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 2nd 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.
Something changed. The water started converging just a few hundred meters off the coast. Sea foam began to squirt and splash, whirling around an area that would soon reveal itself as the center of this disturbance. And then, with a single thunderous roar that would echo through space for minutes, a majestic vessel emerged from the sea.
Imagine this thing bursting forth from the depths of the unknown. The old wooden finish, the lines of adorned windows, stretching across the hull and the sails, battened down tight. This colossus had introduced itself with a bang. The water continued to roll down from its massive body, allowing the moon to coat it in a glistening sheen, like a sparkling diamond resting at sea. The ships’ demeanor had an ancient character, but never old or worn down. Everything about it seemed well-kept.
I sat on that beach for an eternity, waiting patiently for the last drop to make its way from the ship back into the ocean. I wanted the quiet to return. And to my surprise, it did. The ship seemed to be abandoned. I couldn’t make out a single soul moving along the deck. The windows were all shrouded in mystery, without a single trace of life. And slowly, the ocean recovered from this seismic disturbance. The ships’ reflection on the surface of the water attained an awe-inspiring degree of realism. Like a grand master’s oil painting, the scene remained arrested in time.
I got up as soon as a twitching sensation crawled up my spine. A shiver in my bones, as if the marrow was slowly dissolving from the inside. I was not well. Something was eating away at my heart, slowly draining me of the little energy I had left. In search for something, I made my way into the water, slowly penetrating this mirror that held the cosmos. I cannot tell you what it was that made me want to approach this otherworldly vessel. Looking back, you could say it was my only hope. I had nothing to lose.
The water felt good. It was lukewarm, and as I started to swim, I could feel a shoal of fish nibbling at my feet. My senses had led me to believe that the distance was more than manageable, especially considering the pristine state of the ocean. There seemed to be no currents or any other sort of danger that would prevent me from reaching the vessel. But as I started to leave the sandy shores behind, something strange happened.
The world seemed to split in two. Turning around, I could see the island growing smaller with every arm stroke. I was clearly gaining distance. But looking ahead, the ship seemed frozen. Unreachable. It would not move closer. I was leaving the island behind, but what awaited me ahead seemed at once so much farther away. A mirage. I kept swimming, my movements were getting twitchy and anxious. My extremities started to ache.
As I forged ahead, the saline flavor of the ocean coated my mouth. My strokes became erratic, uncoordinated. The sea assaulted my senses. As the stars above lost their light, one by one, and the depths below turned black, I could feel something pulling me down. I was desperate for air, but all I had now, was water. I heard someone screech, horribly, holding on to what little life they had left. But there was no one else here. My lungs, polluted by the sea, had given up and the ship remained arrested, just out of reach.