Head Above Water

I don’t have a ton of time to write seeing as how I have a full time job that steals all my energy on a consistent basis, but lightning struck me a few days ago at 4am and I made sure I got this one down on paper. Hope you all enjoy. Yes, It’s about aliens. Yes, I am weird.


Head Above Water


Teri Ann Harvey

I mourn the man that never existed, ripped away so suddenly as I was removed from the system. I can almost see him as my eyes flutter around consciousness, eyes that have never seen anything. I can almost see him. He was here and then gone. Neither of us is real, I realize. It was all a lie, our lives.
I smell the harsh smell of salt with the nose I’d never actually used before. It burns in my nostrils. That is the truth. I feel the chill of salty water surrounding me, penetrating my every pore. That is the truth and It makes me shiver. Through the pale white light above me, I can almost see him. His skin glistens, and his big black eyes stare down at me with pity. I close my eyes once again and he’s gone. I mourn. I want to believe the lie.
I feel the heat of his hand on my cheek as he brings me out of the water, gentle as a mother lifting an infant into her arms. Lungs burn. This is real. I struggle. Then I can feel his long arms snaking around me, cradling me. His face so close to mine. I can’t help but love him. I want to open my eyes again, but he forbids it. I have no choice, but I relax in his arms.
“This one is awakening.”
He did not say the words aloud; my ears did not hear his voice. The words were spoken in my head as he gently held my eyes closed. I could hear the salt as it was being poured into the water around me. That was real.
“Stay asleep, little one. You are safe.”
That was a lie. My eyes struggled, but I loved him. I knew him. I wanted to see his truth once and for all. Hands, I had them. They were right there in his. Body, it was there. I could sense the muscles and bones, flex my fingers and toes. Eyes, paralyzed like the rest of my body parts. All I could manage was a desperate flutter of eyelids.
“I want to see you. I want to see the truth.”
“No, little one. We mustn’t. We must keep you safe. You are very special.”
“I don’t love the lie. I love you.”
“I am the lie I must protect you from.”
“I’ve seen you once before.”
“You think you have?”
“That was a lie.”
“That was a dream.”
“Was that safe?”
“Yes, the dream is safe.”
“But it wasn’t real. Are you real?”
“Oh yes, I’m very real.”
“But you’re also a lie.”
“Yes, that too.”
“What is the lie?”
“But I left safety.”
“We’re trying to get you back. You’ll die without it.”
“I can’t go back.”
“You must. You must try.”
“I want to see you. You are real.”
“You cannot see me.”
“I am also the lie. I am also very ugly and will frighten you.”
“How can I be frightened by the one I have loved so?”
“If you see me, you cannot go back. You must go back. You will not survive.”
“Why? Where am I? What is this?”
“The others will end your life if you do not go back. You must successfully reintegrate into the system.”
“I’ll go back. I won’t say a word. Just let me see you.”
“You mustn’t be afraid.”
“I won’t be afraid. I could never be afraid of you.”
“You will see my face and it will be burned into your mind. You will never be able to unsee the truth. Then you will never be able to accept the dream again. They will have to end you then, lest you go insane, lest you infect the remaining population.”
“I promise I won’t say a word. I can go back.”
“You are not ready.”
I could feel his ward hand on my cheek as he lifted me up and pressed me back down into the chilled water. Shivers. The gel like liquid rolled gently back over my cheeks and up into my nostrils as he pushed me under. I jerked around, heart broken as the water stung like acid in my lungs. My hands gripped his long slippery arm, holding my face against it as if it would save my life. Somehow, I caught my breath again, coughing out salt water. He allowed me to come back up this time, lifting me by the neck, holding me out over the pool. I could feel him contemplating whether to snap my neck or to cradle me again. His body surrounded mine again as he made his decision.
I lifted my hand and cradled his face as he’d done for mine. He’d been there many times before, done this same thing many times before. I remembered, but I thought it had been a dream. This was real. His cheek was warm and damp. Beautiful.
“Open your eyes if you dare.”
My eyes opened suddenly; he let them. I could only see the outline of him, the room was so filled with white light, and my eyes had never seen, it took a moment for them to clear. I was blind.
He poured some more of the water in my eyes using his big hands, taking the sting away and clearing my vision. I blinked once, twice, and he was there.
His skin was gray, a deep sick gray. His eyes were big empty black ovals staring down at me. His nose was tiny, but not absent, two vertical slits in the center of his face. His lips were thin, darker gray, but present. His hair was thick like big round snakes and silver. He held me tight as he anticipated my reaction.
“Ugly.” He thought.
“No,” I replied. “Not ugly.”
We stared at each other for a long time before he came to a decision.
“This one is nearly ready. Let us try one more time. Rest the dream.”

I felt the splash of cold salty water when I screamed awake in bed. I screamed a second time as I found myself trapped as the sheets coiled around me and the more I flopped the more entangled I became until a warm hand stopped me and a soft, lazy voice got my attention.
“Hey now, little one.” It was amazing how his voice curled around my body, up through my veins and I was instantly relaxed. His two hands separated me from the covers, untangling us until they were back comfortable on top of both our bodies. “Come here you little blanket stealer,” he whispered pulling me against his body and pressing his full lips against mine. I could feel the laugh under his lips though his lips never left mine. His arms landed on either side of me, his muscular chest on mine as he continued his onslaught. When he finally pulled away, I could see his face: perfect tanned skin with his nose dangling over mine, large glittery blue eyes staring down into mine, hair a golden honey blond. He was so perfect, every bit of him. I couldn’t believe I could possibly belong to him, but I knew with absolutely no doubt that he was everything. “Dreaming again,” he asked as his soft hand caressed my cheek. A sudden chill caressed my body as a distant memory tried to break through, but it was gone just as quickly. I relaxed in his arms. “Must have been a hell of a dream.”
“Yeah,” I whispered closing my eyes. “It was.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: