Today's the day.
The day I finally propose to the most beautiful turtle in the entire ocean.
All that's missing is finding the perfect ring to propose with. Sandy isn't the kind of turtle to like ostentatious objects, she prefers simple things. The best things in the world are simple, she repeatedly says. She's collected hundreds of anomalous objects while swimming to several beaches and oceans. She calls them "treasures".
I think they're rubbish.
I've come across the oddest things ever, from a cylindrical hard object with a hole on it's top, to bright sticks with soggy tips. Some sticks have a disgustingly yellowish tip, which tastes awful.
But the worst of that garbage are those deadly "floaters"; as I like to call them. From afar, they look like juicy, creamy jellyfish, but make the mistake of biting into one of them, and you'll find them wrapping themselves around your head so fast; suffocating you to a quick death. The chances of escaping are almost nil.
I've lost a brother and a few cousins to those lethal floaters.
That's why I call them rubbish, they come from the shores, and drift into the ocean with the tides, disturbing our beautiful homeland.
But you won't catch me telling Sandy that. She loves finding and collecting these colourful objects. Which is why I plan on finding a ring from those "treasures" to propose with.
I've been swimming for a few dozen waves now, searching high and low for the perfect ring. My stomach is rumbling badly, aching for a velvety squid or a tender red crab to fill it's needs. I head towards the bottom of the ocean to sate my hunger.
Spotting a crimson crustacean criss-crossing across the sand, I dive towards it, but stop when a shiny glimmer catches my eye. I decide to move towards it and investigate it.
It appears to be a ring of some sort, or multiple actually; around six rings bound together. Some of the seaweed branches are wrapped around one of the rings, trapping it in it's clutches.
Maybe I can get my crustacean meal to snap one of these rings off, and present it to my girl. It just needs to be untangled. I call out to the crab, watching from a distance, and explain my story; begging it to come help. It gives me the eye, but proceeds towards me anyways.
Deciding to be proactive, I open my mouth trying to pull this "treasure" away, but with the pull of the seaweed on the opposite side, one of the rings slips along my silky face; wrapping around my neck.
Panicking, I try pulling away, but the more I pull, the worse it gets. I can barely breathe, the choker is making me feel light-headed.
My only thoughts are of Sandy's eyes. Her smile. How I'll never get to propose and see it once more.
How one of these treasures is the reason I'm consumed by the darkness.
YOU ARE READING
The Ocean's Ring. #PlanetOrPlasticShort Story
A story about a sea turtle searching for the perfect ring, in which the reader gets to choose the ending. This is my entry for the #PlanetOrPlastic short story contest by the National Geographic. © All rights reserved.