Carmichael Crespo, 10th - Newbury Park, CA
“What is rippling?”
“Well- it’s how everything is here, you see how we move slightly
even when we’re still? How the trees waver back and forth?”
“In the wind?”
“In the stillness. I suppose you might not be able to tell, but look at my hand. See the circles?”
“Yes... they move around you, just like everything. What are you talking about?”
“There is a place that looks like the stillness of our pools.”
“Their waters ripple, and their world is still.”
“I don’t understand. Is it like a space between ripples, or where waters are constantly moving? Are they in the pools?”
“Well... I don’t know. I’ve seen their waters move like the ocean, but theirs have texture.”
“Did you ever go to this world? Have you ever seen it?”
“I see it in every pool, and visit it in the spaces between the wavering of nature.”
“But did you ever go?”
“Never, truly, but I have seen pictures and read of it.”
“Fake. When I swim in the water I do not go to this place, how can it exist?”
“If you haven’t been, and I haven’t been, how do we know someone could go?”
“Because you can.”
“Sure. Should I find a way? Should I buy a train ticket and say, ‘I’d like to go to the unrippling world, please.’ And they say, ‘Ah, righty-o then, enjoy.’”
“I don’t know. I would love it if you tried. But keep that unrippling place in your mind for me.”
“Thank you, Revaw. I hope you go someday.”
Revaw put the paper down. Shortly after that conversation, the man he had spoken to died. He had never seen this place. Something remained to be done.
Revaw and the man he spoke to lived their entire lives with the rippling trees, but now Revaw stood at the end of a row of tracks that stretched over the sea. He bent down and watched the wiggling of the sharp lines come together in a point far in the distance. Still blue water and flowing white clouds separated by an ever-thinning line.
The ancient ticket booth stood near on the beach. His feet imprinted the smooth sand with waves.
“Excuse me, is there a way...” The man at the booth gazed at him, recognizing a familiar look in Revaw’s eyes. He paused. The booth did not waver. The ticket in the man’s solid hands were comfortably unmoving.
“Here you go. Enjoy.”
It was a gift.
The train pulled in. An older train, one could tell by the slowness of the waves upon it. It was quiet and no whistle blew. The stairs did not creak when he boarded. And there he went.
He imagined how this train would look from the outside while it crossed the water. A shining, slowly rippling vehicle perfectly reflected in a polished blue mirror.
The warm sun and shadows moved across the wooden floor of the all-but-empty car. Revaw drifted into sleep.
He woke up slowly in the stopped car and looked at his hand.
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Students 6th-12th Grades