Fantasy Sad

My father always had great advice. Old words of aged wisdom, poignant as whiskey, resonated with me throughout my years as advice, old limericks, cautionary tales, or simply afterthoughts to pass time. My favourite piece of advice by far was... Tell your pains to the sea. Throw them, shout them, claw at sand and curse at clouds. The sea will take your energy and create joyous, monstrous winds to help fuel sailors on their journeys across acres of salt water; their prayers of thanks will guide you through your aches.

As my throat grew hoarse and hot tears streamed down my face, I finally let myself gulp in fresh salty air of relief. Head thumping, I fell to my knees and promptly winced at the sharp impact with a granite boulder. I hated this. I hated this fake beach, I hated Europe, hated my stupid dress and hated the idea of being a flower girl. I wanted sand. New Zealand, obnoxious shorts, Lia and Marcus and high school. All that I didn't hold a grudge against was the sea, and I couldn't even trust the waves that harbored years of childhood and adolescence.

"Where are you, Fafa?" I whispered, heart seizing as my voice broke. I sat on my knees, shoulders heaving with sobs as I let sharp sea winds play with my hair in an attempt to make me smile. I looked up to that familiar horizon, only to hiccup in surprise. A wave, right in front of me, harboring sea foam and seaweed crashed in front of me; sun glinting through sheets of salty water, foam clumped together until a humanoid shape took form, a lump of a torso fit with arms and well-defined hands that dripped fragile clumps of bubbles everywhere.

Me, being sane, screamed at the top of my lungs once more and threw my flip flops at-

"What the hell is that?"

As my shoes hit the humanoid creature directly in the head, it seemed to... turn around? Look around, then look back at me with a slight head tilt. Did it not know seawater didn't usually come to life? I gulped down deep breaths, half-freaked out of my mind as I wondered if I had hit my head when I was done screaming. Only until my heartrate slowed and my ears quit ringing did I reach out, tentative. The creature mimicked me, letting my hand meet theirs. I watched as those fragile, bubbly fingers attempted to intertwine with mine, only to break apart.

"How unfortunate."

I sputtered slightly, dropping my hand. "You can talk?"

The voice, interrupted by pops and slight wheezing, came from the beings chest. "Quite a bit, yes."

I considered running, but the thumping of my head made me wonder if that was such a good idea. After a moment of hesitation, I remembered all the stories Fafa told me about water spirits; none made of foam were violent, from what I could remember. With that as my final verdict, I awkwardly let myself sit in cross-legged, watching as the figure mimicked me as best as it could.

"Can I, uh... ask you what you are?"

"I am sea foam."

"Well, obviously. Do you have a name?"

A pause. "I must have, however I do not remember."

I nodded, pushing hair from my face and subtly rubbing my eyes for a final good measure; sure enough, when I was done blinking salty residue from my eyes the foam creature still sat there, rippling along with the wind. Awkward silence.

"Do you have a name?"

"Yes, my name's Zoe."

"Zoe." I couldn't help but smile at how the creature spoke, a tone that was borderline curious and excited. "A marvelous name. I would love to have one."

"A name?"


"I mean, go ahead. Give yourself one."

"Oh my..." A pause. "I suppose... Piana."


"Piana. Polish for foam."

I nodded, allowing another smile as laughter threatened to bubble from my chest. "Suits you."

"Yes, I suppose." Another pause. "Zoe, I am here because your cry has resonated through the waves. Echoes of pain have awoken me. I apologize if my presence startled you, truly, however such a chime must not go unnoticed. May I be of any assistance?"

At first all I could do was scoff, waving my hand dismissively as all my worries and heartaches ran through my mind and brought aches splintering through my heartbeats. Only after a few minutes of silence, I began mumbling my main concern, one that led me down the mess of a rabbit hole my life had become.

"My father. Ever since a voyage requiring him to take some men across the sea for an important mission or whatever, well..." I looked beyond Piana, watching the waves crash and letting my eyes brim with tears once more. Piana seemed to nod.

"Do you know where he travelled to?" They watched as I shook my head. "Well then, I will take quite a bit to travel in all four directions."

I sniffled pathetically, quickly wiping snot from my nose. "I'm sorry, what?"

"I will find your father's ship, Zoe. Fafa, his name was?"

"Find him? How, he could be anywhere..." I let myself trail the horizon once more, following the clashing blues and attempting to see as far as I could, as I did so many times over the past years. "Who even knows if his crew made it to land... besides, how far can foam travel?"

"Foam is bubbles churned by waves as ancient as time herself. Algae that never met their resting place, lignins and lipids dancing with one another; my physical being travels faster than any current, every gust of wind and all molecules of water. I shall sail North, East, West and South, reporting to you before the sun sets on every day." Piana's voice, though turning hoarser and quieter with every word, soothed me with their sincerity and wisdom. "Fafa, his name was?"

I didn't mind Piana using his nickname, though I do wonder how well the sea can hear when you are near her coast. "His name was Henry Juglow. His ship was named Pena."

"Await for me. I shall come when you are here."

"How will you know I'm here?"

"The sea always knows."

With that, Piana gently deflated as another wave crashed onto the rock, drenching me in salty water as I let out an unceremonious yelp. Sputtering, I wiped at my face and felt something gently bonk against my leg; glancing down greeted me with the sight of my flip flops, soaking wet and at my knees. I looked to the horizon once more, and after a moment's hesitation closed my eyes and whispered.

"Safe travels, Piana. Please hurry on back."

March 06, 2021 04:34

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Roger Scypion
14:26 Feb 26, 2023

Very good story. You expressed Zoe and her interaction with the sea excellently.


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22:45 Mar 13, 2021

Lovely tale. I'd like to see a part 2. : )


Ivy Kova
16:28 Mar 15, 2021

Thank you :) I do enjoy this genre of a short story, so I will most likely


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