The Jellyfish That Froze
By Scott Bailey © 2014
The jellyfish sighed, in a jellyfish way. It wobbled awake.
Another day after another rough night.
The little jellies were disturbed, heavy currents last night. They had needed lots of comfort. He had wrapped himself around them and rocked them to sleep against the waves. Mrs Jellyfish had bumped up against him, squishing his comfort and rumbled fitfully. Bad dreams, turbulent waters.
He stretched out, taking in as much of the early morning sunbeams as he could, building up energy for the coming onslaught…
The jellyfish swore. Riding the busy jet stream he had just missed crashing into a hard-shell and getting himself shredded. He had survived the morning scramble, the sleepy then crazed, energised little ones. The rush, the noise. Now he was squeezing and twisting himself in and out of the flow. Avoiding the less considerate travellers. Collapsing himself sliding like and eel. Rolling up like a ball to barrel through the wake of those speeding by way too fast. One day his shifting and gyrating would not be enough. He would get hit.
The jellyfish quivered. He shook himself more awake and aware. Had to concentrate more or mistakes would be made. The others didn’t help. The one who needed to be high up to avoid the sand. The one by his side who couldn’t help bumping him with every list and move. The on behind who kept expanding and contracting. He was only here because he could adapt, shift his shape to accommodate.
Another day. And tomorrow yet another. And the day after.
The suddenly the alarm. Shark! Here! that was new. It was almost exciting, but he had all the other jellies to think of, to return to, to bear up and settle down. He could not enjoy this. Not without guilt.
They scattered. All of a sudden he was alone. Alone in the deep. No shark, no one.
Sunbeams drifted down through the undulating waves. Debris floated gently on the eddies and sway. It was silent for once. Peaceful
He basked in the peace and dreamed. This he could enjoy.
There was a sudden surge of cold. A surprise current swept in and took him. He curled up and rode it but he was at its mercy. No control.
He pulsed with, fear. And excitement.
This was out of his comfort zone, out of the everyday routine and out of his volition. Therefore he was not responsible.
He let go – he could enjoy this.
The water got colder, He suddenly noticed looming, dark shapes above him. Icebergs. He has heard of them, never seen one. They looked imposing. Hard. Unyielding.
He watched them for a while as they crashed through everything in their path.
And then he made his decision.
He froze. It was a simple act of will. He became as rigid as the icebergs. Shaped himself how he wanted and never shifted his outline again.
He returned to his home. Now, everyone had to shift their stances, adjust their positions and accommodate his new shape. They had to as it was crowded with sharp points and hard corners. He was not comfortable to be near.
Now the world was shaped around him instead of the world shaping him.
He was pleased. So please he did not notice how far everyone drifted from him.
He was frozen and would stay so.
No one had ever told him that even icebergs melt.