A hot, airy tear dribbles upwards, away from the sea's watery surface.

The moon, far away, tugs the water with its gravitational pull. The water will follow its tidal passage, not up and down as many believe, but sideways, free from the competition of the Earth's gravity, rushing to be under the moon as the Earth spins beneath.

And beneath the surface, Millie spins her cartwheels. Little hands with little fingers like algal fronds seeking purchase on barnacled rocks. One hand, a head, another hand, then the tail. No one believes in mermaids anymore, but that doesn't upset Millie. Millie doesn't believe in people.

She doesn't believe people come to steal the fish. She doesn't believe haggard old men with grey beards can throw spears at the whales. Those beautiful, living ships of the sea, traversing thousands of kilometres, singing songs of melancholy as their playground is scarred by the wakes of noisy vessels churning through the waters.

The dolphins have their fun in the seafoam, but Millie doesn’t join in. She won’t jump in the bubbles, won't risk her tail being caught in a net, or suffer a gash in her tender body from a stray metal can.

She looks up at the moon, sees a falling star. It was space dust years ago. Now it's space debris falling out of a decaying orbit with a fiery streak in its tail, back to the land. Or two-point three times more likely, over the sea. Yes, she can do the maths. And she knows that things don't add up.

Humans. Seventy percent water like the Earth; they should be one with it, but they’re not. Creatures of the land, yet they spread their wings over the water, scratch contrails in the sky. They metastasize everywhere in the name of science or exploration, but there's no wonder, no curiosity and no appreciation. Nothing to satisfy the stench of their lust. Just exploitation; take and trash. The stuff of nightmares.

Head over tail she goes, spinning, head over tail.

She hears them coming. They come like the tide; the flood of humans can't be held back, not with their rubber and plastic and boards and sails and boats and nets and bottles and jet skis and...

Her world will end, she knows, one day. It will be raped and ravaged, every last drop the ocean has to offer - and more - exacted by greedy complacence.  Left with no capacity for beauty; throttled of life.

Millie's life isn't about waiting for the coming storm, so she dances in the rain.

Round and round she goes, spinning her cartwheels under the waves.

The joy doesn't take away her pain. She sobs, and a hot airy tear floats upwards.

Paul Sterlini
Jun 21 2021

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Beautiful piece, with lots of stunning imagery, love the idea of tears floating upward.

Tony Spencer
Sep 11 2021

A beautiful and heartwrenching image of the ongoing destruction of our precious planet by us, humans, viewed through the eyes of another sentient species.

Agnes Mika
Aug 21 2021

Such a clever fable story. A lovely blend of fantasy and ethical writing. A beautiful short read.

Lainey Hesketh
Aug 20 2021

Every paragraph is really beautiful. (Nonita)

Nonita Thomas
Jul 20 2021