A Vision of the Other Realm
by Rebecca Fyfe
Gabby had been trying to sleep, but she couldn’t seem to rest her mind enough to fall asleep. She tossed and turned with no actual sleep in sight. Sighing, she sat up in bed. Might as well go get something to eat since she wasn’t going to get any sleep anyway.
The night was stormy out, with winds howling against the windows and rain pelting the roof. As Gabby wandered down the stairs, she could hear a dripping sound somewhere ahead. As she got to the bottom of the stairs which led into the foyer, she turned and saw the source of the sound.
The roof was leaking and water was dripping and running from the ceiling onto the floor. The foyer didn’t have anything above it, as everything else in the house upstairs began from the end of the foyer. This house had been leaking in different places each time it rained. Where the leaks would show seemed to depend on which direction the wind was blowing and directing the rain.
Connor had bought some supplies for fixing the leaky roof, but he had to wait for dry weather in order to go on the roof or he risked falling. They hadn’t even thought about the roof until the rainy weather had started and shown them that there were several leaky parts of the roof that needed their attention.
The dripping rain was creating a large puddle on the floor. Bella sighed. She figured she’d better go and get some pots or bowls to put under the leaks before she grabbed a bite to eat. She could have walked through the puddle and gone directly into the kitchen from the foyer, but she was barefoot and that water looked cold, so she detoured around it by entering the living room to her right and entering the kitchen that way. There was a large bowl of fruit on the kitchen table that looked like it would do the job for some of the leaks. She took the fruit out and set it all gently on the table, making sure none of it rolled off.
There had been more than one leak from roof over the foyer, so she searched in the cupboards for some more bowls or pots. She found the large pot that they used for boiling potatoes and another slightly smaller pot. She carried them all back through the formal dining room, living room and into the foyer. The puddle had grown. The leak must have been a pretty bad one for the puddle to have grown so much so fast. She walked towards it and leaned over with the fruit bowl to place it under one of the parts of the roof where a leak was coming in.
She set the bowl down and looked up. No. The leak was a little more to the right. She leaned down to move the pot over to the right. As she leaned down, some of the water from the puddle touched her foot. Brrr! She looked down at her foot and saw her reflection in the water.
But her reflection began to fade and be replaced by another image. Gabby felt as if she was frozen in place. She felt as though she should look away, but she couldn’t move. The image that was forming seemed to draw her in somehow. She could see shaped forming in the water, things taking form. Another world was opening before her eyes.
As she stood there, the pool of water spread until it surrounded her and she stood completely in it. It appeared as if there were living creatures swimming in the water, but it must have been the world she was seeing into through the portal that was opening. She didn’t know why she couldn’t tear her gaze away, but it suddenly felt as if she was slipping. It felt like she was sinking slowly into the world below her.
In reality, she still stood there looking down into the water. But Gabby had never done things that way that others did them, and so it was only her consciousness that slipped into the portal. Some might call it her spirit, that internal part of a person that cannot be seen but that makes them who they are.
She sank into a world that was entirely underwater. She started to panic at first, thinking that she would drown. But after a few moments, she realized that she was not holding her breath. She didn’t seem to be breathing at all, and yet she felt fine. Creatures darted past her and into surrounding foliage. She didn’t catch a good enough glimpse of them to see what they were, but she could tell they were small.
She swam over to some floating seaweed and peered around it. She was amazed by the tiny creature behind it. It was only about a foot tall. It looked exactly as Bella had described the sea creature she’d seen in the aquarium when she’d gone into the Other realm. She was actually seeing one herself!
Even better, she was seeing one of these tiny mermaid-like creatures in its own environment and not some artificial scene created for it in a tank of water. She looked around her, and she could glimpse shadows of these creatures flitting everywhere. There must have been hundreds of them! She couldn’t tell if some of them might be male or not, but the one before appeared to be female. She had to concede that she didn’t know enough about these creatures to know what the female of the species looked like and how it would differ from the male.
There were other creatures under the water here. Strange and colorful fish swam by her, and she decided to swim further. None of the creatures here appeared to be paying her any notice. She was beginning to believe that she was invisible to them.
She swam lower and saw a funny looking crab in the sand at the bottom. It was purple in color and it had four arms with pincers, which it waved and snapped angrily at her. It had long legs covered in fur and what looked like paws at the end of them. She swam on and came across two dolphin-like creatures playing a game. They were different from dolphins in that, instead of fins, they had arms with fin-like attachments, sort of like a flying squirrel would have between its arms and body, and completely formed hands at the end of their arms. They were throwing a rather large seashell back and forth, sometimes swimming great distances in order to catch it.
A thought occurred to her. How would she get back? She didn’t even know exactly how she had arrived. Would she be able to find the portal again? She had swum pretty far from it in her curiosity to see everything that this world had to show her. She decided to try and retrace her path through this other-worldly sea.
As she swam back the way she came, she noticed a large number of sea creatures swimming past her in the same direction. They were all going quite fast, and their pace seemed quite urgent. She got a very bad, sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach and reluctantly looked over her shoulder.
Behind her and gaining ground towards her was something that terrified her. It had all the appearance of being a shark, except that the fins in the front were arms like those she had seen on the dolphin-like creatures. It looked at her with the eyes of a predator. Between her and it was one of those small mermaid-like creatures. The little creature was terrified and swimming with all of its heart to get away. The shark creature overtook it, and, its eyes still on Gabby, grabbed it with one hand and bit its head off. It kept coming at her, while it chewed and chomped on the head of the now dead little mer-creature.
Terror seized her even harder. It was obvious that this thing could see her. And there was no way she could swim as fast as she needed to in order to get away. Then something big shot past her like a bullet, heading straight for the shark creature. One of the dolphin creatures rammed head first into the shark-thing, and the shark creature was thrown backwards. Then the other dolphin creature hit it from the side. A cloud of blood burst from the shark creatures mouth and it began to drift in the current, motionless and lifeless.
Gabby wanted to thank them, but they had swum away almost immediately. She began to swim back in the direction she thought she’d come from, hoping she was going the right way. She had definitely seen enough of this place.
Her momentum was stopped again when something swam in front of her and stopped. She saw a very large tailfin, and her eyes followed it up to where the dark green fin ended in light green skin. A light green muscled chest was before her, and she was almost afraid to let her eyes look any further, but she looked up and was surprised that what was before her was not as unusual as she had expected. The face before her was a man’s face, though the skin was light green and the eyes were coal black. He had seaweed-like, short, spiky hair. He looked similar to the tiny mermaid creatures she had seen earlier, but he was human-sized.
He motioned to her to follow him, and she did because she did not know where else to go. She wasn’t even sure she was going in the right direction to find the portal again, or even if she could get back through the portal.
He led her back to where she’d come from. She looked up and could see herself standing and looking down into the water. This surprised her as she thought she had come into the portal completely. The merman grabbed her hand and placed a shiny black pearl in it, closing her fingers around it. Then he pointed upwards.
He opened his mouth as if to say something, but she heard his thoughts instead. He told her to be careful and that someday in the near future he would send her a message when she needed it. And then she was floating upwards without having to swim. And the next thing she knew, she was again standing with her feet in the pool of water that had formed because of the leaky roof. She looked down at the merman who faded from sight and was replaced by her own reflection.
Gabby placed the other two pots down under the leaks from the roof and, forgetting having come downstairs originally for a snack, she went back to bed and slept soundly, a shiny black pearl clutched tightly in her hand the whole time.
When Gabby woke the next morning, she looked in her hand and the shiny black pearl was still there.