The Face of Captivity

Sometimes, as I start to drift off into unconsciousness, I try to convince myself that the persistent sound of artificial air bubbles is instead the gentle purr of surf against a shore, punctuated with the occassional rough timbre of a wave crashing against a rocky outcropping. Ah, such a beautiful sound, the music of the ocean… I miss it. It was singing such a lovely song the night that we met…

We were so young then… everything felt so raw, so pure, so wild. I’d never felt love before, and I had no idea that it would blow in like a tempest and have to leave just as quickly. We were from different worlds, land and sea. What could I do, but return to the waves with one night of beautiful memories and a broken heart?

There were so many nights I would sit upon the rocks, out at sea, and stare out at the shore, remembering that night. I could never forget it. Whenever the waves sung the song of that night, my heart mourned anew for that love lost.

…I never thought in a thousand moons I’d ever see you again.

We were no longer the children we once were, but my heart still sang to see you once more. You wanted me to stay with you, and I felt my heart pop like a sea bubble. I made you an offer that night, underneath a cloudy sky stained the color of my fin by the full moon.

“Every full moon, let’s meet on the beach where we first met.” I’d rather have you during the neap tide than not at all.

“I’m sorry,” was the only response I got before everything went dark. And now…

Is this really preferable to you? A lifetime separated by glass walls, not being able to talk to each other, to touch other, compared to a single night of bliss once a month?

I know you watch me, but I have no idea what you must be thinking. Do you regret your decision, or are you satisfied to keep your love in a glass cage? Or do you even love me at all? When you look at me, do you just see a pretty pet, while you think of that dark-haired woman I saw through the window on the porch that night? Are you with her, sharing the same land together, while I’m stuck in my watery prison?

Sometimes, I wake at sunrise to stare at the edge of my tank, through the glass windows, out to the beach. The sun at that hour glistens beautifully on the surf as the tide rolls in, and I try to recreate the music it makes in my mind, as I stretch out across the sand, feeling all the little particles shift beneath my tail, as I soak up those first delicious rays of sun against my back.

And then, I shift and dive, deeper and deeper, moving gracefully through the currents. I am swimming, properly swimming, and I feel alive. I realize I haven’t felt that alive in a long time. I wonder how long I will actually live, confined like this, unable to actually swim freely. It’s a depressing thought…

Sometimes, I drift off, imagining that things are different, that I am a land-girl and you are in my arms and we are happy together, so happy together.

We go on a long walk by the beach, and it all feels so natural. The ocean is merely a scenery piece; it is no longer calling me home.

The kisses still feel like crashing waves, though. I simply don’t know how to imagine a kiss that doesn’t feel that way.

Sometimes, I imagine that I’m dancing.

I shut my eyes and pretend that instead of the water dictating my motions, I am in your arms instead. I have legs, and I’m twirling and spinning and dipping.

But at some point, reality always sets in… that I’m trapped by the man I once loved. And if you had loved me the way I had loved you, you wouldn’t have trapped me in the first place.

This was written for July for the Monthly Simlits Short Story Challenges thread from the Sims forums, which tasked folks to write a story in 500-1500 words using 1-12 screencaps using the theme “The Face of”. This theme required using “The Face of” followed by the theme of your story as your story title. I used 688 words and 12 screencaps. This story is a sequel to my May short story entry I’m Sorry, and uses characters from that story. So if you’d like a little more backstory, check out that story (that story is, however, told only in lyrics and pictures!)

After I finished I’m Sorry, I had intended to do a companion piece for it that would be in a more “traditional” style, so this is it, and it is an “epilogue” of sorts that is set after the events of that story. It makes some references to the other story but isn’t simply a rehashing because I’d like to think it is still possible to put most of the story together without needing words and dialogue from the picture-only format of I’m Sorry. Now that both parts are released, if there are any lingering questions or confusions, just let me know and I’m game to explain the vision I was going for!


About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
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16 Responses to The Face of Captivity

  1. cathytea says:

    Oh it’s so tragic and creepy and effective and metaphorical ! Yeah , it also reinforces my original interpretation !

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it wasn’t so much the mermaid playing the role of mythological temptress or seductress this time around. This was more of a tragic young love story, and it was definitely metaphorical — my sister and I know way too many women in abusive (of varying sorts, whether they be violent, possessive, domineering, etc.) relationships and choose to be there because they are “so blinded by love” and this is obviously a play on that! Both the women in the story (the mermaid and the one-night-stand) sort of end up with tragic endings because the guy let his teen romance turn into an unhealthy obsession instead of just letting it be a sweet memory and moving past it.


  2. RipuAncestor says:

    Oooh, this was amazing! Creepy and sad and very beautifully written. And the screenshots were gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think I’d been trying to figure out how to do a tragic romance with a mermaid since the time the “summer romance” prompt came up for short story challenge nearly a year ago, and only now am I finally writing it (for totally different prompts) , hahaha.

      I got to play with some fun lighting effects. The first half of the story (linked in the author’s note) was shot at night and there were some cool cloud colorings and I loved the dark waters and twinkling stars and the lighthouse glaring in the distance. I shot this half during dawn and sunset and got some other fun effects. The hardest part was dealing with OMSP in the water for some of the shots… Sims 3 didn’t want to play ball with that!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Allysim says:

    OOOOOh, this makes you think! I like it! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ny275 says:

    This was beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor mermaid she has to live in a water bowl like a fish. It’s so aweful.


  6. I found this to be really moving and so so sad. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. makplays says:

    That’s terrible that she has to live in a tank, but I’m glad she still has beautiful dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lisabeesims says:

    😥. Very sad indeed …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Todd Allis says:

    Great metaphor. It’s sadly all too common in human relationships.The visuals are beautiful and haunting. It’s sad because it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

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