The Male Angler Fish

I exist in a space that is impossible to discern, for darkness surrounds me. Futilely, I look about, in hopes of finding any apparent indications of the extent or features of this place that I inhabit.

Oblivion is all that I know.

I can sense that I am not alone, but I can not see who or what lurks within the blackness. Something in my small body is telling me that I should hope that they do not see me either.

Sharp pains in my stomach jab and prod at my insides, a reminder of a voracious appetite that begs to be fed. As scared as I am of the unknown environment, I must venture forth in search of sustenance.

I allow myself to become weightless, and begin to float; down, down, down, until contact is softly made with a bed of sand. If I am lucky, I will find leftover scraps from a predator’s kill, or perhaps a creature smaller than myself will be unfortunate enough to find itself in my presence.

I glide along the tiny pebbles that comprise the ground, and begin my search to pacify the growling beast from within. I must find something soon, for I fear this jarring hunger will consume me. I widen my eyes and flare my nostrils; my senses are the best tools that I possess.

Suddenly, a sharp, intense smell enters my nasal passage and I am immediately filled with desire. The world falls away as I soak in the fragrance, and each passing moment of basking in the glory of the aroma is better than the next.

Abruptly, I realize that this scent somehow gives my pitiful life meaning. I can not explain what it does to me or how it makes me feel, simply that it is the only thing that I have encountered in my life that makes any sense. The degree to which I want, no, need to find the source of this alluring scent far surpasses my urgency to feast. As the perfume absorbs me, it promises that all my needs and wants will be met.

I must find it.

Without hesitation, I journey in the direction of where the scent is most prominent, and my heart quickens with anticipation. My paltry body pushes itself to gain speed as the smell becomes stronger, for nothing has more significance than the lovely fragrance that beckons to me.

Lost in a fit of passion, my lack of attentiveness to my already impossible surroundings has led me to danger, and I now find myself stopped dead in my tracks. A goblin, which can only be described as a large, grey beast with an enormous, protruding nose and sharp, mangled teeth sits inches from my face. Even in the darkness, the need for survival has equipped me with the ability to make out the creature’s terrifying features in such close proximity. Staring with cold, lifeless eyes, the goblin paralyzes me with fear.

It is not until the monster begins to move that my instinct to flee kicks in. I turn away from the beast, and force my body to move at speeds previously unknown. I can feel the swift goblin come up behind me as I try my best to suppress the panic rising in my being. In a split-moment I make the decision to veer off back in the direction of the promising smell.

It is my only hope for survival.

Blindly, I frantically move forward and hope that some relief finds me soon, for I do not know how long I can keep up this pace. I feel something brush against my posterior, and to my terror, realize that the goblin is on my tail. The monster, sensing my fear, dislodges its jaw in an attempt to devour me.

I urge myself to move a little faster, and luckily, narrowly escape the beast’s attempt to gobble me up. To my dismay, it is not deterred and continues to follow. Hopelessness creeps in on me, for I see no possible escape.

Serendipitously, a soft, blinking light gently illuminates the darkness. From what I can tell, it is some distance away. The aroma is the strongest it has ever been, and something tells me that the light will lead me to safety. With my heart racing, I excitedly head for the luminous savior.

As I approach the light, I discover that it resides within a small cave. The modest size of the cavity will surely keep the goblin away if I can make it in time. What little energy I have left is drawn upon the possibilities of the wonderful smell, for the strength it provides propels me forward. I sense that the monstrosity is within inches of my being, and despite the exhaustion that is taking over my body, the aroma continues to electrify me. I force myself to push through the last moments of uncertainty, and with relief, find myself passing through the mouth of the hollow.

A loud THUMP! emanates from the rock surrounding the cave as the beast’s face makes contact with the hard surface. The monster aggressively tries to stuff its large body through the cave entrance several times, but cannot adjust itself to a small enough size to squeeze through. It floats for a few minutes outside of the hollow, and hopes that I will venture out again. I make no such action. Defeated, the goblin departs. I sit for a moment in peace now that I no longer have to flee for my life, and appreciate the calm that I have only recently regained. My heart is slowing, and I am safe.

In front of me, I realize the light that saved my meager existence continues to blink in a rhythmic pattern. Captivated, I move towards it in hopes of finding my eternal panacea. With my nostrils drowning in the sweet perfume, the light becomes increasingly brilliant and vivid as I clear the distance separating us. I arrive at the luminous spot during a dark period, and patiently await its return. When the light reveals itself, I am startled to find the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld floating before me.

The female sees me, and moves forward to close the remaining distance between us. Being in her presence removes all doubts and confirms that my instincts were right all along; this being was destined to be my savior, my protector. Without delay, I shift my position to meet her head on.

In the midst of silence, we take each other in. The light shining on her head continues to flicker in a rhythmic pattern, causing the moments of physical appreciation to be scattered amongst time. With each illumination, moment by moment, I notice her distinct features. With every single new discovery, my desire for her becomes amplified. I am nothing compared to her grand size, but she does not seem to mind.

I am worthy.

My body commands me to embrace her. I open my mouth wide, and bite into her soft underbelly. She allows me to do so. For the first time, I feel complete.

She is the reason for my existence.

My lips begin to prickle as I feel my flesh dissolve into hers.

Never again will I be lonely. Never again will I be hungry. Never again will I feel afraid. As promised, all my needs and wants will be met.

I begin to feel the rest of my body melt away as I continue to merge myself into her being, and we become one.

She is the light of my life.

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