One is the loneliest number.
The loneliest whale in the world flicked her flukes, corkscrewing into the infinite black of the sea. And as she went, she sang.
It was a song about the salt of the water, the crunch of squid; about floating and diving, and breathing and breaching.
But it was a lonely song. It was a solo, where there should have been a choir; it was the song of a fragment seeking to be whole.
The loneliest whale had been alone for almost longer than she could remember; but only almost.
She could still, just barely, recall the smooth bodies of the pod as they arced through the water, the sound of their voices raised in song.
It had been many years since she had last heard that song, and she had long since stopped singing it herself. But she still sang in hope of a reply.
She sang to the God of the Deep, the Master of the Ocean: the one that men call Poseidon, but the creatures of sea know by a much older name.
She sang a prayer, a plea for benediction, hoping that once, just this once, there would be a reply.
And this time, she realised she was not alone in the fathomless void. That something vast, and ancient, and unfathomable, was with her.
And then she heard its voice, impossibly deep and impossibly strong.
And it said:
“I AM LEVIATHAN”. ##
2 thoughts on “The Loneliest Whale In The World”
Awwww. Good job Leviathan wasn’t hard of herring. Etc. Etc.
Hmm. Yes, Leviathan heard her prayer-song. But according to one Jewish legend, Leviathan was in the habit of eating a whale every day… so it’s not necessarily a happy ending.
In fact, it’s not actually any kind of ending, because it was written for Ficlets, the now-defunct collaborative-storytelling website. (For some reason, it doesn’t seem to have been included in the Ficlets Memorial.) It got a good reader rating over there, but no-one ever wrote a sequel or prequel to it. In an exciting development, a desultory trawl of the site has turned up a companion piece by my writing group buddy Denni! Although I think her story is more of a parallel than an extension of mine.
Anyway, if you would like to write your own ending (or beginning, for that matter) please do. I’d love to see what you come up with.