(The following is a sample preview of one of my many work-in-progress novels that I write on the down time. You will see more of this from me in due time)
Flowing, so wisely, the mantra of the Reef sang. An eb and flow, so much an eb and flow as so, of waves as it passes through and reverbs back and forth against itself and unto me. A splash of cool current pressed and spread across my face, gently awakening me from my absent state of consciousness. It was as if she, the Reef, exhaled her presence onto me like a motherly ease of comforting presence. I awoke softly, unstartled from where I was or where I am as if I was restrained internally from some force, preventing me from reacting to a shock of fear and confusion as to where I stood, or better yet, where I was situated. I awoke and what was beyond me became clear. A great sea, silent and unmoving, bounding me with no presence of a surface or bottom to be found in sight. No creatures of any kind, of any shape or size were present. It was no more a bottomless sea, a grey sea with no conceivable end. There seemed to be light, yet it is unknown where it was coming from. It was as if it was everywhere and nowhere at the same time, as if the Reef herself was her own light emanating across everywhere on all facets of space with no beginning or end.
As I situated myself in a proper state of full awakeness, I gasped internally, griping myself and orienting myself on all facets of my surroundings. Upon instant observation from all angles, if there was to be such a concept, I immediately realized that I was not standing firm, let alone standing at all. The Reef hoisted me, floating in its boundless space with no sense of ground. I was unable to reposition myself, nothing to push myself across or grab towards in a secured sense of attachment. I could not even feel force of any kind, yet the unearning presence of the Reef herself. I was truly, I thought to myself, in an inconceivable space, let alone an infinite space..
Alone and still, I attempted to recollect any sense of past memories, if such memories are even remotely tangible to reconstruct or make tangible or conceivable within where I stood. It was a difficult task to piece together, considering the toll of mental haze I was in, yet somehow the looseness of my body and the calming aura of the Reef withheld any more physical or mental struggle. I was softly in a sense of ease, as if any feeling of anxiety or confusion simply wisped away the more aware I became of my present being. I started with thoughts of body awareness, whether I was truly “physical” in respect to the laws of my current existence, or whether I was physical in the sense of some sort of phantasm, an illusion, a dream or concept.
I patted myself down, and sure enough I truly was physical, and upon closer inspection I wore actual physical apparel with actual physical material. I looked down and appeared to wear some sort of physical footwear with leggings attached to my upper torso like some full body suit. I finally looked to my arms and more insight came to me leading to more questions than answers. My arms were bound in some sort of durable gloves reaching from the edge of my fingertips to the knobs of my elbows. On my left arm some sort of accessory was attached, wrapped around like some sort of leather brace, decorated with metal pieces on the back, leading to a sort of analogue device on the front. The device on the front contained a series of interconnecting electronic and mechanical pieces, closely connecting two main metal pieces. These pieces were of one circular shape and the other square, the circulator piece appearing to be some sort of compass with its needle missing, and the square some reflective gold plate with strange geometric lines extruding from its center with no clear sense of conceivable shapes. Upon closer look at the square metal piece I could witness my own reflection, and upon closer inspection of my face I captured a look of my head covered in an oddly designed yet protective headgear.
Focused now on the reflection of my head, I carefully analysed this strange headgear that my body just now consciously became aware of feeling. It was odd really, either there was no sense of recollection of past or present that allowed me to even remotely notice such a headpiece equipped, or the senseless and weightless nature of the Reef prevented me from any sort of physical self awareness to begin with. This headgear, this odd helm, It was as if it was always a part of me, like a second skin, or second head layered over my current existing one. Though cautiously and with a careful and graceful levelling of movement, I quickly began to feel the sides of my head to gain a clearer perspective of what this odd helm was like. Caressing it and receiving a sense of mass and density, the helm felt as if it was a heavy object, but felt light enough to not feel like a burden. It had a brass texture to it, a roughness as well that felt aged and vintage. Upon both closer inspection from the reflection, and from the indented and grooved sensation of the helm, odd shapes appeared that filled the foreground of the helm with angles, lines and circular patterns reminiscent of an old automaton watch. In overarching shape and aesthetic, it was quite alien yet sharply familiar at the same time. It was definitely not some sort of ancient war helm, but it most definitely felt as if it had intentions of protection beyond what one would expect of a normal helm. It gave me so many questions, and not a single conceivable theory could be made within the waking hour. Matters only became worse once I stumbled across the surreal detail on the sides of the helm leading to the most estranged sense of peculiarity yet.
Tilting my head, still facing my reflection off the metal plate, I observed what appeared to be circular, pocket watch-like devices on both sides of the helm. Reality stood still as more questions than answers were made present. I observed what would otherwise appear to be two vintage pocket watches behaving as earmuff coverings on both sides of the helm. The clocks became more sinister to me as I noticed that each of its arms were actually moving, but no discernible sound was made. A chill dispersed across my skin as I realised that not only were each clock’s arms moving with no discernible ticking sound, but that the movements of the clocks were in a counter-clockwise fashion. From this point onward, nothing and truly nothing, even more so nothing that the boundless sea encapsulating me did, could explain the true nature of my current existence.
For a moment, a chill dispersed across me from head to toe. I could not fathom if any more ideas or concepts of true reality were any more tangible now than how they were a few moments ago. This sea, this Reef, this mysterious place was all that I could interpret as anything true and tangible. Yet, no matter how much I’ve forgotten what actual reality was like before I’ve woken up. What and where I was before my previous state of unconsciousness. I know deep down that there is nothing true of my current existence in this place. This realm I was in, with all its insurmountable bounds and its still disperses was all the reality I had now. Suddenly, I felt cold, as if realization of my existence bounded me more than whatever the Reef can offer to bound me with. The thought of where I was, lost, alone, and unclear if I was truly alive or conscious, froze me up. I wanted to believe that I was true, that I was tangible, that somehow floating in this weather was a temporary transition from some form of reality to the next. Hence forth, I proceeded to bound myself, my arms covering me in closely from the enveloping space, and yet, the enveloping space kept me a hold much more tightly than I ever could with my feeble, material body.
I waited, waited, and waited some more. Still wrapped up, I began to drift away, thinking to myself and peering to myself as to whether this existence could simply wither away by mere thought. Alone to myself if the rules of this reality functioned the same way as the rules of the previous reality. Which brought me finally to the obvious question that I should have asked myself in the first place: why was I here? Where was I before I spawned in this aging sea? Truly I am conscious enough to know that this place isn’t the only reality. I have heard of a place like this, of a realm known as the Reef, whose name keeps coming to mind whenever I interpret my surroundings as checking everything that matches that name. But who or what has enveloped my mind with such a term? It was as if a dream conceived that name, the name of this place that exists after places. I do not know, and I would like to think I know, but something about this place bewitches the minds of men, circulating thoughts and ideas, enwrapping their minds with new ones and flushing anything irrelevant right out. From that conceptualization visualized, I knew that the only thing left for me was to remember. Dream or not, I must remember! As if grasped by an urge to shout and proclaim my existence into this sleepless abyss, what am I, and what was I before!
Yet then, as if nothing happened at all, silence transitioned through. Nothing reverberated and nothing delved back with a sense of feedback. I was truly alone, both in body and spirit and stilted memory. Soon again I began to drift again, purposefully halting myself in whatever stillness I can achieve. My eyes grew heavy, my gear and apparel grew dense. I let go of any feeling in my hands or knees, and allowed my body to stand petrified and perfectly still. I accepted all that there is and can be, and allowed this “Reef” to envelope me permanently once more and forever. Like a corpse, drowned of life floating at the bottom depths of an unforgiving sea, I lingered and drifted away, drifting alongside the eb and flow of this engrossing bulwark of sea.
Soon though, something was coming up to my realization, yet the more I tried to grasp it the more I simply let go. A faint sound, gradually becoming known, made into account my shoddy existence. This existence, this Reef, this device on my wrist, this helm at my head, wisped away the stronger the sound was made. It was rhythmic, slow discernible, but incomprehensible as the moment stayed on. A beat, a rhythm, encasing me like the enveloping seal of a mother’s womb . My eyes were closed, I let go of anything I had left, until finally the sound was all that was left. It was kinetic, and greatly mechanical in nature. At last the mantra of the Reef, reassuring me of my existence within my last vestige of reality, sang to me. So then, it goes: Tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick.