Illustrated by Alexandria Heather
An anglerfish meanders through a lonesome depth. It bides its time in a patient chase, following the overhang of a luminescent crown. The prey to its own predation, days and weeks are spent following the warm glimmer of hope bobbing ever out of reach.
The creature is transfixed upon the bright lights of idea and odyssey. A drowned sky appears within the crossfire of its milky, stagnant gaze, an optical illusion of the pallid globe that looms before it. Mouth agape with idle bubbles, the deep sea dweller glides contentedly forward in unquestioning pursuit of purpose. It feels guided. Once floundering fins propel themselves toward imagined sensations of warmer currents and saltier streams. It feels beckoned. Perhaps tangled upon the elusive hook of Poseidon’s own line, baited only by promise.
The anglerfish swims in slow, determined circles, a voyage of vanity unbeknownst. The thing itself was unsightly, and its plight seemed foolish at best. A diluted delusion, yet the truth of futility would serve no comfort. Any aquatic epiphany would merely leave it clear-eyed and hot-blooded, flailing in waters more loveless than ever - dark of belief, fresh out of saline dreams.
A thirsty drown.
An empty flood.
Hope is an ebbing tide. Shores awash with life that cannot thrive in its absence, with kelp that shrivels in the sun, with rocks that will never soften to sand, and with trash that tells a sadder tale of the high seas.
A local of the loch asphyxiates as you dispose of its home.
The tide is at an all time low.