sky and water were as one, and he swam on.


2013 Jenna Letzter

Bio: Ms. Letzter won a first young authors contest when she was little and has been hooked on it every since. She recently completed a fantasy novel and a non-fiction work about non-profit horse rescue and is looking for publishers. Fantasy and dark fantasy are her favorite genres.

E-mail: Jenna Letzter

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