A Journey in Water

Prompt: Return of body

Andy Miles 2nd February 2023

The body bobbed and pushed its way through the reeds and other vegetation as it made its way slowly down the river. How it got into the river is not important, what is important is the slight trail of blood trailing behind from a small cut on the head. This red ribbon is attracting small fish to nibble at the wound.

The river widens as it approaches the sea. The body continues its meandering journey from where it entered this waterway to its eventual destination. Some of the flesh is now flaking off and floating away, followed by a trail of small fish.

In the tidal part of the river, the fish are bigger and are taking larger pieces of the body for food. The majority of the corpse is still intact though, it will still make a good meal for the larger predators to come. A few of them chase away the smaller customers, they will need to look elsewhere for their next feed.

By the time the cadaver reaches the deeper sea only the head and torso remain, the eyes and tongue have been picked out. The body has reached the end of its journey. From slipping into the water some sixty miles away to now, being approached by one of the apex predators in the oceans. The Great White Shark picks up the trail of the last remaining blood. It turns, focuses and feeds. Like kids with a chocolate birthday cake, pieces are everywhere, however, the majority is eaten by the shark.

Sharks are different to humans, they eat, shit, but do not sleep. In our story, sleep is not important, the shit is.  It is moved around and broken up in the currents, eventually settling on the seabed. Here it breaks down and becomes nutrients for algae. A blue crab scuttles up to the algae and nibbles a portion of it.

This particular blue crab is not a lucky crab.  That very night they are caught in a fisherman’s haul. By morning they are in the harbour and being sold to a local seafood restaurant. A couple on their honeymoon have a table booked that evening in this restaurant. They have been attracted by the five-star reviews and the view over the sea.

Roughly 39 weeks after the honeymooning couple had a fantastic fish platter (including blue crab) their first son is born. The body that entered the river has now returned.