top of page
test jpg.jpg

June 2023 Contest Winner: The Paradox of the Sea.

The waves spoke to me. Through their violent crashing, a voice slithered out. Barely audible, but so clear. "The ocean is everything and nothing all at once."

The ships,

the birds,

the dolphins,

and the sharks

lurking below.

Abruptly yet naturally, a storm blows through.

When the water has calmed,

everything was gone.

A sea of endless blue and you’re merely a dot in between the rolling waves. You begin to question yourself, if not just to remain sane.

"Am I getting delirious?"

"Where am I?"

and most importantly,

"I'm going to drown."

The waves told me.

They meant no harm.

But they were hurting me.

When the calm surface of the sea starts getting rough and violent, when dark clouds loom over the ocean and you hear the faint crackle of lightning. A feeling of doom settles in your empty stomach.

Then you're tossed into the sea,

limbs entangling with the

clusters of seaweed.

The wooden plank you had been hanging on for dear life was entirely disregarded. As for your ability to breathe, until the adrenaline kicked in.

A lone clownfish notices your plight. It circles around you, tauntingly, mockingly. But it was just a fish, innocent and oblivious to your suffering. Such an adorable little-

Gasping and choking, you grit your teeth as you realized your mistake, wishing you weren't so easily distracted.

Then you're struggling,

You're thrashing,

You're flailing,

You're doing

Everything, anything

To survive.

To breathe.

"Stop that."

They said,

"We only want to help."

You make it to the surface,

Just to be sent back down as

Another wave rolls over.

Walls close around your lungs and the pressure is suffocating.

Life flashing before your eyes,

you prepare to say your last goodbyes.

"To whom?"


"To whom are you going to say your last goodbyes?" Good question.

Distracted, you gasp for air

and you get it.

Oxygen, the ailment to your failing lungs, drips down your throat.

You cough

and gag

and sputter

and the air is refreshing.

Your airways are free and you can finally breathe, you can-

Pushed down again by a massive current, you toss and turn in the shadowy water, plunged back into anxiety, doom, and certain death. You feel betrayed.

“By whom?”


“Who betrayed you?”

You did.

The waves want to manipulate,

well, that will have to wait.

The ship's wreckage traps you, pinning you down, not letting you go.

Like how the mounting won't let go of the dead. Even though they should. Even if it was for the

greater good.

Even if it was better if everyone forgot.

Let me go, you yell.

Did you forget that

You were underwater?


A mouthful of saltwater enters your nostrils and mouth. You swallow. You had no choice.

Your shirt was caught on a piece of sharpened wood. You tug and tug, each move getting more desperate than the last.

You plant your feet on a plank perpendicular to the seabed and push.

Finally, your shirt tears and you're free. You shoot up towards the surface, towards the air.

But your actions are slower,

Lacking energy.

The adrenaline is gone.

You push on, and you reach the surface.

Just to be pushed under again.

And again,

And again.

The waves never seemed to end.

And all that time,

This question lingers before you.

"Have you had enough?"

No, you have so much to live for.

You have to go back, you have to survive, you have to!


"Do you?"

Who are you?

Then it hit you.

It was the waves,

the water,

the ocean.

Whispering in low tones to let it in.

To give up.

"Give up."



Kimchi, the winner of WriterVana's June 2023 writing contest, is a modern genre writer.

35 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page