My ocean, my sun, my moon

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about community.... view prompt

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General

I live in an ocean and it has all the colors of the sun and moon. Sometimes, it's gaping and shallow, and at other times, it's discreet and telling. Don't snort. You see my ocean, it's as bluntly encompassing as your eyes can see. I hate it but I just want to love it too. It's my ocean after all.


Do you recall me saying that with my ocean, you can paint all the tints of the sun? That's the most common occurrence around. The locals even have a tale for every color. My ocean, I'm sure has to be the first there is as hot as the sun. But that's not even the best of it. Here's something that can pull you in any time--you get to feel all the variations of temperature and by all, I mean all. Isn't that fantastic? Now, come on, don't drool, I'm sure you'll get accustomed to it anyway if you were in my shoes.


One of the most common tales told by the old men in my clan is about the clan living in the higher planes. People from my clan and beneath nicely call them the Higher Clan, but I imagine their hearts are rather ruthless when it classifies them. Mama says I'm never to go up there, but that doesn't stop the peak from calling out to me. More than ones, she has caught me eyeing their strange form of transportation when it graces our own side of the ocean. Some daring members of our clan would throw different objects at them and surprisingly, some could almost toss their toddlers from anger. Not me though, I'm too fascinated to force my eyes away to afford any stone around a cursory gaze.


Just a few distance from our territory, we have the Wacko Clan. They are memorable for their dramatic moments that leaves you almost squirming. I remember the first time a woman ran into our territory, half naked. Everyone was alarmed, and the news spread immediately like wild fire until almost the whole clan was gathered around to watch, mesmerized. We finally discovered her husband chased her to our border with a machete and because no member of the Wacko Clan could dare step into our territory, he had to retreat. For a whole month, no one could stop taking about it. But it has long become a tale as no one cares anymore how often it happens. Few men from our clan are almost like the Wacko men themselves, chasing their women with sticks all around. Just that, they're a step away from stripping their women naked. It is agonising to imagine how rapidly a bad example can weave its way into the hearts of people faster than any good deed will. It's depressing indeed. Perhaps it's because I'm only a young girl with little experience in the matters of the world.


Papa went up to the higher territory to trade and never came back. Mama said he found himself a rich woman there and ran off with her. I really don't know what to think about that. I'm not sure I want to know what to think until I hear from him. Perhaps, I'm giving him too much...I think Mama calls it a yellow card.

You see Mama, she's my teacher. Though I'm only fifteen, I know most of the words in our half torn beginners dictionary by heart already. Mama says she wants me to lead another clan someday, but I really don't know what I want for myself yet.


I know a secret that mama would not say. She tries to hide it, but it's so glaring in her eyes. It would scream, revealing apparent fright in her eyes whenever she warns me angrily to stop watching the higher clan pass by. She wouldn't tell me, but I know; mama was part of them at a time. I don't know why she left. Did she run away with Papa like she claims he now has done? Is she less innocent compared to him after all? It troubles my mind so. Why does anybody feel they have to point a finger when they are not so guiltless any way? It troubles my mind a lot.


I have a brother you see. Often, when mama isn't coughing over rings of thick smoke, and we have to help her keep the soot from spreading, we pretend we are both royals and joke around clumsily trying out a few steps of rich men of the higher clan. On one of those occasions you see, we did meet a royal. She was from the Higher Clan. I felt so excited with the idea of watching a royal secretly at first. But unfortunately, I was disappointed eventually. Her eyes were the colour of the ocean and her hair was a contrasting mass of fiery locks. She was beautiful but her countenance was not so kind. (Countenance; that's a new word from what mama taught me yesterday. I feel so proud to finally write it out by myself.)


As we watched from our hiding place behind our respective tree trunk, a grasp escaped from my lips as the princess slapped her servant, who was apparently old enough to be around Mama's age, and ordered she kneels before her to apologise. Unable to bear the sight, I ran out to confront her but then, my presence was barely regarded. I could as well have been an ant to the pompous princess or worse, a doormat. She barely looked my way as she walked across, not once turning to consider me. A tear dropped from my eyes that day for the first time in a while since papa left. Maybe I'm black, but I'm human too. For the second time, she made me loot myself passionately. Remember I said my ocean has the colour of the moon. That day, I discovered just how the shade of the moon looks like.


My ocean, it's my ocean. It has the everyday fun to it. Sometimes it makes me want to pull my hair out and at other instances, I just shake my head at the mirth in it all. Which makes me remember encounters with people from the lower clan. We are not the most despicable after all. Some other people have it going bad. We mostly call them the Lowest Clan. They have a penchant for boasting about what they do not have. Sometimes, people mock at their empty padding up and a few times, they leave them to their foolishness. I cannot wrap my head around why anyone would claim what he does not have. It is laughable and yet unfortunate indeed. I don't know if I'll ever understand. I'm only a young, ignorant girl anyway.


This morning, the head clown of our town came to visit. That's not really what everyone else refers to him as, but somehow, I have found myself tagging him with that identity. He is a round man with a delicate nose. It would always wriggle in interest when mama goes on about this and that and when I paused to spy them out, I could not withhold a shake of the head. I used to imagine women alone reserved that singular flare for gossip. It is amusing to realise a man would take a woman's seat so shamelessly and wriggle his nose in entusiasm. Very amusing indeed. Perhaps some people just want to know a thing or two to use against their neighbor when the opportunity arises. I've encountered two parties reveal hurtful things they heard behind their neighbors back more than once. It beats my imagination. Perhaps, I don't understand because I'm only a young, black girl with little experience. But I know one thing, I have a heart.


You see in my ocean, there is always a story for everyday and there's always something to talk about. However, the talking itself is sometimes restricted as you cannot recant before everyone in my ocean when and how you want. Once in a while, we all come together to talk. Though if you ask me, it should have rather been a meeting of the higher clan alone and they shouldn't have bothered offering us an invitation.


We aren't allowed to sit with them, eat with them, talk at all, or do even the most relatable thing as the "One Clan dance". It's a beautiful dance introduced by the forefathers, as I heard. Long before the segregation into different clans, everyone was the same in each other's eye. They all met together twice a year to celebrate, eat, relate and do the dance. It was mandatory back then. Now the gathering has been reduced to nothing but a ritual. Even the dance had long been removed from the activities. It's frustrating and I find myself hissing many times than was tolerable.


People say there's a God above, watching, listening, but I know if he is like me (and I believe he is), he wouldn't be smiling down at them, as I am not.


Perhaps I'm black, but I know I have a heart, a red one, just like everyone else. It beats. But I'm not so sure theirs do. Or maybe it's doing so backwards.


However, it's refreshing to know that I'm not alone. Sometimes, I hear the faint rhythm of similar heartbeats and my heart half jumps in response. Those hearts will beat faster someday, as will mine. It could take ten years, five or even a day after now, but I know it will. Then, we'll be too loud to ignore.


Before then, I'll stay in my ocean and I'll not go anywhere. It's my ocean after all. It bring out all the different sorts of emotion in me. It cuts me and binds me beautifully. It paints me with all the colours of the sun and the moon until I'm it's ideal masterpiece, my ideal masterpiece. I'm here for a reason--in my ocean. And I'll stay for as long as it takes, in my ocean, my sun and my moon.

June 11, 2020 23:11

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11 comments

Blane Britt
22:02 Jun 17, 2020

Good Story.

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A.J Blink
19:59 Jun 18, 2020

Geez, thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

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Raven Quill
00:25 Jun 17, 2020

I loved the ocean imagery, it was lovely :)

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A.J Blink
01:06 Jun 17, 2020

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you loved the story. Live love!

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Raven Quill
01:38 Jun 17, 2020

Of course! You too :)

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Kelechi Nwokoma
04:48 Jun 12, 2020

Wow! An amazing story. In that ocean, there really was a story for everyday. I love the message of community you portrayed - really great. Could you please check out my story, 'bleach' and give me feedback? I'd really appreciate it.

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A.J Blink
20:22 Jun 12, 2020

Hi thanks for the feedback. It means a lot. Sure, I'll check your story.. Love love!

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:27 Jun 12, 2020

Wow, so poetic of you! I liked the feel to this; it was very oceanlike.

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A.J Blink
03:52 Jun 12, 2020

Thanks Rhondalise. It's so refreshing of you to drop by. I'm thrilled. Good night and Love love!

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:53 Jun 12, 2020

Good night and to you friend!

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A.J Blink
04:07 Jun 12, 2020

Sweet dreams Rhondalise

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