Reearth | Episode One


Jeordie sat straddling his board, bare feet bathing in the underlaying warmth of the current. Though it wasn’t as warm as it used to be, a cooling of the heatwaves.  And looking south down the coastline he saw three of them appear as cormorants on the thin black lip of horizon. But they were too fast to be birds, then flashing overhead, silent. 

It was seven years ago when he was working in the lab in the garage of the house he was renting and shared with three others.   Jeordie was one of the first to notice the changes in acidity.  On the beach it was the feel of the sand between his toes and hiding in the shadowy dissection of the frothy breakwater.  The sense of new origins, going back to a beginning, the return to a past epoch. 

When he was on the water it was a vibration in his board, the spirit and interval of the waves, the timing of the sets, their unwavering perfection.  He could see it in the faces of the fishermen too.  Casting from the shore or powering by in their fishing boats.  Eyes wide open.  Professionals tracking the variations, the ebb and flow, the eddies, and noting where the murre, puffin and oystercatcher would congregate.

They must have been here for decades, this was Jeordie’s theory.  Waiting for the right time to reveal themselves.  He had other theories too.  It was part of Jeordie’s work to understand the implications for the marine environment. The reestablishment of leached and damaged coral, the explosion of the fish population. To model and scale the variations no matter how insignificant on the surface.  It’s the incremental changes over time that can change things forever.  For good or for bad.  He would take his readings and compute his forecasts all the time sensing that something other worldly was happening.  Knowing to his core that things were not always as they seemed.  A millennium of change in seven years. 

Jeordie coveted the surf in the waking hours. The peace and tranquility of the dawn.  He could think in the quiet hours when the rest of the world was still sleeping.   Paddling out with the nose of the board seeking where the sea touched the sky, the simple dawn peaking over the shoulders of the snow tipped mountains behind him. That’s why he noticed.  The solitude creating the space to think clearly, unincumbered.  Comfortable on the deck, he tracked the sets.  The timing was perfect from hour to hour and day to day.  It never changed, it never varied. 

As the early light crept forward other early birds gathered at the end of the sixteen-hundred-foot-long pier.  The morning crowds were growing, the curious, the fearful.  Each day more and more.  They came to observe, coming for the spectacle of mercurial fish runs glistening with the aubade of morning sun and lift of onshore breezes.  They came to observe the stillness, the sameness, and this bothered Jeordie.  He liked to be alone, he liked it before the changes, but he understood the attraction.  But did they understand what they were seeing?

With the tide filling in, Jeordie decided on the third wave of the next set and rode it all the way into the beach, wading through the slosh and plodding his way up the thick sand as it absorbed the slow warmth of the morning rays, and to the line of drying driftwood and flotsam.  He wrapped an arm around the board, leaning against the rail, facing the sea with the sunrise affecting the reflective fractals of blue and grey. 

He stood there on the beach and watched.  This morning beneath the deepening azure they appeared opaque, a metallic witchery beneath the penumbra.  Flying in the formations of three the team now called triads.

Jeordie watched, mesmerized. Why show themselves now, after all these years, why now? 

To be continued


Nuuk and Maarit | Episode Three


“Wha… where are you?” Maarit’s words burst from her throat in crystal bubbles of confusion.

Brass trumpets accompanied by the percussion of sheet metal hi-hats and splash, a calliope of rattletrap crowing and thin tin-bells ringing.  Indeed, it was time…time to wake up.

And there was Marrit’s alarm clock turning gears, the mainspring unwinding, the arbor rotating and the little red ballerina dancing across the rough surface of her bedside table.  As the clock continued its jig, Maarit lay there fatigued and confused, unable to focus her eyes.  Tucked dry in her bed.

The time of her journey slipped by in the night, passed her glass of water and then off her nightstand and onto the floor where it continued its dance.  Maarit, finding it difficult to rise, the sun was there first.  She remained under the deep sea of blue blankets, weighty on top of her bed.

Good morning. Words to herself with a sigh, words in her head. Stretching out a bare arm and reaching for the floor to stifle the new day’s reminder, as it continued to waltz.  Maarit stared at the pale skin of her hand. There were no scales or webbed fingers, no nails, and no hooks.  Just the look of skin spending too much time in the bathtub.

Early morning sunshine has a reach of its own. The rays knowing the way to the gaps in her blinds and the fingers of sunshine pried the slats open a moment at a time. With the room illuminated, Maarit knew for sure, she was home. It had all been a dream, a trick of the night, a play of her mind.  The curtains had closed, but now they were rising.

From the bookshelves and shadow boxes mounted on the bedroom walls, a little girl’s toys remained frozen, caught in the act, caught in the light, caught in an alarm clock dance of their own.  A wild horse with its tail braided, balancing on its back legs, kicking the sky. Books of adventure, and books of great lost islands and caves.

Books of sea-creatures, stories her mother read to her, over and over, the stuff of her imagination. And a picture of her grandmother holding her warmly, Maarit turning three, a grandmother’s delight.  Several dolls long forgotten, that had played well in their day, now living in the margins of yesterday’s fancy, keeping their doll eyes locked on the horse.  If the dolls could speak, they would have told Maarit that the horse was alive.  A wooden sailboat, lateen puffed out full and proud as this little girl’s dreams.

But it was the droplets of water tracing the line of the keel that caught Maarit’s eye, and the puddle of water that was accumulating on the wooden planks of the bedroom floor.  Outlined by a ring of fine ice.  And if the dolls could speak, they would have told Maarit they had been for a ride.

“Good morning Maa…” This time the sunshine was splashing from the opening of Maarit’s bedroom door.  Her mother went silent, head and neck cocked in query, observing the wet patch that was spreading across the floor.  A wet patch where no wet patch should be.  Ice where no ice should be.

“Now Maarit that’s the last…” Tone a warning, that caught in her throat, as she considered the contents of the glass on the side table.  The glass was still there, still there where she placed it the previous night. The glass filled with water and filled to the brim and reflecting the light.

Maarit’s mother was kneeling to examine the puddle when she felt the first breeze.  The breeze wrapping around her bare ankles and ruffling the frills of her housecoat.  A frosty chill filled the room, the scent of the sea catching her nose. And with the tips of her fingers, she broke the surface tension of the tiny pool, finding it ice-cold, and she shivered.

“It wasn’t me I didn’t do it,” whispered Maarit.

Salt. Removing her wet fingers from the pink of her lips, and she tested again with the tip of her tongue. Knowing, now believing Maarit was telling the truth.

“Where did you say he is from?”

Maarit’s dreamy eyes drifted to the paper stars she had taped to her ceiling.  But the next words from Maarit startled and frightened them both.

 “Help me, please help me, I’m caught in their net.”

To be continued…

Nuuk and Maarit | Episode Two


“What is that?” Maarit puzzled the gnarly grey spike.

“It is time,” replied Nuuk spinning in a circle, looking up past the tip of his tusk and to the halo of smoke and white gulls that circled the moon.

And knowing no fear, but the fear of being alone, Maarit stared at the creature in the center of the hole and into the darkness below and the deep and the cold.  The ice surrounding the hole smooth formless shadows. Tips of the wake freezing as they collided.

“Time for what?”

“A millefeuille, folding back on itself, the layers of time,” replied Nuuk.

And it ws time for Maarit to swim.

Maarit bent her knees slightly and spread her arms wide. It made the gulls happy to see Maarit in full flight.  She lost her boots taking off, left them lying there in their impressions, standing upright.  Reindeer skin looking lonely against the old snow.

The shock from the cold caused a burst of white light, her lungs filling with fire, and then her world fading to black. Icy sharp fingers reached out for the child as she spiraled and sank, but it was Nuuk diving hard that caught Maarit first. Reaching out with a fin, he reached out and grabbed hers. What was black was now blue and then green and then yellow and having the warmth of her favorite wool blanket.

A new world was righting in that moment, deep below the ice floats.  Nuuk had stopped Maarit’s descent, and they were there, suspended, surrounded by whispers of light.  Maarit was dreaming of fireflies as she came to.  Awakening she realized it was her time to float.

“I can swim,” voiced Maarit.”  I don’t know how to swim.”

“Of course you can swim.” It was Nuuk’s turn to speak. “Of course, you can swim with that very fine tail.”

Where there had been boots, now shimmering pink and grey scales.  Now a tail that streamed out into an undersea breeze waving like a flag sewn of very fine silk.

Sparkles of metallic green, purples and pinks and then joined at the knees. Silver scales interlocked in a wrap of her legs reflecting what light survived the trip through the dark. And where there were once red woolen mittens now formed webbed fingers with nails shaped like key hooks.

“I can breathe.”

“Of course, you can breathe, you can breathe, you’re like me.”

Taking a deep breath, Maarit felt a thickness in her throat, her neck pulsing with each breath and her hair hanging about her face in an opaque curtain of lace.

Nuuk was swimming in circles, around and around, observing Maarit glow and approving of her new form.

“Let’s go let’s go there’s no time to waste!” Nuuk pointed his horn to the south and the deep and the deeper.

“Where are we going?” Maarit’s words bubbling as she was spinning like a top and performed her first summersault grabbing the end of her own tail.

With a twist and a thump of his powerful flukes, Nuuk was clean out of sight, leaving nothing behind but his own trail of bubbles. Bubbles starting, some as small as pinpoints, and they grew and grew in size to the shape of grand holiday balloons, and from inside the bubbles the sound of brass trumpets announcing it was the right time.

To be continued…

Nuuk and Maarit | Episode One


“What is your name?”

“I am a girl,” brightly proud. “And I like to eat fish soup. What are you?”

“I’m lost by the sea,” lolling lightly with the buoyant saltiness between the thick fractures of frozen marine.  Disappearing, down, leaving nothing but an outward progression, a rolling of gravitational rings.  Then reappearing once more, as if never gone.  Lolling lightly.

Shifting for comfort and stomping her feet, the soles of her knee-high skin boots crunching and reshaping the crust of white crystals, leaving imprints.  Maarit stared at the odd beast.

“Do you know any songs?”

But the crack and split thunder of breaking ice interrupted the query and widened their eyes.  And now she was alert to the vibration. The force of heavy plates and saucers smacking the scarred surface of a scots pine table.  A hole punched through her reverie revealing a radiant warmth.

“Soon she’ll be calling, it’s ready, it’s time, I don’t want you to go.”  The smooth skin of her brow furrowed replacing the smile she had shared with her friend, and her eyes strayed to search for the footprints she had left behind in the snow, not wanting to go back.

“Go there, it is time, and I will come back to you soon.” With that, the strange creature slipped from the surface and back into the below.  Leaving behind a deep blue silence in a cold blue sea.


“Maarit, please come down, dinner is warm and it’s now on the table.”

“I don’t want you to go,” replied Maarit.  She always answered the questions that she heard in her head, but this time her reply found its way outside.


The savory sensation of rye and rice from the Karjalan pies met Maarit’s nose as she appeared from her bedroom rubbing her eyes, adjusting to the light, and descending a stair. Thoughts and visions of her friend by her side.

Her mother gathered Maarit’s tiny fingers in the palm of her hand.  Leading her to the large wooden table, the warmth of burning birchwood filled the room.

“Oh, little girl, your hands are like ice, how is that?”  Maarit helped herself up onto the hard cushions of a high-back kitchen chair.

“My new friend, he is waiting for me, and he can’t find his home.”

“Your friend must be blue?” Spoken with a mother’s smile in the corner of her eyes.

“Yes, well I think so, no, I don’t know,” looking thoughtfully now at the thick creamy potato and fish swirls in her bowl.

“Does your friend have a name?” Dropping her gaze to meet Maarit eye to eye.

“He is a fish and maybe from space.”

“Well, that’s very nice, will you take him some lörtsy after we finish the dishes?”


With the dishes done and bedtime upon her, Maarit climbed the stair, fingers crossed as she returned to her room.  The door stood open, what remained of the sunset painting a shadow of window frames on the wall.

“Oh no, you are gone.” Her sigh whispered disappointment as she placed a plate with a slice of half-moon-shaped pie on her nightstand.  She looked out from her window as the day slipped below the horizon and below the sea.  The wall a blank slate now.

Having the orange and blue bands of the warm woolen raanu tucked up under her chin, she lay staring at the ceiling, wondering what worlds lay beyond the sea and within the stars and not knowing his name.

“I will call you Nuuk.” And that made her smile.


This time she wore big-fat red woolen mittens so her mother would not know. From the edge of the hole that had formed in the ice, she observed him approaching displacing the slush. Rolling over onto his left side showing grey spots and a black eye as deep and astral as her dreams.

“It’s time for me to leave the Lapland and return to my home.”

Maarit, closed her eyes tight, sealing a little girl’s wish beyond any doubt, “Oh please take me with you, I’m going, me too.”

To be continued…