Welcome to Fiction Fridays!
Every couple of weeks, I use AI to generate a new fiction writing prompt inspired by the changes and updates to my digital garden. Today, I present to you the 1st part of the story Searching in Silence.
This collaboration with machine learning allows for the emergence of intriguing and unexpected ideas I might not have thought of otherwise. The prompts are designed to be open-ended and flexible, allowing me to explore a wide range of themes and genres that are aligned with my interests and experiences. However, it is important to remember that these pieces are fictional.
But there’s more! Alongside each weekly publication, you’ll find a piece of AI-generated art that complements the story. And if you’re eager to dive deeper, don’t forget to explore the updates to my digital garden.
In the solitude of a secluded Caribbean island, a young man awakens to a fragmented memory, a ghostly tether to his past. Amidst the pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, he embarks on a quest of self-discovery, wandering through the enigmatic beauty that surrounds him. As he unravels the island’s secrets, hidden emotions surge forth, entwining with existential questions that haunt his every step. A revelation of profound magnitude awaits, forever reshaping his perception of reality and unveiling the delicate fabric of his existence.
I sunk into the sand with every wave that washed over me. Microscopic pebbles paved the way for my body to connect with the earth. Rhythmically, the ocean takes what it wants. But I remained, washed ashore and left alone.
Emerging from the depths of darkness and experiencing the bliss of consciousness once again, is the greatest gift, if we could only appreciate it. The waves came and went, but with one particularly tumultuous rush of water I finally came to. I distinctly remember the adrenaline pumping. With the flick of a switch, I was back. I saw, heard, and felt. The sun-drenched coast. The baby blue ocean. That belt of sand, nudged comfortably in between what must have been the Caribbean Sea and a jungle so green and tall, like a great green American city of trees, it allowed only the craziest ones to enter. I got up and started to crawl inland, if only to save myself from the waves. The sand was hot. It burned my soles and hands, but it did not matter. Because as soon as I sat down and took my first deep breath, I realized that I had survived something. I was not meant to be here. I was not meant to be anywhere. Was this anywhere? Or was this what hell or heaven had in store for me?
My surroundings gave no clues as to what had happened to me. A cosmic anomaly. It just made no sense. Why was I here? I felt a duality of being that would not leave me for the entirety of my stay on this island. I was an intruder. Picture a complacent male in his late fifties, being brought comfortably to this island, enjoying the luxury of sunscreen, fresh fruit and these stunning vistas, coming home after this day trip, only to enthusiastically tell his co-workers just what he had seen and how it would change his life. That guy was not me. He would slip under the white covers of a five star beachside resort. He would enjoy the exclusivity of a front-desk wake-up call, just in time for the intercontinental breakfast buffet and his charter flight home. No, I was here to stay. The sand, the sea and the sun. I was dependent on this beauty to survive. No one was waiting for me.
I started walking along the beach, looking for something. I followed the curvature of the land until I was back where I had started. You see, this was a small island. It must have only been a few kilometers across. The horizon revealed nothing. A thin, razor sharp line, separating two shades of blue. I wanted to see a dent, a rock formation in the distance. Or the shadow of a vessel, veering off track towards my location. But there was nothing. A line with no end, and no beginning.
Time behaves in unexpected ways once you stop tracking it. All I had at my disposal was the position of the sun. A ball of fire that became more and more legible as it approached the horizon. Once the ocean had devoured the last bits of sunlight and the stars began to illuminate the sky, an almost unnatural sense of quiet emerged.
The water gradually shifted into a mirror for the night sky to display its brilliance. Like a vast pool stretching into infinity, I could not make out a single ripple on its surface. The moonlight gave the sand a luminous quality, a sheen of mystery. And finally, the jungle settled into an almost discomforting silence. The kind of quiet that makes you realize just how loud and maddening living things screeched and screamed. Like a cushy evening in the imperial opera, the audience settled and created a space for something to materialize, all on account of this ever threatening silence. Hold your breath. Let your body stagnate in time, if only for an instant.
Everyone knew what was going to happen. Everyone but me.