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Featured Writer: Carys Sporte

Jellyfish Stingers

My mother used to take me to the ocean when I was a child because I liked to skip around in the sand and see how deep my feet could sink in before they got wet from the waves that crashed at my ankles and bloomed with seafoam that I would always comb through with my fingers because sometimes there were cool rocks, smooth rocks, pockmarked rocks; but sometimes there were also jellyfish and I had to be careful with those so I didn't shock myself on their stingers which is exactly what my mother always advised me of when we went to the ocean but I still liked going anyhow despite the danger there was fun in danger sometimes and that's why I would run into the waves even when it looked like they were over my head because I liked how they crashed over me, consumed me, knocked me down; until one day I ran into the water with a boogie board and I meant to ride the wave because I thought I knew how but the current was strong, mean, unforgiving; it pulled me under because I guess I ran out too far and all I remember is the sand scratching my irises and the hot panic inflating my lungs as the board got stuck in the shallow ocean floor I rolled over it and it shot up into my ribs and I couldn't breathe, couldn't think, couldn't move; all I could do was intake the salt that screamed at the back of my throat as I crawled out of the water doubled over holding my rib because I thought it was broken and I wanted to cry but no sound came out and all I could do was moan in pain and my vision was blurry from the salt so I couldn't see my mother and I thought she was going to be mad at me even though I didn't touch a jellyfish stinger and I thought I was going to die right there on that beach with all the jellyfish stingers that I knew not to touch but I guess I didn't know not to touch the water because my mother never warned me about the water, about the waves, about the current; she only ever warned me about what was in the water but I still think I've been a good girl despite that moment because I never did touch a jellyfish stinger.

Carys Sporte is a sixteen-year-old writer from Oakland, California. She has previously been published in Parallax Literary Journal as well as Germ Magazine. She is currently writing her first science fiction novel, and hopes to pursue this as a career.

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