Ripples In The Water

Ripples In The Water

A Story by BodilessSoul

a reflection on things in my life with a tad of exaggeration.


    I stood by the man-made canal near my home with my backpack weighing heavily on my shoulders as I stared down at my own image in the murky water.  I couldn't see past my face, couldn't see the life that lurked under the surface.  I couldn't see the fish or the garbage that most likely drifted by.  I couldn't see anything.  With a balled up fist, I hit the water, as if punching it would shatter the image like that of a mirror.  Of course, much to my disdain but expentance, it didn't go away but instead morphed as it rippled around my submerged hand.  My face mutated and my shoulder, chest, head, everything became distorted in the little waves.  For a moment, I smiled.  This transformed figure was better than whatever had existed before in the reflection.  I couldn't remember my true image.  What was an image but your own perception?  With that, I accepted this new one before me.  With the face obscured, my features undistinguishible, my body a large elastic rubberband wiggling in the ripples, I had become exactly what I desired: undesirable.


    I had nothing to gain here, cooped up in a house of shadows and strangers.  I had nothing to retain there, strangled by textbooks that echoed my prior knowledge.  Only rarely did I stumble upon something I was capable of absorbing.  Sights, that was all that I could take in.  But here, with the same faces -especially my own- and the same places, traces, ideals, ridicules, politics, scandals, and simple ugliness, I couldn't survive.  I had changed.  I was being smuthered under the fabric of society and I wanted to rip my way out.  And yet, I was afraid of moving away from the comfort of the quilt.  So snuggly it held me in place, a cocoon that sheltered me from danger, even though I'd long ago had turned into a butterfly, ready to burst out and fly.  But I was more of a moth.  I loved fabric in a strange way.  I survived off it.  I consumed it.  I wanted it to vanish once I was done with it.


    Hah, was I an interestly ugly little moth.  The water contorted to fit my thoughts.  My head grew antennas, my shoulders stretching at the top to form wings of a sort.  My tan arms served well to copy the color of a moth.  I sneered at the image.  I could be whatever I wanted and so I chose a moth.  I chose the one thing humans loathed.  I chose a small insect that barely anyone noticed and when they did, it was with annoyance.  I amused myself in my need for alienation.  With it came a freedom no one else could ever know.  I could leave one day, without a trace, and no one would search.  It would be as if I'd never existed, like a moth gone astray.  Who cared? 


    I could run away, escape, take off but my feet were rooted to the earth.  I was stuck there near that man-made canal by my home.  Home, a word I grew more distant from with each day.  Shadows and strangers... 


    The water caved in as I pulled my hand out, suddenly feeling a stir of life beneath the surface.  It scared me.  With my hand removed, the water took on more motion.  the ripples increased slowly and then dipped as it stretched all my features but squashing my height.  My mother stared back at me.  I tried to remove myself, tried to tear out but my feet were glued and my backpack pulled my shoulders to the ground.  I collapsed there and met the eyes of my mother.  Her eyes were wide, in shock of seeing me?  Slowly, daftly, I realized it was a reflection of my own reaction.  My changed face looked back at me, agast.  It was too much to look at her, at me.  Was this supposed to show me what I was to become?  Or to encourage me to leave?  Why couldn't I, then?  I growled at the grass around me, frustrated at my surroundings. 


    The image stayed, and so did I.


    I began to cry, streaks of cold, salty tears running down my face as I continued to stare back at her, at me.  Mother.  The word played on the tip of my tongue.  I didn't dare utter it.  She was a curse.  Once said, the curse would deepen within my soul and crush me.  I didn't want her near me, in me, by me, or said by me.  It was taboo.  She was taboo.  The murky water didn't care.  It continued the illusion.  I'd had enough.  I reached in, shaking at the water with my hand and strangling it- if you even strangle water.


    Thankfully, whatever I'd done worked.  The water resigned from our silent fight and I gave a sigh of relief as my mother's image disappeared into the murky depths of the canal.  As the water settled, though, I wished it hadn't vanished.  My true reflection imerged.  I felt the flutter of life and glanced away from my mirrored image, catching the flip of a fish tail just above the water.  I hesitantly returned my eyes to myself.  My being was a daunting one.  My eyes had purple half-circles underneath them.  Of exhaustion or distrease, I no longer cared to figure out.  My hair was all over, like my scattered mind and ideas.  My body looked fragile, a simple trick played by the small ripples left in the water.  I wasn't weak.  I couldn't be.  I wasn't allowed to be weak.  To survive, I had to have strength on my side.  The ripples were nothing but lies, illusions, tricks of the eye.  I scowled, looking at the road a few yards away from where I sat.  If anyone had watched during the red light, it must have seemed like such a spectacle.  Who cares?


    When I turned back to the canal, the image had been replaced and I reframed from gasping.  I wasn't there anymore.  It was a place, one I grew familiar with.  It was Barcelona, Spain.  The allyways that had intrigued me on my visit there weaving in and out of sight, a maze I so wanted to explore again.  The scenery shifted.  Italy, with its grand archs and art.  It transitioned again.  Greece, then Turkey, then England, then South America.  Europe, Japan, Asia, Africa, the Middle East.  The images blurred together as the ripples' pace quickened, a fierce wind suddenly making its existence known.


    I clutched my sides but didn't dare move.  I was enthralled by the images.  It was an illusion, of course, but one that entertained my senses.  I wanted to dive in, literally.  If only to dive in that murky water would make me resurface in the places that haunted my dreams.  To travel, I realized then, to travel - moth or no moth- was something I'd always danced around.  I wanted it, oh I wanted it but could I?  Could I dare grasp at that dream?  I leaned forward, my face inches from the surface.  I felt the life beneath it.  I felt it stir, scream, dance.  I felt alive.  I closed my eyes, not needing the canal to amuse me with images my mind could so easily conjure for me.  All the places, the destinations I dreamt of, craved for waited behind my eyelids. 


    Suddenly, I felt my backpack push down on my back, the weight of knowledge on my back and shoulders.  It pushed and pushed.  I lost my balance and plunged headfirst into the murky water of that man-made canal by my home.  I felt the water wrap around me, coddling me in its depths.  I struggled to open my eyes; I didn't want the murky water in my eyes.  I kept the images of my travels in mind, my eyes ravaging their shadowed corners.  I stayed there, afraid to open my eyes to murky water, afraid to drown in its uncertainty, afraid to resurface and lose my dream.  I stayed there, loving the dreams and life that danced around me in the murky water of that dream-made canal by my house.



© 2010 BodilessSoul

Author's Note

Be kind D: It's been a while

My Review

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I think this is probably my favorite of what you have on here.

The imagery is captivating and the emotions are so clearly presented.

I love it.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow Lee... This is amazing. It's beautiful.
(It's Alex from Camp.. BY THE WAY)

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on June 6, 2010
Last Updated on June 6, 2010
Tags: reflection, diary, cause and effect, life, uncertainty



LarlarLand, FL

Hello All! I am an aspired writer but I don't think I'm that great. I have many ideas but I have a lot to learn about techniques and all that jazz! I love literature and also acting. I love theatr.. more..