How Do We Get Across The Sea?

How do we get across the sea? We have to, you know. It’s a desire to pro­gress as a spe­cies, or the desire to explore. Or maybe we just need to know what’s there. Or it might be because we think that the grass is greener on the other side.

Look, I don’t know, alright? I’m not one of the thinkers here, I’m happy to sit on the beach and let every­body else work it out. Once we’re across the sea, that’s where I come in. That’s where people like me are import­ant. At least, that’s what they tell me; I’m not a thinker. Did I say that already?

It feels like we’ve been here for ages. Maybe we have been. At first I was draw­ing pat­terns in the sand, but then I got bored of that. Now I just watch the waves mov­ing things about at the shoreline, sit­ting on the sand and soak­ing up the sun. It’s nice. I don’t even have to pre­tend to do any think­ing, I can just relax. Still, something’s obvi­ously hap­pen­ing in my head because I’m nar­rat­ing all of this to you. Or me. Again, I don’t know.

Star­ing out to sea isn’t so bad any­way. I’m not sure why there’s a need to get across the sea, but they say that we have to. It’s some­thing that will define us as a people. My one com­plaint, and it’s not much of one, is that not quite enough hap­pens out at sea, but then I just turn around and watch the people up and down the beach, or the occa­sional groups that assemble on the cliffs. Inland is a hive of activ­ity, out to sea, noth­ing much hap­pens. Maybe that’s why we’ve got to get across it, because we can’t stand it not doing any­thing. Regard­less (that’s a word I hear Shiva using a lot), we’re here now so I have to find some­thing to do, and star­ing out to sea (and inland some­times, like I said) is cer­tainly some­thing to do.

The most inter­est­ing thing I saw was Samuel. Samuel thought that we could swim across the sea, but other people said that it was too far and we had too much to carry. Samuel didn’t like to be wrong though, so he got together a few people and said that they would swim across, find out what was there and then swim back to show that we could all swim across the sea. They loaded up with pro­vi­sions and sup­plies and everything else that they would need across the sea and then they waded out into the water.

The first people to go were those who couldn’t even float with the things they were car­ry­ing. They col­lapsed under the water when it got too deep and now we think they’re pinned there by the equip­ment, smothered in the wet sand and hid­den under the water. None of them have washed up yet but they def­in­itely drowned. That wasn’t very inter­est­ing. The ones who did man­age to swim were the inter­est­ing ones. They got out far enough and then the sharks got them. Those guys have been wash­ing ashore. Bits of them any­way. Little pieces. And the waves turned red for a while, but now that’s all washed away. Nobody else has tried swim­ming across and it looks like the idea has been abandoned.

Since then I’ve just been watch­ing the birds. Mostly they fly above the water and occa­sion­ally dive in. Some­times they sit on the water and float. If we could do that then we might be able to get across, but I also saw a bird get eaten by a shark so I don’t think it would be any safer than swim­ming really.

Shiva is another who has ideas, and he said that we should try to extend this land until it reaches that land, so he’s been get­ting people to carry and drop big rocks into the sea. The only prob­lem is that they get washed away by the waves. Quite slowly, but I haven’t noticed the beach stretch­ing out into the sea. He keeps going regard­less (and uses that word a lot when people say he should stop). He says that it will take a long time but that any pro­gress takes time and people just need to have patience. I think that the people help­ing him will prob­ably get tired of car­ry­ing rocks before we get to the other side, but what do I know?

Alice’s idea is a nice idea, but it seems a bit strange and not much bet­ter than Shiva’s. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m not a thinker (I think I’ve already said that) so I just let her get on with it. She wants to make the sea freeze over, which she says def­in­itely won’t hap­pen in sum­mer but might hap­pen in winter. I’ve never seen the sea freeze in winter and I don’t want to be sat on the beach in winter any­way, but when other people told her the sea had never frozen before, she said that she was going to make it colder before­hand by put­ting lots of ice into it.

Ever since then, her and a group of oth­ers have been bring­ing ice down from the moun­tains and push­ing it into the sea. It floats for a while and then melts away in the sun. I’ve been in the sea a few times since they star­ted and I can’t feel it get­ting any colder, but she keeps say­ing that come winter it will have made a real dif­fer­ence. I think that part of the prob­lem is that so much of the ice melts before they get here. The moun­tains are a long way away. People keep dying of frost­bite up there as well, so lots of people are quite annoyed about it.

It’s a bit depress­ing because we set our greatest minds to the task and so far we still haven’t got across the sea. How do we get across the sea? That’s what every­body is ask­ing each other now. They’ve been ask­ing it for a long time. Some people are even begin­ning to say maybe we shouldn’t go across the sea, but nobody is listen­ing to them.

The last chance is with Mag. She got asked the ques­tion and she went away with a group of people to the north. Nobody fol­lowed her and we haven’t heard back from her, but we’re all hope­ful she’ll pull some­thing out the bag. Mag’s clever like that. Mag was the one who worked out that you can use fire to cook meat, but then Alice claimed that she’d known that for ages and hadn’t told any­body, and we couldn’t tell if she was lying or not. Mag also made the wheels that the carts roll on which Alice is using to bring ice down from the moun­tains, but then Shiva says she stole the idea from him and who really knows? There are also the metal tools that Mag made for all of us, melt­ing things in the fires and then shap­ing them. Samuel used to claim he’d thought of that ori­gin­ally, but I don’t think Samuel is com­ing back so Mag can have that one.

Hold on.

Mag’s back! She’s done it again! Alice and Shiva are both try­ing to claim that they were going to think of that next, but nobody believes them and she’s beaten them both to it.

She went north to get wood because she’s seen wood float, and she’s made these funny little pods that she calls boats (they look like big seeds) and we stick these long sticks out of them and we can push ourselves through the water (she explained that because water is denser than air, the force against one of the sticks makes the per­son push­ing move more than the stick, but if you’re secured to one of the “boats” prop­erly or can trans­fer that force to it some­how, you’ll move the boat. Or some­thing like that. I’m not much of a thinker) so now we can get across the sea!

So, Mag’s boats take us across the sea and I am a bit sad to leave the beach behind because I was get­ting to like it and the birds had just star­ted fly­ing with their babies and I was won­der­ing if there were shark babies too, but we’re all told we have to get across the sea, so we get into the boats and off we go. I real­ise I might see shark babies when we’re on the boats but look­ing over the side makes me feel ill so I doubt that will happen.

We travel and travel, and I am very ill, but even­tu­ally we get across the sea! And once we’re there it’s time for me to do what I’m sup­posed to. So I draw the metal stick that Mag made for all of us and we run at the people across the sea, and all they have are pieces of wood, so we come out on top, tri­umphant again.

I won­der where we’ll pro­gress to next.

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