I Swam in a Rainbow Sea - By Katy Whannel

Artists to Authors is an exploration of the how art influences authors. Artist Grey Cross has opened his entire portfolio to any author who would like to choose a piece of art and create a short story around it. You can find more information on the project at: 

I woke up dazed and confused, my eyes opened to a dark sparkling sky filled with shades of red, purple and blue. Where have they gone? Why am I all alone in this strange new world? I can’t remember where I was before, all I know is that I’m surrounded by a desolate, still beautiful world. In my dreams, I can hear them calling for me, come back to us -but how do I do that, back to who? Back to where? My memories have failed me, but somehow I don’t care, I feel content, so I wander on, through the silent pristine streets. Lanterns dance around on the lampposts surrounding me on this winding street, I stare at them for too long and my vision is blurry, falling to the ground, I feel myself falling through it. 

 My hands feel warm grainy sand; how did I end up here? Where have all the lanterns gone? I don’t care, I lie back and make shapes in the sand with my naked body. Horror courses through me for a moment as I realized I have no clothes, with a glance around me I realize I am still alone. Not even the sound of distant motors or birds. Still, silent. I calm, and stand up. But feel my knees weakening, I try to walk through the sand but I must crawl instead. I crawl on, aiming for the sea. As I near the water I blink hard a few times and notice the sea is colorful, a rainbow sea. My legs are working again, I stand. I dip my toes in the sea expecting cold water in this twilight hour. It is warm and inviting, so I step in further; further, and further. Till I am waist deep. The rainbow sea does something to my body, I feel light and high, all my senses completely still and almost non-existent. All my being knows right now is this magnificent rainbow sea, and the warmth it provides. I could slip into it and let it consume me, I don’t think I would care. I swim. Delicately stroking the water with my limbs, I travel through the multicolour liquid, heading towards the dipping sun in the horizon. I pause and look at my arms, they are illuminated and stained with many colors, feeling electric, I lie back in the sea and stare at the darkening sky and twinkling stars. I feel as if I have the whole universe within me as I stare towards it, like I am infinite and powerful. I am the universe, I come to realize. I could do anything. 

 A small clear boat appears from nowhere, sailing towards where I lie in the sea, a man sits within the boat with a fishing rod, he approaches nods in my direction. Suddenly remembering I am naked, I cover myself with the sea like blanket of modesty. More boats appear, they all seem so be glittering and clear. Dazzling, almost. Noise erupts around me, I look back towards the shore and the beach is filled with people, I hear cars passing by and dogs barking. I look around at the sea and the rainbow vision has disappeared, the sea is now a dull blue grey color. I feel overwhelmed suddenly. My vision starts to blur again and my body loses its ability to float. I sink underneath the water and it wraps around me. I sink further, and further until all is blackness. My ears ring and then I feel nothing. 


  1. Wow. This was powerful. I love it.

  2. An amazing picture and story to match - love the ending, although maybe I shouldn't!