256 Words

The Eternal Ocean

M. Stanley Bubien

He stood upon the steps and looked out over the wind-chopped swells marching their arc from the distant horizon to the nearby shore.

"The eternal ocean," he said aloud though the wind whipped the sound away. "Eternal. Everlasting. Never ending." He wiped his hand across his brow. "Unlike me."

The sun glinted off the whitecaps, magnified as from a million mirrors. Though it blinded, he gazed into the glare, hoping with all his might that as the reflections washed over him, the great ocean too was somehow looking upon him.

"See me," he said. "Take that part of me you see and remember. Remember so I might be eternal too."

He listened, yet the ocean gave no answer---save the constant thrush of breakers rolling along the beach. Soon, a cloud extended its reach and blocked the sun, dissolving the glimmering reflections and breaking the spell they held over him.

He turned his back upon the waters. Eager to be away from this place, he leapt his way upward, clearing three, sometimes four steps at a time. He overtook a little girl, and she stared awestruck, watching him crest the stairwell and disappear.

"Mommy!" she cried. "Did you see that man? He jumped over all these steps!" She tried to mimic his action, but was too small to make it over more than one step.

Her mother took her hand. Following after, the girl dreamed about the man who could leap over stairs, imagining that someday, maybe, she would be able to do so as well.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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January, 1997
Issue #9

256 Words