24 comments

Feb 27, 2021

Fantasy Romance Speculative

The sea tells me I am its mother. 

It hides and holds me tight and I remain buried beneath the salty, night-colored waves. I have lain this way since the universe and I were born and the great celestial clock first began to tick far beyond the reaches of eternity. The seas rush up against me, warming me, cooling me, covering me. I have never seen the sky. But then, I have only just awoken.

The water moves across the lines against my face. 


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I am still young when the seas peel back. It startles me; I have grown larger than I thought and the sea can no longer contain me. Air grazes my skin. I begin to cry and beg the seas not to leave me, and tears run down my face, and thus the rivers and streams of the world are created. 

Do not cry, mother, the seas croon softly. Do you see? We are not leaving entirely. 

And it is so. The seas still rush up around me, run its fingers gently through my hair, kissed my cheeks and welcome my tears. And all my tears, for I am still weeping and in pain, run still into the sea and are kept there. 

You are only young, mother, the seas tell me, smiling. I smile back. The sea loves it when I smile. It tells me the whole of creation quakes when I smile, but I only feel the tendrils moving in my hair, boulders rasping into happiness, the rush of the waves to fill the crevices created when I smile and am happy.

I am much younger than you, I say to the seas. 

Oh no, the seas tell me. We were created with your first teardrop, mother. We are only posterity. 

I do not remember, I tell them. 

Yes, you do, they respond.

And then I do. I remember opening my eyes into blackness, and there was nothing but myself. I was the universe and the universe was me, and it was lonely, for I could see nothing and hear nothing but some distant, harmonious ticking of a great clock, and I wept. And suddenly I was no longer alone. 

With the seas no longer hiding me fully, I could see the glory of the universe high above me. I was no longer the entire universe; there was some slow unearthly glowing thing moving up from the mountains lining my arms. I watched it rise, stretch itself, and set itself on its new journey upward. It moved in time to that distant ticking sound, which I could barely hear by now. The sun was someone else’s child but it was still beautiful, and I loved it. When it played over my mountains and brushed against my seas, it lit the world—me—up, as if magic itself had smiled. The sun was still young, but it was warm and passionate, and it knew the rhythm of the far-away clock down to its bones. 

Hello, mother, it would say to me each time it breached my mountains and bounded to the sky above. 

Hello, I would respond. I am glad to see you. The darkness is so lonely without you. You are welcome.

I will warm you today, the sun would always say. You are no longer alone, mother. I am light. I am day.


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Then new things began to spring up on the skin that was exposed to the air. Moss, seedlings, skinny saplings. Tendrils and buds and uncertain little ivy sprigs. And I watched them grow and tried to nurture them. I kept them safe from my first children, the seas, for their touch was deadly to my new children, the green and growing things that reached instinctively to the sunny sky. I watched my children grow with the ecstasy of some young thing that has just had their first child. And when fish and other small things began to worm about in my seas, I watched them in delight as well. I watched each new child borne and grown as if they were my first and only. 

And still the night was lonely and dark. In the day, everything was so loud and boisterous and growing and young, I could not hear the vast ticking of the clock now growing old. But at night, everything was quiet and dark and lonely, and I had only the clock to keep me company. I wondered if we were friends. We were born at the same moment, we stretch out into emptiness, we have nothing but each other to listen to. 

At night, I wonder if he can hear me and all my children. I wonder if he is proud of me. I wonder if he wishes he had his own children. 

All time is his children, the seas tell me, though the nouns and the pronouns get mixed up. All, plural, time, singular, children, plural. All time is his children, the seas tell me, and I smile and the sun smiles with me. 

At night, I see nothing. I try to look out and see old Time, but the blackness blinds me. I can only listen. And so I listen to time tick by.  

And as I grow and my children grow, and the seas swell and recede, time passes. 


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Time and I are endlessly old by the time the night sky finally appears in all its young glory. One night, in an instant, something is born, and above me rises the night sky, and I am no longer alone. He is magnificent to behold, dark navy, luscious in color, and set all over with sparkling, revolving stars. It is so much younger, much more innocent than I, and yet as I lie with my children growing with me and inside me, I fall in love. 

We speak. 

You are looking, I tell my night sky tenderly, at a lonely, lonely world.

You have everything you could ever need, he tells me softly, shyly. You have so many children. I have none. 

And yet look at all your stars, I tell him. 

And he smiles and I smile. The universe smiles with us, and we are the universe. 

His name, he tells me, is Ouranós. He is the only one in creation that calls me Gaea rather than mother. My children call me mother, my beloved calls me by name. My love keeps watch over my children, directs them with the revolutions of his stars, sings in tune with my friend the sun. My love tells me the sun is to him what the seas are for me; posterity, younger and yet older. The seas are good friends with Ouranós’s own children, the planets and stars, and move and dance in turn with them. My love’s children show my seas the way to move, when to pull the blankets over me for the night and when to pull them away for the day. 

The sun moves when the stars do not, and Ouranós and I always have the night to ourselves. His jewel-like stars keep watch, time ticks onward, and we grow old together. Time is happy, life is happy. New things grow within me and on me and grow children of their own; life is abundant and rigorous and full. I am full, the sky is full. 


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And then, it is time to die. 

Somehow I know. Time and I, we are friends and I know, some way, that it is time to leave and allow new players to enter the stage. For the first time, Ouranós reaches down, and earth and sky are joined in embrace. He holds me tight.

I look up at him, at the endless shining stars, at my love, for the last time. 

Far, far above, out past my beloved, the great and ancient clock begins to chime. And I look at my love and we are together as time stops and the world ends.

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24 comments

Zilla Babbitt
18:21 Feb 27, 2021

Barely edited, very short. I strongly recommend D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths if this has sparked your interest. Please critique, thanks ❤️

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Thom Brodkin
18:28 Mar 02, 2021

I am a simple man. I write a different version of the same story over and over and over again. I like to think I do it well and who knows, maybe I'll be the next Nicolas Sparks. You on the other hand seem to write a different story in a different voice every time. You see things at a deeper level and you are able to describe them in poetic ways. I definitely got a feeling of biblical creation here. I also see the life cycle all the way to the end. It's short but not small. It's big and its art. I'm glad I get to read you.

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14:45 Mar 02, 2021

This is poetry and somehow it felt as though I was reading the Bible. So I don't know if that was intended or not. I don't do too well with Greek myths and yet I find that I enjoyed this. No, I didn't exactly think of any god or goddess while reading this. Yes, I think it was a creative thing you did here. You make everything come to life with simple yet subtle words and I admire that. Good job

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Chloe Hanna
23:54 Mar 02, 2021

This is really great! the only critique I would give is to use more advanced vocabulary overall.

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Chloe Hanna
23:55 Mar 02, 2021

to really convey feelings and sensations more vividly.

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A.k. Truss
17:50 Mar 02, 2021

I absolutely love greek myths so thank you for writing this. It was really good and I liked how it hinted at things but didn't give a name till the very end.

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Niveeidha Palani
11:17 Mar 01, 2021

Hey Zilla! New one out. This was a great read. Prompt suited well. No critiques from me 🤗

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A.g. Scott
20:58 Feb 27, 2021

I like it. It feels big and magical in the way that it needs to. Would not be upset to find this in a professional anthology of Greek myth retellings.

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Avani G
20:04 Feb 27, 2021

Heartbreaking and beautiful. Great job, Zilla!

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Zunairah Irfan
16:52 Mar 05, 2021

Very simple, and lovely story, though I want to point out that in this sentence, "I watched each new child borne and grown as if they were my first and only." Born does not need a "e"(unless you mean it in a different way). I think that might have been a mistake, but just wanted to point that out! other than that, great story! :)

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Huh-I'm just wondering, is your profile picture you?

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Maya W.
03:52 Mar 01, 2021

Ah, I had an idea with this prompt with either The Little Mermaid or Aphrodite, and I still might do it, but I'm working on another story right now with that prompt that also fits the spirit one, so idk... Anyways, great work! I really have no critiques, I love mythology (obviously).

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Maya W.
03:36 Mar 03, 2021

Hey Zilla, new story!

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Heather Mcquaid
20:46 Feb 27, 2021

Breathtaking. I have no words left, you've used all the good ones. ;) And you've sparked my interest in the Book of Greek myths. Thanks for sharing.

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Litlover 📖
13:59 Mar 01, 2021

Yesssssssssssssss read greek myths they're amazing!!!

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Heather Mcquaid
14:18 Mar 01, 2021

I read some when I was younger. Great storytelling. I've been thinking of trying Stephen Fry's book 'Mythos', but maybe I should try the book that Zilla's recommended first.

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Litlover 📖
14:26 Mar 01, 2021

That's great!!!! D'Aulaires is one of the most popular.

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Litlover 📖
20:28 Feb 27, 2021

Woah!! I immediately thought of Aphrodite when I saw this prompt, with her emerging from the sea foam, but I would never have thought to go with Gaea. My only critique, because it seemed as if you were going the lyrical prose route, is to not use "me" twice in a sentence. Also, avoid too many mushed together fragments, like the sentence "he holds me tight, and I look up at him, at the endless shining stars, at my love, for the last time." It's just a mouthful. Other than that, the transformation of this idea was mesmerizing!!

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Zilla Babbitt
20:31 Feb 27, 2021

You know, I did too. Then I went back and forth about Venus and Gaea and eventually settled with Gaea because I worried I wouldn't be able to tell Venus's story satisfactorily. And Gaea is supposed to have "married" the sky to have the Titans, so that fit. I totally agree with all your critiques. Thanks so much!

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Litlover 📖
20:58 Feb 27, 2021

Ah, well that's such a coincidence!!! Oh, well that does fit, golly XD No problem!!! Geez, looking back on this comment, it looks like the weirdest thing ever lol

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Scar Katelyn
17:31 Mar 03, 2021

Wow Zilla, what ana mazing story! Ilove the Greek mythology of Gaea and the descriptions you used. And the ending was beautiful. I alwasys read your stories, and this is one of my favourites!!! I wanted to ask you something: have you ever or will you ever written any LGBTQ+ stories?

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11:02 Feb 28, 2021

Hi God-Zilla! (XD) sorry, ahem ahem. I have written a new story, mind seeing it?

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Beverly Riddle
07:34 Apr 23, 2021

Beautiful! Great story! I was just wondering, could you do me a small favor? I'm currently trying to write a chapter book called The Secret Journey. I posted what I have so far on Reedsy recently, so I'm not sure if it will show up right away. But if you can, would you mind reading what I have so far, and giving me feedback, or some tips I can use to make it better sometime? I think I only have about 7 chapters done, and most of them are pretty short.

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11:31 Apr 13, 2021

Almost poetic. Love it !

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