John is Afraid of the Sea

By Jason Jackson

John is afraid of the sea: the devious way it isn’t blue — is rarely ever, truly, blue — unnerves him; the sentience of its movements terrifies. Even the smell makes him gag; it catches in his hair, makes his skin salty.

He knows he’ll die by drowning, and this inevitability offers strange comforts. But it doesn’t make him any the less afraid.

A devious blue; a terrifying sentience.

A devious sentience; a terrifying blue.

Fear catches on his skin: there’s a rare truth in death!

But there’s comfort in inevitability, comfort in the salt. There’ll be comfort in the sentience, the drowning and the fear. There’ll be strange, devious comfort in the dying. Just as the sea is not blue – is rarely ever, truly, blue — death will not unnerve him, will not be terrifying.

John is only afraid of the sea.


Jason Jackson‘s prize-winning fiction appears regularly in print and online. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as appearing regularly in the BIFFY 50 and Best Microfictions. Jason is also a photographer, and his prose/photography piece The Unit is published by A3 Press. Jason co-edits the online magazine Janus Literary.