A Stagnant Walk Through Shallow Waters - A Short Story

Sunlight through the window curtain

As I laid down to fall asleep the last thing I heard was the static noise from the television and felt the early afternoon warmth. 


“The sun must be glad this afternoon.” I wondered if the sun would greet me with that same enthusiasm when I got up in the late afternoon that same day. 


I opened my eyes and instead I was met with the raging sun and a figure I couldn’t fully make out. It stared at me as I stared at it. I took a step forward, so did the figure before me. 


We were standing on shallow water. The atmosphere hissed but the figure did not flinch. 


The figure turned its back and began to tread forward, a tread to which I followed. I took quicker steps to get closer but so did the figure leaving the same distance between us as there had been when we first moved. 


“Are you copying me?” I asked, head tilted. 


It mouthed those same words but no voice came out, tipping its head to the side. 


I wondered at this plane and this figure that seemingly had its own person but mimicked me with no voice; like a mime, pretending for people to be amused by. There seemed to be only the figure and I. It had felt like I’d known this place but had never before seen it this way.


As we traversed the shallow waters, the horizon only got farther away, gravity stronger, and air humid. I could feel warm air breeze through my cheeks. As I took another step, I slipped. 


My body fell in place and my eyes jolted open. I had woken up. I spoke expecting no voice to come out of my mouth. Why had I expected no voice to come out? 


I sat in bed as the sun streamed from my window and had the electric fan to my face. Nothing could be recalled from the dream but a sensation of treading shallow waters. Where was I heading? No, rather, where shall I head?



In the last decade, we have been experiencing the most of climate change and thus urging ourselves to make changes, raise voices, and ultimately take notice. However, more often we tend to keep to ourselves, living bearable enough lives and ignoring the calls to action. It appears as though climate change is not treated with as much urgency as it ought to be. It is due to our perspectives and mindsets on facing issues as such that hinder more people from externalizing and, if not yet, recognizing to its fullest extent the potential that these very moments hold for the future.

Worsening droughts, stronger storms, communities broken apart, and further dangers are brought about by ourselves through the predominating lifestyle that is continued and supported by detrimental methods. It becomes difficult to change something when we position ourselves far from the worst of the problem at hand. Commonly enough, we fixate ourselves on the events that directly affect our lives and on resolutions quick to implement. On the contrary, the consequences of the general human’s past and passing lifestyle asks for us to reprogram this very state in a seemingly tedious and drastic manner. 

Truly, drastic changes will take place in our lives both individually and collectively. The future is near yet so far and is none the more certain. Nevertheless, the present is enough of a blow to anticipate and work to alleviate the symptoms of climate change. Because as drastic as we must act, much more is the scope of these symptoms. 

Let us not approach climate change with a dream that can only be seen and then forgotten but with a dream for ourselves, our planet and the life it has and will carry, a dream which we can work towards. Let us examine what we give and take on this earth, let us choose wiser, and take the step.