Ally spent hours going deeper and deeper into the ocean, trying to stop the ache in her heart. She learned how to dive under the strong waves and ride them back to the shore. She swam out over the reefs and explored the intricate lace of the coral, making friends with the colorful fish and sea plants that lived there.
Venturing farther and farther out each time she swam, she became strong and could stay underwater and explore for longer stretches. She was happy, but her heart ached and she was lonely. She knew the best thing to do was wait there on her beach, knowing that one day Wild would come and find her, but the ache in her heart grew heavier and stronger, driving her out into deeper and deeper waters.
One day while she was swimming in the deep, the sky suddenly darkened and the wind began to rage, whipping the waves higher and higher in the fury. Ally was pulled under the water by the strong current and she fought violently to make her way back to the surface. Panic shot through her, causing her hands and feet to go numb as she realized the trouble she was in. Ally was caught in a rip tide, the most dangerous fate the great Atlantic touted.
Each time she fought her way to the surface, and her face broke through feeling the icy air, another wave would crush her down, down into the deep again. Time seemed to stop and all Ally knew was the unmerciful pull of the tide, the all encompassing work of her body to fight to the surface, and the crush of the next wave.
Ally fought the dark water but she was growing weaker with each push toward the surface and she had to find a way out of the cycle soon or she would die. That’s when she heard the dark voice that lived in the dark water. It chilled her blood and numbed her mind. In her days on the warm sand she had heard stories of the dark voice, and the power it held. It was black and inky as the night sky when all the stars were snuffed out by clouds. She had heard stories of many brave souls that had lost the fight with the strong waves, having succumbed to the voice that lived in the dark water.
Ally kicked and pulled against the current, the dark voice pulsed through her with each exhausted beat of her heart. Just let go, Ally. Just let yourself sink. Stop this useless fight. You know you can’t win this, you know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve taken down everyone you’ve ever loved and i’ll take you down too. just stop fighting it. just let go…
Ally was tired; too tired to keep fighting, wrestling against the dark voice in her mind. I’ll just give up, thought Ally. Yes, I’ll just stop this useless fight and become one with the deep water. That’s the way out of this. Wild was lost to her, she was alone in the rip tide, and nothing could save her.
Ally’s head began to spin as she suddenly resurfaced, coughing and sputtering, gasping for breath. Another great wave was rising to her left and she knew she was going under again. This is it, she whispered. This one will take me down to the deep. But just before the wave reached her she looked up into the clouded night sky her heart crying for help, and saw a break in the darkness. A hole appeared in the black, and she saw the vast glittering stars on the other side. Ally pulled the the delicious, briny air into her lungs and prepared to go under again.
The wave crashed over her and pushed her down down down, but there in the dark Ally found that the stars had found their way into her soul. It was nothing more than a glimmer, but it was there. Her lungs burned and her body ached as the hand of the current pushed her further down. The dark voice was laughing, mocking her effort to fight the inevitable.
The glimmer turned into a glow, mingling with her salt water blood, and spread through her veins into her cold, tired body. With the light came another voice; ancient, strong medicine. It was the Voice of the Waters. The dark voice spun around in her mind, confusing her and making her afraid, but the Voice of the Waters pulsed gently through her, coursing warmth and light through her tired body.
Ally began to reverberate with the warm pulse, and in it she felt the invitation. Her whole body understood the Voice of the Waters as it dulled the sharp, dark voice that cut through her mind. I created the current on purpose, pulsed the Voice of the Waters. I designed it to carry you to safety. You can stop fighting now and let the current carry you. Ally considered the invitation as the burning in her lungs became unbearable. Pain shot through her limbs as exhaustion was taking over. She knew she wouldn’t resurface this time, all her strength was gone. She closed her eyes and felt her body go limp.
(Stay tuned for the final chapter of our story 🙂