Short story: New Beginnings

Kipu Kai Beach

When I found the secret beach, I knew my new life had started.

Habitable islands on this vast ocean planet were few and far between. There was always the sea, with its endless amounts of fish, but drifting along on the sway of the waves eventually lost its appeal. I needed sturdier ground to build my new home on. A life adrift is a life half-lived. Or so the Elders would say, anyway.

This island was bigger. More imaginative. More audacious in its flora, more diverse in its fauna. It felt “right” from the moment I set foot on it: there a faint current lingering through the air, electrifying each step onward. The sun was still rising, stretching its way across my new horizon.

There was work to be done, now.

When you arrive somewhere with just a couple pieces of baggage that you’ve accumulated over the years, building a new home for yourself doesn’t happen overnight.

I started gathering my necessities: a foundation, pressed for words. An aesthetic, to fit into my new environment. A roof, made from thick oblong leaves that I found on nearby trees, growing edible fruits. An unusual set of decorations and furniture, because I still had to figure out who I wanted to be.

I’d yet to find my new voice.

The ocean was always calling, its siren song a promise of adventure. But there were adventures to be held here, on this new land; adventures I hadn’t even begun to explore. What would I find if I climbed to the top of that mountain? What would I find if I searched through that dark cave? What magic might I encounter in that dense jungle forest, and what mysteries might I uncover diving to the bottom of the lake?

My communications system was set up with ease, and before too long I’d gotten back in touch with the voices from afar, each on their own islands or ships. A steady stream of interactions shortly resumed, helping me improve and refine the new home.

For some time—longer than I would likely admit, but shorter than it had been in times long gone—I’d been too afraid to turn the lights on; to make this new life official. There were still cracks in the wall, and you could spot them with as little as a cursory glance, let alone a closer inspection. The furniture was sorely lacking, both in comfort and in quantity. The paint was still drying, and part of me wondered how well it would last given that I’d used a dye I had never used before. Green and blue, like the jungle behind me and the water before me.

And oh my god, there was still sand everywhere.

But I flipped that switch, boldly yet nervously. “To hell with getting it right!” I yelled out to the empty beach.

Would the other inhabitants of this island judge me for the state of my affairs? Probably not, I figured. I’d always been my own hardest judge.

Oh look, that chair leg just came loose. A few words later, it was reattached and splendid once more.

And so I would move forward. Constantly practicing my words; speaking louder, more boldly, and more vivaciously. I would run across the lands, soak in the lake, breathe in the meadows, voraciously consume the island’s fruits and hunts its game. I had new dreams, and those dreams required more words. Words that would come easily enough, as long as I would just start them.

There is hope in words. In learning. In knowledge, shared with all the other voices in the sky. Hope against the darkness that comes each day. Find your voice, and you find your source of hope.

Today I found my voice.

Yes, there’s still the occasional tremble. And yes, there’s still the challenge of getting a new piece actually finished, so I can place it in my home. But the voice is here now, and it won’t stop. Never stop.

My voice has joined the chorus of the ocean. A new voice, but also a voice that has been there before.

The ocean still beckons. I know it, feel its presence lingering in the back of my head no matter how far inland I go. But for now my adventure is here, on this coast. Here, in this new home. Here, where I found my new voice.

Let’s begin the story.

Story Core for: New beginnings

Theme: Perfection is only ever a destination, not a place.
Main Character & background: “Myself”; a life behind me, a new life ahead of me.
…their flaw: Obsessed with getting everything “right”, afraid to show vulnerability through his work.
…their motive & goals: Wants to become successful author; requires starting from the bottom once more in life.
Ally details: No one ally; just a wide network of supportive friends.
Antagonist: Inner demons demanding perfection, great attention to detail; setting the bar really high but feeling paralysis through worry about not achieving it.
Conclusion: This end is only a new beginning, with the realization that perfection is never the award of your journey, only the next mountain peak just beyond your horizon.

This fiction short story doubles as the announcement of my new site and career trajectory. Welcome! I now run off a WordPress installation, comments are back (after 8 years!), and my focus is shifting away from web, design, development and politics, and towards writing, learning, and creating fiction.

I’ll be trying to publish new content Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but my top priority is writing fiction shorts and working on my fiction novel—more on that here. The fiction shorts will mainly be done via a combination of writing prompts and other “ingredients”; you’ll see what I mean by this once I publish the first one.

What’s this “Story Core” stuff about? It’s the output of the first writing tool I’ve been creating, more on that soon!

My work and writing on product design & development will continue, cross-published between here and my Medium profile & Product Matters publication.

Lastly, there are two menus now: one at the top left, with two “Coming Soon” sections (self-explanatory), and on in the top-ish right, with the main types of content for the blog itself. If you’re reading this on a phone or small tablet, I apologize that the responsive layout isn’t great yet. Cracks in the wall.