In the dimness of the room, a poet rests in silhouette. He leans against the balcony door as the rain falls before him. The heat from his workout causes vapor to rise from his muscles. He isn't a muscular man or an athlete; this is his way of battling against time.
Every second, every hour, every day, the image of her fades from his mind and is submerged in an illusion. She becomes an unreal woman emerging from utopian and ghostly waters. It's crucial that this stops, or he'll lose her forever. The physical pain helps him stay in the present, to keep thinking of her as a real woman.
The amber light from the lamppost illuminates his downcast gaze. Amidst the flashes of rain, he searches for an answer to the decision the Mermaid has made. His beard has grown quite long; it's another reminder of time.
Behind him, the room is engulfed in the darkness of night, barely visible from the compassionate light that outlines the foot of the bed and part of the desk, within the old Spanish architecture of his apartment, which seems to transport him to that time and place.
With a clock or with the heart?
The calendar doesn't adjust to facts or perceptions. He knows that those memories are a distant past, a pathetic invocation, and yet, he feels that only a few days have passed.
What does infinite feeling matter to time?
He lifts a container of water and refreshes himself.
He approaches a cage and refills the drinker where a small blue nightingale descends to drink.
He jumps to hold onto the bar hanging between the balcony frame. He continues to atrophy his back. His heart accelerates, longing to know about her.
When will it be? When will you understand what has no time, my Mermaid?
The poet understands that he hasn't become lost in time and space; rather, this place is his captor. He had attempted to defy the laws of reality but couldn't escape as he had hoped. His inner world has been imprisoned within concrete walls.
As he opens his eyes, his attention is drawn to the square architecture surrounding him. It's an alien place, akin to limbo, existing beyond the confines of time and space. Gray walls stand imposingly, reaching towards the endless white expanse. Occasionally, they emit murmurs, noisy voices seemingly emanating from extradimensional realms. These voices whisper poetic philosophy about humanity's wretched existence and emphasize the futility of his ideas within the vastness of the cosmos.
He shivers in response to the cold he's exposed to. On impulse, he moves his thigh, and a sharp edge cuts his skin. A line of blood trickles down, and a drop descends.
It's then that he realizes he's floating naked among triangular pieces of sharp mirrors, all sizes, menacingly suspended like rain frozen in time.
He has no room to maneuver.
He scans his eyes, searching for an exit.
There is no way out.
There are no other alternatives.
He lowers his eyelids and focuses his mind on an attempt to break free.
Once again, the memory of that dream, the one that initiated it all, resurfaces. What should have been buried comes back to life. It's the fervor of an everlasting memory, an indefinite period in an almost-forgotten thought. It's more than a dream... it's a premonition.
And this premonition rescues him.
He entered that premonition once again. He found himself sitting at the restaurant table, awaiting his order as his gaze wandered through the fixed window of a space train. It was a circular window, so vast that it covered him from head to toe, adorned with straight and curved lines resembling the trunk of a tree. Outside, stars shimmered, and the Sun gently caressed electric Uranus with its inverted ring.
He wore a minimalist suit, dark matte fabric, an open collar, a sleek cut, and understated formality. On the table lay the menu, with a leather cover and cream-colored pages containing titles of books of all sizes, ranges, and wear. However, the place stood out for its extensive collection of poetry volumes. The waiter arrived and served a dish onto the table. It was a slender book titled “Rayo de Luna”.
Christopher picked up his utensils, preparing to immerse himself in his preferred choice when his attention was seized by the entrance, and then he saw her. There's no measure of time that can calculate the speed of the magnetic caress that touched his soul. Countless female forms had passed through his mind, attempting to shape perfection, but in an instant, she obliterated them all. None had managed to elicit such a powerful effect on him because none possessed the soul she emanated. The melody she radiated was the reason behind the inexplicable palpitations coursing electrically through his entire being.
She walked between the tables of the patrons, searching for a seat. People were dressed in various and extravagant yet simple and modest ways. Above them all, a grand skylight of diffused glass allowed the view of the stars. It was a futuristic haute couture gala complemented by the glamorous Art Nouveau architecture of the restaurant.
The waiter approached the woman beneath a warm conch-shaped lamp emerging from a coiled column, resembling a mermaid spiraling around a twisted stem. Despite the intense light and distance, the poet could discern the woman's soft and refined profile: wavy, chestnut hair, a small, slender coffee-colored crossbody bag on her shoulder, and a loosely fitting crimson crochet beanie that set her apart from the rest. The poet noticed her clothes were tattered and torn, with a ragged white blouse, yet this imperfection fascinated him extraordinarily.
He desired a full view of the woman's face, but a man in voluminous attire stood up, obstructing his view. Then, the white afro of another diner blocked his line of sight, and when it finally cleared, the woman had vanished.
The poet felt a strange pang within. He stood up and searched for her from his seat, trying to locate her crimson crochet beanie in the crowd, but she was nowhere to be found.
The grand interplanetary train entered the space station. It halted on the disembarkation platform, shutting off its thrusters with a faint hum. The poet adjusted the strap of his briefcase over his shoulder and made his way through the crowd, feeling the soft blue light bathing the entire place. With one hand, he adjusted the red scarf around his neck and headed toward the exit.
As he walked, he lifted his gaze and was awestruck by the view of the cosmos unfolding before him.
Through a wide window, he could see the stars shining brightly in the darkness, cosmic dust forming planetary rings, and the moon Triton, seeming to float in the void. Through the side windows, he observed the massive curvature of Neptune, its edge glistening in the sunlight. Although it wasn't his first time in space, this time felt different. Something seemed about to happen.
His gaze shifted to the other passengers walking along the same aisle, searching for any clue. That's when he noticed a crimson weave among the somber crowd. It was her. Her woolen beanie stood out amidst the people. The poet quickened his pace, passing several individuals with apologies and slight nudges. Who was this woman? What was she doing at the space station? What was it about that disheveled woman that attracted him so much? He managed to close the gap and decided to follow her.
A gentle drizzle made contact as they descended along the boulevard to the planet's surface. The drops slid across the poet's skin as if they were a soft touch from another dimension. The path was lit by warm lanterns reflecting on watercolor-like pavement. Colors spread across the water, creating an ever-changing chromatic spectacle. Linear clusters of certain gases, vibrating faster than the speed of sound, traveled through the air, looking like elongated clouds moving slowly.
People had donned warm clothing and activated their metallic rods, devices that repelled rain magnetically. But instead of avoiding the drizzle, the poet embraced it as a gift from the universe that enveloped him in its infinite embrace.
As they descended, the planet's surface began to reveal more detail. It featured a vast sea surrounded by towering rocks and ice. Beneath the water, the light of a metropolis shone like a dreamy beacon in the cosmic darkness. From it emanated a soft and cosmic melody that caressed the souls of all who heard it.
Suddenly, the crowd disappeared, and the poet came to an abrupt halt when he saw the woman with the crimson beanie standing still under a tree, its branches draped with blank canvases as if waiting to be painted by both of them. The wind tousled her hair, and in that moment, he felt that she had sensed his presence.
She began to turn. He prepared himself to see her, but before he could do so, a horrifying blackness ensued in which everything turned dark.
The library once again resonated, and the poet opened his eyes, realizing he had awakened once more.
The woman in the crimson beanie remained a mystery to him, a character he had not yet found a way to bring into wakefulness. And as his fingers caressed the surface of the notebook in his hands, he smiled, knowing that he would soon meet her again on Neptune, the planet of dreams.
In a library, a writer and a reader fall in love while writing about a mermaid and a poet in danger.
Christopher, a tormented writer in search of the woman he loves, embarks on a journey to find a portal to Neptune that will lead him back to her. As he reads the story they wrote together in the library where they first met, he reminisces about their thrilling adventure in 1870. In the tale, she was a mermaid escaping from the planet Neptune, and he was a poet on the brink of execution. Together, they embarked on an exhilarating cosmic journey through sea, time, and space until they reached the metropolis of Neptune.
Christopher explores the universe to find his love in a poetic story of romance and fantasy. Will he be able to locate her before his journey leads him to his demise?