The Sea is Where the Sky Should Be

The sea is where the sky should be.

A Short Story 

by Gabrielle Ghatt

(copyright 2023)

The sea is where the sky should be. It’s been like this since seven years ago. I’m sixteen now, but I still remember what happened.

The world wasn’t always like this. I’m sure that I’m the only one who realizes.

Maybe others realize it too, but are too afraid to say it out loud. Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is that on that day, the world went through a sudden irreversible change.

God came down to earth, and they killed it. Maybe it wasn’t truly a god.

I don’t know, but the end of the world followed, and from the ashes of that world, a new one sprouted up: A godless world where the sea is where the sky should be and the sky is where the sea should be.

I’m acquainted with my nonexistence. The nonexistence of everything, really.

The world I knew is dead.

The god I knew is dead. I’m still alive, and I’m the only one who remembers how things are supposed to be.

My mother has given up on me.

She doesn’t bring me to collect fish where the sea dips down enough to touch anymore.

I was no good at holding the fish basket, anyway. It’s really for the better.

I still wish she’d listen to me, but I’ve always known she wouldn’t.

I know how everything will end up. I know how this will end. I should’ve stopped trying ages ago.

School is a special brand of torture too. My peers act with a special form of cruelty I’ve only seen in foreign tv shows.

Nothing will change.

They won’t change.

I know it.

They won’t change as long as that’s what most people are doing and as long as there’s no one to stop them. It’s not that different from how the world used to be.

Only more extreme.

They’re only this cruel to me too.

I’m thinking it’s because I know what the world used to be. Like the universe is getting its revenge on me for knowing all its secrets.

The teachers tell us about how back in the olden days, people would use baskets to catch the rain falling up from the sky. Of course I know it isn’t true.

Not exactly.

This world has only existed for seven years. It hasn’t lived long enough to have such a rich history, but it’s fun to think about. I hardly think of fun things anymore. I won’t ever again.

They still believe in a god here. I dare not tell anyone that it is long gone and dead. If news got out, everyone in the world would be fighting to take up the mantle.

They’d all realize what the vacant spot means, and they’d all think themselves deserving.

No man should take the seat of god. I know this. That’s what this test is for.  To see if I’m worthy of existence.

The day darkens, and I know what has to happen, but I want to see something first, so I go to the fishing spot.

The fish swim around cluelessly, having no idea what’s soon to happen.

I stick my hand in the water.

A little water splashes out from the sea and lands on my face. It gets in my eyes, but I don’t blink it out.

Then, in a practiced motion, I hop into the water and begin to swim. I swim up and up and up.

Deeper and deeper and deeper. The seafloor is merely an illusion. It’s a fact so pointless it would not have existed if I hadn’t mentioned it, so I swim past it.

I swim for what seems like hours. I swim for what seems like days. Water completely fills my lungs, but I’m not real, so I don’t die. Instead, I continue to swim upwards.

I swim so long that I start to wonder what might be up there. It might be heaven. It might even be the normal world.

Maybe this new world is what was at the bottom sea.

There’s not much time now.

I reach the surface.

What I thought were days of swimming I’m now sure were mere minutes instead. One-hundred twenty four seconds.

The bubble of water pops around me. My hair clings to my skin.

And then I look forward and I see it.

A throne and a crown.

And I swim back down.

And I find myself wondering if I left because I knew I would or because I thought myself unworthy.


Untitled by Gabrielle Ghatt

(copyright 2021)


Cherry wasn’t one to dress up with perfumes and oils unless a mission called for it. She never tried to make her words sound sweet outside of a job. 

The truth of the matter is that beneath the feathery false flatter was a rash, outspoken woman

That was her life. Pretending to favor someone or changing to be in one’s favor, not out of malevolence, but out of necessity.

There was a masquerade ball that night. The gossip danced around the halls with every heel clicking motion.

The atmosphere was already heavy with unaddressed lies. It wouldn’t matter if a more morbid motive hid behind Cherry’s lies.

It wasn’t uncommon for one to wear two masks to a ball.