Strange Things Happen at Sea

But stranger things still happen in the hearts of men

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The old man felt a pain in his gut, something quite unlike anything he'd ever felt in his life before.

He'd drifted for a very long time, before he landed here, on this world, and he'd slept in the depths of this world's sea for a long time, as well, though not as long as he'd spent in the void. He could still remember the bright, burning stars; the brightest of reds, the shining yellows, the dim and dying white stars, or the gigantic, short-lived blues. Those would burn brightest, and, as the old phrase on candles would attest, burned shortest.

Here, in the sea, there was only the dark, the quiet, and the world of life coming into existence inside himself. He'd felt them digging, clawing, scratching, for a very long time. More recently, he'd felt them walking, burning, and building. He knew his time was coming to a close. When the final moment came at last, he felt great pain at first. Then, for a brief moment, he felt he could see again, that he was in the void, with nothing impeding his vision. He saw that the sea was blue, and thought it beautiful.

Dr. Reginald Philbert Lionel Archibald Westinghouse Wondertainment III, MD, PhD, DDS, Esq. was a man with very simple goals. The most basic, and most driving, of these was to make people happy. So it was that, when his patented Wondertainment GrumpometersTM began to go off with numbers far higher than they ever had before, he took it upon himself to go out and find the source of the trouble.

That is how the good Doctor found himself in his WonderMoBoat1 with Humphrey, Humphrey, and Humphrey, three of the doctor's finest English bulldogs2, and Humphrey at the helm, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Sitting on the seat next to Wondertainment was his well-trusted WonderBeamTM, guaranteed to shoot pure, unfiltered wonder into the souls of even the biggest grumps.

As he was coming up on the source of the grumpiness, Wondertainment couldn't help but smile in anticipation of curing this particular case of the grumps. He turned to the GrumpometerTM display in the console, and saw that the grump was about a mile to starboard. He turned that way and saw a very, very large wave, moving towards him. He looked to Humphrey, Humphrey, Humphrey, and Humphrey, chuckled, and gave the closest of them a hug. When the wave hit them, the boat turned skyward briefly, and, as he stared at the beautiful, blue sky above him, Doctor Wondertainment had a strange thought:

I wish I'd had time to raise a daughter.

Then the abyss took him.

A person was sitting on a dock on a small island in the middle of the ocean, writing idle musings in their journal. The birds were flying, the sea rolling, the ships sailing, and people enjoying their evening.

They stopped a moment. Something seemed off. They looked up from their journal, to the birds, to the people, then to the sea. Except… The sea was not there. It had receded.

This is unexpected, they thought to themself. Low tide isn't for a few more hours, and the waters have drawn back even further than that already. But "unexpected" doesn't need to be bad. I think I'll go out and look at the tide pools.

The person walked down the dock back to the shore, enjoying the sounds of children playing in the tide pools, of people chattering, of life simply happening. They wrote something down in their journal, and then breathed in deeply, taking in the smell of the sea. They'd reached the shore and had been walking down the ocean for a few minutes at this point.

They heard a scream. The person stopped, turned around, and saw the people on the shore running inland, away from the ocean. They turned back to the ocean, and saw a wave the likes of which few people had ever seen, and even fewer had survived. They jotted a short note in their journal, tore out the page, turned to the sea a final time, and let the waves take them.

A small team of aid workers would later find a note that said, simply, "The blue sea calls to me, and I answer her. — Pangloss"

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