The sky was full of flinty stars around a cold moon, full and white, wet as a new lamb. The earth staggered up in its violent darkness to an entire horizon of shadows clawing at the sky. Far out, away from the cliffs, the ocean and the sky went gently together, black and endless, sparkling with brittle moonlight. She walked, wool shawl pulled close around her shoulders, making her way carefully among the stones.
Along the edge, she looked down the sheer raw faces of broken vertical rock at ocean pools, where eddies of salt and freshwater coiled and ebbed together. Even in the black night ocean, she could see the jellyfish, tangled in the tide, drifting in black water, thin as bolts of lightning and pale as the moon. The jellyfish drifted, shimmered and floated in the iron water.
In the dark, she touched her mouth, fingertips cold. Could animals be artists? Did they know they were beautiful? Were they making beauty out of their bodies the way dancers did, or like knots of lace caught in the wind. She watched them for a long time until the cold in her hands sank down into the bone, and she could taste the salt of the wind. Before turning for home, she looked again over the cliffs that locked heaven onto earth. In the clouds, shadow figures moved and drifted, a motion she recognised as that of a lover tracing a tense lower lip. Something in the sky shivered, and for a moment, the moonlight was obscured.
Her house was swaybacked, lost in tough grass and low twisted reaching trees. It glowed bluish-white like an old bone in the night. When she stepped inside and lit the lamp in the hall, it soaked the stone floor in steamy light as she moved around the kitchen, filling the kettle, turning on the stove. She filled a cup with loose dark tea, the broken crumbs of flower petals.
Jellyfish are found all over the world, from surface waters to the deep sea. They’d lived on earth for more than 500 million years before she saw one, invisible or not. They were one of the oldest complex life forms in existence. Floating ancient and alone, there were so many things about that them no one knew. No one. Not even her, and she knew so many secrets about them. She sees the invisible ones. Impossible, not dreams, real and floating like clouds in the sky, drifting in currents of air through the grass seas along the shoreline.
There are so many questions about them that she can not answer: what are they and why can she see them? Is she the only one who can? is she mad? So many questions that she has no way to answer and has never really to put into words, except maybe to whisper softly to herself.
Who are you…
Where did you come from…
She wonders if there are other invisible creatures that she can not see and if there are other people who can. If there are other people like her out there, watching jellyfish float through the air. She’d seen them for most of her life. As a child, they only whispered in her vision, glimpses of smoke or shadows in the sky. But as she grew older, as her body blossomed, so did the jellyfish. Like the chorus of a Greek drama, the jellyfish floated and drifted in her private skies, always near. But even if people besides her could see these invisible creatures, would they see them the same way she did: drifting observers, blushing spies...
The kettle made low bubbling sounds, steam drifting out of it, growing steadily more frantic. But for now, she only listened, watching the steam gather at the window, turn to dripping water against the glass. Out her window, over the cliffs in the distance, massive in the sky as the moon, a jellyfish drifted. The core of its airy translucent sphere was solid, a dark point in its presence. Always a position in the centre, from which she assumed they thought and observed the present moment, forward, for they were always moving, drifting but not with the wind. In the dark sky, they cast a dim light from their centres like angels, lit from just under the surface of their transparent membrane skin. Their skin and tentacles are full of trapped moonlight, scattering around inside them, filling them with light.
When the kettle boiled, she made tea, steeping it for a long time. Watching out her windows, she sipped the tea slowly, letting it burn her tongue a little, just to feel the sharp tingle. For as long as she could remember, she assumed the jellyfish were nocturnal animals, as she saw them drift mostly at night. Awake and watchful even in the small hours she would wait up late to catch sight of them, always hopeful. But she isn’t sure if she sees them more at night because they are mostly invisible in sunlight, hard to find in daylight brightness. It would be too simple to say she was in love with them, though she is indeed full of love. There is something else between them, the living transparent clouds, the giants in the sky and their small woman waiting by her windows.
Getting in bed was one of those steady rituals, made of many small closed circles of tasks. For a while, the little house is awake with bathroom lights filling the sink and tub, the laughing sound of water as she washed her face and brushed her teeth, brushed out her hair.
Perhaps, she is bewitched. They feel as full of magic as they are full of light. It would be wrong not to wonder if she was mad, over and over for years. However, if she is mad, then seeing giant cloud-like jellyfish is the only symptom. That, and the prime honed agony of her sadness when she cannot see them. A spasm deep in the muscle of her heart.
They are, she knows, impossible.
She knows it. But nothing in her believes it, and she supposes this is either magic or madness. They turn her heart into a fluttering bird. She is transformed.
Magic or madness, but it doesn’t change a thing.
You are what you love, and that is why she accepted them as real. Love makes her into an object, theirs. Their captive observer. It is wrong to assume an object knows all the uses of it. One can never see the ends of things, can never see the fullness of one’s own objectification. It is enough that she is allowed to see them, she doesn’t often wonder why… it is enough that they are. When she sees them, it is always moving, like something falling from a high sky into her hands. A gift. Like being hit by something unexpected, a punch to the chest, a missed step, a sudden and vicious kiss. Every time she sees them there is the pleasant lurch of pain and longing (can she even tell the difference?) and hope…a muscular twist of her heart. Every time she sees them she is surprised, longs for touch, though they shouldn’t be surprising because part of her is always waiting for them, because she would never say no.
Slipping between the cotton whisper of bedsheets that smell like salt and wind and the astringent of rose soap, she hunted sleep across a long still hour. For a little while, she watched the sky out her open window, moonlight spilling across her bed like milk. She watched until she drifted onto the shores of sleep. When she closed her eyes, the sky was empty.
Her hands opened and closed in sleep, slow fists. The night was full of gusting summer wind. A dark night during which she dreamed of black water licking at wet rocks, wet skin. Outside jellyfish wafted along the cliffs, glowing their limpid light, drifting through the darkened landscape toward her as though she were beacon on a horizon, drawing them like a flame.
In the moonlit darkness of her room, her body was still in her bed, hands curled, her hair a tattered fan on the pillows around her. She selpt, body warming, a shine of sweat on her brow, the round of her shoulder, under the blankets her skin was flushed, in places slick.
The atmosphere in her room diffused, her limbs loosened in sleep, even in her dream of floating, she felt the most marvellous sense of ease, a relaxing weight. In her dreams, the black water grows warm like a bath and tastes like salt, fresh oysters, tart dry wine, a kiss, a kiss…
In her sheet, she shivers.
The jellyfish slid through the dark, all its motion smooth as water, its body iridescent, bell filled with a soft glow. Moving like a ghost through mist, the jellyfish’s tentacles wavered and moved, shimmering, vanishing into invisibility before they could brush the earth, It moved forward on a wave of low cool mist. Its tentacles were a mass of plump and billowing banners. Some thin as string, or thick as rope, bright heavy cords of smooth silk, long tendrils ruffled and gleaming like velvet, fat tentacles of light billowing softly, reaching out in the dark. They fanned apart and waved hungrily, coiling and braiding together, unwinding, coiling again. As it moved forward light drifted around it, wafting from the dancing curtain of its tentacles.
Gravity suspended around it, darkness filled with languor, and in her sleep, still in her bed, she spiralled deeper into spellbound synchrony, her body warm and wet. The jellyfish swam forward on a current of her love for it, drawn to her sweetness. Soon the slide of its skin, made of light and some invisible silken tension, was shimmering with a wet sheen, like morning dew.
In her sleep, she stirred as pale light filled her window, fell on across her floor, her bed, spilled across her sheets, filled her palm. Touched her hair gently, sparkled on its strands. Her body responded to the light like touch, and in the deep of her sleep, she moaned softly. In her dream, she floated in blackness, and in her bed, her labia grew slick, wet, flush so even in her dream, she sighed with the sudden weight of want—the close promise of pleasure.
The jellyfish glowed, a blister, a pearl, it drifted toward her. Each breath sounded like the sea crashing in her chest. The rise and fall of the tide, the opening and closing of her heart. Her body resonated like a shell, a spell, sleep closing deeper, so her limbs were soft, her breathing slow and easy. A trace inside a dream. In her dream, her body humming, a sweet, sharp buzz like she’d been stung. The jellyfish’s tentacles blew softly in the wind, lifted with grace, a feminine softening of the ruffles into a rosy glow, borne along with the mist out her window. The gorgeous tentacles unfurled, poured gracefully through her window.
The wanton languor of her sleep only grew more thick and deep, heavy at the proximity of the jellyfish. The ropes and ribbons of their limbs shimmered like water on her ceiling, her walls and skin. The tentacles reached for her, finding her quickly, gently slipping under her sheets and blankets. So careful and tender, seemingly aware of just how to move so as to not jar her deeply sleeping body. Everywhere the tentacles touched her gleamed softly. Ornate and delicate patterns bloomed where the iridescent tissues brushed the heat of her skin. Brightening the pale membranes, graceful and tousled patterns coiling like smoke turning the pale tissue to radiant ivory, blush rose pink. The tentacles cradled her like a pair of hands.
They lifted her gently, smoothly, her sheets slipping off her skin, her hair uncoiling from the pillow. As they lifted her, the tentacles coiled around her, sliding around her ribs and waist, down her legs. Deep in the jellyfish heart colours bloomed in the dark, magenta, pale ivory, passion fruit, plum, blush. The tentacle tips dug into her like fingers as they carried her into the night. In her dream, colours flash on the water, and she felt herself shift and move in the shallows of sleep. Pleasure creeping along her skin where the water touched and splashed over her, a lover’s touch…
The tentacles lifted her through the window, carefully, gently. She shivered, eyelids fluttering under the twin sensations of fresh night air and the firm, taut warm hold, pleasure, pleasure under the jellyfish’s tentacles, she sighed. The wind lifted her hair, tangled and tugged at the hem of her nightdress. She opened her eyes…
Why did she see them when no one else did? Why did this one flock to her bedroom window and reach out to touch her? Why, when she opened her eyes and found herself held in light, and almost invisible form half a dozen meters in the air, didn’t she panic? Did the jellyfish produce some kind of calming toxin? An elixir of light touched and filled her with calm, even waking felt like a dream. Did her love for them defuse over all things, even fear? Their touch filled her, a spark of knowledge, some faint charge, lying in a dark night cradled by tentacles, that she was safe. The jellyfish was lit from within like a dying fire, a golden line around the translucent profile of its body was tracing her form. While she watched, she saw its thin, almost invisible skin begin to shimmer.
The tentacles holding her grew slick. A warm glassy fluid slid against her skin, squishing where the tentacles pressed into her. The pulled taut closing with even pressure all around their length, tighter and tighter. She moaned, fully awake now but body humming with a dreamy pleasure, skin alive and still somehow numb, tingling. Warm and cold at once. Her mouth dry, her sex throbbing with a sudden, horrible intensity. If she wasn’t so totally held, tentacles around her wrists and arms, gripping her ribs, her hips, scooping around her ass, keeping every part of her…she would have tried to touch herself. Instead, she only shuddered, moaned again as the tentacles drew tight, slid down her body, dripping with clear fluid.
She sighed and felt it move through her, move through the jellyfish, and its light shimmered. They were two forms, one giant one very small, suspended in the dark, black shapes outlined in a thin thread of energy, gleaming, beginning to drip with colour. The line was due to a near-imperceptible flickering where their bodies touched, agitated pleasure into existence. Bioluminescence stalked over her body along with the slick slither of the tentacles.
There are so many questions about them that she could not answer, so many things she didn’t understand. Questions she cannot answer. And every single one of them fell away in long shivers of pleasure as the tentacles slid between her legs, cupped her ass.
Imagine a human body passing through air, leaving behind it, very briefly, a human-shaped tunnel. A hand would make a five-fingered tunnel as it travelled. But since air is a dense mix of particles and creatures--dust, spores, bacteria-as our skin passes through this thick mixture, it leaves behind a fleeting electrical wake.
Once they touched her…the jellyfish slid into the hollow wake of her body, and they both shivered with light. The tentacle slid against her labia, the silk of her nightgown slick and wet, her sex slippery, everything shimmering, more tentacles slid around her thighs. It lifted the silk and lace hem of her dress away from her hips, skin and silk and transparent slick ribbons of tentacles dripping, glistening.
The slick, thick base of a tentacle slid past the dripping lips of her labia, so long and firm, sliding for endless seconds and she exploded into shivers of pleasure. Pleasure glowed like wildfire all over her.
Every inch of tentacle moved with firm even pressure over her body. But nothing so wonderfully perfect as the tentacle firm between her legs, now waving and wavering, so she was panting, almost breathless.
At the core of the airy, translucent sphere the jellyfish shone brighter, its presence a present moment. Touching and stroking her with many banners and strands of its body, everything dripping with long drooling strands of fluid, bright with moonlight. She fought against it only so much that she could thrust and writhe with it, pull more pleasure from her body, from its touch. She lifted her hips in the air, threw herself forward, they threw themselves together into each other. An irresistible collision.
Love is always happening for the first time. And whatever makes it like that is a mystery streaming down from all the places they touch. The moments of night and moonlight blur into a blush, from which it’s hard to extract the details, a natural enchantment. The moment is stunning.
Tentacles like fingers traced her tense lower lip, which unfairly makes her look serious because it holds back an avalanche of worries about how she isn’t enough. At its touch, all this fell away, and her mouth fell deliciously open.
Soon the jellyfish held her so tightly she was unable to move. She could only feel and shiver as the riffled ribbons, and slick, solid tentacles writhed over her body, touching her in ways she thought impossible. Rippling and undulating, moving with steady sleek, solid pressure and little stirring motions, taut pulling like thin threads, hard tendons like a rope. The slick fluid dripping all over made her skin more sensitive, flush and tender with sensation. With a sudden tug and the milky sound of tearing fabric, her nightdress was ripped away. Vanished in long strands of pulling silk, and the wet, slick sound of drenched fluid pulling away from her skin with suck. It fluttered away, discarded and forgotten. The tentacles explored every inch of her freshly naked skin, covering her in slick shimmering shine. They travelled down her spine, some had firm suckers that closed and pulsed around her skin, suckling at her, leaving red half-moon marks over her.
Tentacles wrapped around her hips and thighs. Pulled tight. Others continued roaming, curious and alive, active over her body. With their coiling and teasing, sensation rolled all over her. There was feeling everywhere at once, a steady but frantic overstimulation that made her breath ragged and her heart pound. And still, when one of the muscular tentacles thrust its way inside her, she felt every moment. Even in the haze and glittering fog of pleasure, the sudden force was a bright spark of pain. An unexpected sharp answer to a dull wanting ache she was only fully aware of when it was violently satisfied. She moaned, clenched around it instinctively, so she felt every vivid moment of the tentacle pulling out of her.
As it fucked her, hard, it began to curl and flare as it moved in and out of her, creating a sensation she’d never imagined could hardly comprehend. It shoved itself inside her over and over, filling her in ways she’d never imagined. Filling her, overfilling her. She arched into it, involuntarily puling against and into the tentacle restraints and moaned.
Two giant tentacles held her legs apart, wrapped around her thighs and hips in a stranglehold that almost cut off her circulation. One giant tentacle curled around her throat slowly, a firm, steady grip. She could breathe, but she could also feel her heartbeat in her mouth, her lips. When she moaned, it was a rough sound of pleasure as the suckers tasted her skin, leaving red marks, bruises, small delicious abrasions. Hundreds of smaller tentacles, ribbons threads, strings all glowing with that softly pulsing light, they held her, writhed over the rest of my body.
She knew, inside the massive unimaginable scale of pleasure suffusing over her skin, that she was being violated. That this massive impossible creature was dangerous. That it was using her in some way, she could not possibly understand that she was small and helpless and should be afraid.
And she was. She was alive with fear, but there was more.
There was the shattering static of pleasure, wrenched out of her, intolerable and solid, and she loved every moment of it. Even she fought against it, clenched and tangled herself to try and force the pleasure away, stop the delicious flex and roll of her muscles. The tentacles touched her everywhere, and everywhere they moved responded, bloomed in pleasure which echoed through her.
Amazed, she stared up at the massive jellyfish. The way it shined in the moonlight, the vicious dripping mist floating around it. Effervescent, dripping and shimmering, it slipped down the tentacle’s length, dripping on to her, falling in long strands thin as spiderwebs, waving in the night.
Moaning, she convulsed against her bonds. Held hard and fast against the thrust and fuck of the tentacles inside her, writhing all over, her breathing was desperate and frantic and ragged, her heart pounded furiously. Every inch of skin erotically stimulated every moment. There was no stopping it, the pleasure was beyond involuntary. Her back arched, her hips rolled. She came with a sudden spontaneous wave of shame and relief and shattering amazement at the scale of incredible pleasure that ripped through her entire body. Her mind lit up, her body spasmed, warm, trapped, and so viciously wonderfully filled. Her legs tightened, and mouth tried and failed to moan. The sensation was incredible, and she wanted it to last forever, to be the last thing in the world that she felt.
Mouth open she watched the jellyfish respond. It filled with a brighter light. An elegant shimmer of bioluminescence, same sparkle as a red tide event, when ocean waves are floodlit from within with blood. It shone like a dripping red moon, translucent, even its tangle of legs, rising and falling in some invisible wind were lit from within. As she came her hands opened and closed in time with the spasms of her sex, and the light that flooded over her, arched neck, curled fingers, come dripping from the swollen full lips of her cunt. The light flickered and flowed with her sensations. It was feeling her, she realised in some haze of impossible pleasure logic, aware of the jellyfish as she could be of any lovers pleasure. Their bodies blurring from one intense expression into another.
Slowly, after what seemed like a shuttered eternity, her heart rate and the vibrant colours faded, and she started to feel dizzy, drifting, her proprioception slipped away from her. The last thing she could see was pale of moonlight shining through the soft transparent skin of the jellyfish.
In the morning, she awoke, naked and sticky, sore all over in a tangle of still damp sheets that smelled like the clean salt of the ocean and night air. Small crescent moon shaped bruises and long red welts covered her body. Gently, carefully she touched herself all over, feeling out the heat and tender places, the peeling dry residue on her skin, the fresh slick wetness between her legs. Almost without thinking, she brought her fingers to her mouth and tasted it.
A sour, sweet familiar flavour and something else, the salt of the sea, the sharp, clear, bright stone taste of the earth, something dark and ancient that made her think of the jellyfish’s light, the occlusion of moonlight. She shivered, pleasure sparking on the roof of her mouth, a flutter in the deep of her cunt. A moan curled around the fingers in her mouth, and she fell back against the pillows drunk and delirious on some delicious chemistry of memory and magic.
It was a dream, her rational mind tried to insist as she winced in the shower, washed away the dried flaking fluids and hissed at heat on her welts. Her rational mind could insist all it wanted, she thought, tilting her head back and letting her hair fill with water. It could insist forever, the same way for years it told her the jellyfish weren’t real. But all the rest of her: the parts that were kind and introspective and thoughtful, the parts that felt beautiful, and the brightness of bruises, that saw love and joy, knew it was real. It happened.
Dressing to walk the cliffs at sunset, she wondered if there was a way to express gratitude. Her eyes lit upon the horizon, where the stone cliffs and the sky went gently together. Every time she watched waiting to see them dancing out over the ocean. An easy loose wanton kind of joy born of the want to touch and stroke. For days she didn’t see them again. But still, she woke every morning and hoped she would, that she would see them drifting with the tide or the clouds. The truth was, she missed them, which was a strange sensation. She still wasn’t entirely sure what happened. When the marks faded, it was harder to believe it hadn’t been a dream, an impossible beautiful event of her imagination.
And finally one night, she did see them again, down the cliffs on one late summer evening weeks after she worried perhaps she’d never seen them at all. For weeks it had been too hot and dry, heat smashed against the earth in whiplash whirlwinds. It wafted down from the sky, reaching into the deep of the earth, along the cliff edges. A steady wind of residual heat. The heat was all twisting nerves even along the edge of the ocean, too hot to sleep or sit still.
It was only then, in the dark purple gloaming that a gust of cold breeze came off the water. The wind charged with the perfumes of ocean and heat. The cliffs and water moved together like sensual animals, she saw them, pale at first like a ghost moon in an afternoon sky.
Pearl orbs floating, tentacles swept back into the ocean. Even so far out the empty night span of the shoreline, it was obvious how much she loved them, her heart skipped a beat. She was alone as dark fell, watching the jellyfish float along the horizon, impossibly tall and beautiful. She watched them for a time, drifting with a slow, hypnotic sway, as though they were swimming, leaving a sweeping wake in the ocean.
All around her, the black of night fell. When the jellyfish turned and began to approach the cliffs, she looked up at the stars and the moon. She smiled, the tension in her jaw relaxed, and her eyes were bright and watchful. She walked to the cliff edge, and the wind pressed the spray of the ocean against her face.