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 3rd 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.
The shining finish of the wood. That was the first thing I remembered. I was alive, but distant from the sand’s coarse texture, the taste of the ocean, and the sound of clashing waves. My aching muscles hinted at the exhausting journey that brought me here. I got up and carefully approached the railing. What I saw beyond, far off in the distance, scared me. Not because it was inherently treacherous, but because of what it implied. It was the island, a fleck of sand topped with bushy greens. I had somehow made it onto the ship.
My mind craved an explanation, a methodical reconstruction of the events that led me here. But all I remembered was the island, the ship, and then the water. That feeling as it engulfed my lungs and body. Gasping for air in a space where all I had was the sea. An elemental calamity. But after that, there was nothing. A darkness enveloped my memory, like a creature with an insatiable appetite for every last ray of light. All I had was my heart, reverberating in the silent amphitheater of my body. That throbbing, thumping echo. The only evidence for my aliveness. I held on to that sound as I descended into the hull of the ship.
The insides of this colossus seemed at first incomprehensibly large. Red-carpet corridors extended into the distance, with doors on either side and gold-plated chandeliers illuminating the way. This vessel could have easily held a few hundred people. I opened one of these doors, slowly peeking in through the crack. It was a standard cabin, with a single bed and a small study table. I wasn’t expecting anybody to be in here, on account of the quiet. But the stack of books by the nightstand gave me an eerie feeling. I opened the wardrobe and found an assortment of garments, even underwear and plush socks. Someone lived here. Everything seemed so well-kept. I rushed into the neighboring cabin to discover a comparable mixture of human traces: a set of glasses, a pack of menthol chewing gum, and some wrinkled cigarettes, spread over the bedsheets. This went on for as far as these rooms stretched. Clear signs of recent human activity, but not a living soul to be found.
I approached what must have been the captain’s quarters. What gave it away were the overtly decorated double doors. Whoever resided here, had a more important role to fulfill. He was responsible for the fate of this ship. The inside was spacious. Large rugs with Persian motifs segmented the room into different areas. You had a corner on the left, with a baroque sofa and chairs surrounding a coffee table. Over by the larger windows was the massive oak study desk. And to the right, a French door guarded the master bedroom. A close inspection of the desk revealed a collection of rum, bottles from the Seven Seas tucked away in a drawer, and a metal box containing what must have been Cuban cigars, judging by the excellent craftsmanship. I poured myself a glass of Jamaican rum and opened the captain’s journal. The leather surface was rough to the touch, the paper was old and yellow, either from the breeze of the sea or the smoke of the cigars. These pages had a musky, almond-like fragrance to them, and the inky letters within wove a tale of madness and confusion, each word bearing the weight of the abominable tragedy that had descended upon this vessel.
The ship was supposed to cross the Atlantic from the most southern tip of Spain, all the way to the Caribbean archipelago. But somewhere in the midst of the open sea, the ship got lost in a vicious storm. And after the clouds dissipated, a fog descended upon the crew and its captain. The words on the page began to repeat themselves. Mid-sentence break-offs, trails of ink, looking desperately to escape the nonsensical. What had started as legible calligraphy transformed into a scribbly mess of words, then letters, then nothing. A spell of amnesia. These final pages screamed for hope, for some sense of constancy to hold onto. Order had preceded chaos. The captain and his crew spent their last days living from moment to moment, unable to remember the past or predict the future, roaming the Atlantic Ocean in search of a safe harbor that would never come.