Journey Through Coral Realm

I recently completed what I view as a whimsical short story. I hope you enjoy! Please consider subscribing to my blog.

Journey through Coral Realm

Welcome to Coral Realm.jpg

       Back in the summer of 2016, I created a painting entitled ‘Welcome to Coral Realm’, displayed above. It showcases a fun-filled and colorful vision of an underwater theme park, represented as a classic park-map aesthetic. Tiny scuba divers spend a joyous day swimming through the organic yet deliberate coral environment, able to experience four different attractions at their leisure. They could ride inside bubbles, spun about by fun-loving octopuses, or race against fellow park guests while avoiding the wrath of angry crustaceans. This aquatic world meshes together the utterly surreal and magical-the impossible-with the practical application of engineering, at least in concept upon canvas. Of course, it’s simply a silly little concept, yes? The absurdity of it is laughable, an amusing imaginative romp, nothing more. Well, my presumptive one, what if I told you that ‘Coral Realm’ is far more than a mere concept? What if I told you that there specifically exists such a place, right here on planet earth?

           In my early days of painting, inspiration came from a variety of sources, least of which being a group of (quite sexy) unassuming mermaids whom I found bathing in my swimming pool. They claimed to be from a deep, unexplored region of the Atlantic, and decided to materialize in my pool every week or so for a quick wash before returning. Nothing out of the ordinary, I certainly didn’t mind their presence. Their magical nature inspired me to create ‘Welcome to Coral Realm.’  However, things began to take a turn for the bizarre as one morning, whilst I was watering plants outside the pool, the mermaids materialized, but rather than commence with their usual graceful bathing session, they lured me over for discussion. I knew enough about mermaids to remain on guard, and kept some distance; however they simply explained that they were fans of my artwork, and enjoyed browsing my online gallery from their cove in the Atlantic. This was both shocking and pleasing, as I didn’t realize I had any fans at all. They then proceeded to explain that the idea for the painting I had just completed (Welcome to Coral Realm.), had actually been telepathically sent to my brain in secret by these mermaids, upon their initial visit. It was based on an actual theme park that they had been in the process of creating, quite precisely in fact, with the help of cooperative, kidnapped scientists and engineers alike in conjunction with their own robust mermaid magic. Naturally, I was in utter disbelief. I still hadn’t processed all the information as the mermaids conveyed their desire for me to experience the park on opening day, which, not-so-coincidently, was to occur in merely ten minutes. I smiled awkwardly, and explained that I would rather allow my paintings to remain as fantasy, and stay put in the real world. I had the creeping notion, however, that “no” wouldn’t be an answer these seductresses would accept. Sure enough, just as I was about to head back to my gardening duties, I instead found myself inexplicably sauntering towards the nearest mermaid, a stunning blonde. I had entered something of a mindless trance, as all I could remember was an all-consuming attraction to this blonde goddess. She seemed to shimmer and glow in contrast with the environment, and her eyes pierced my soul. Before I knew it, I was being abruptly dragged down to the depths of my pool by surprisingly strong arms, and I remember wondering why my pool seemed so much deeper than usual as everything faded to black.

          The following that you’re about to read is a chronological transcript of my thoughts during my time in the real Coral Realm, emailed to me by our lovely mermaids. I believe my actual thoughts in the moment convey my experience in that surreal wonderland better than I could ever write in retrospective, though I do provide some context at times. I never ascertained the exact location of Coral Realm, though I assume it resides somewhere in the Atlantic. I hope you enjoy.


          Oh shit, I’m dead, I’m dying, I’m drowning, and I’m never gonna’ paint again. God damn mermaids! I let myself be seduced…what was I thinking? Have I no self-control? Perhaps I should start counting down from ten, make the end easier…10…9…8…Wait…I’m breathing! How is that possible? I’m…wearing a full scuba suit! I’m breathing through an oxygen mask, and this is definitely neoprene…I feel light-headed, but I’m glad I’m still alive.

          You’ll have to forgive my initial shock and naivety. Being forcefully pulled into my own swimming pool knocked me out of my senses. I assumed the mermaids had tricked me with their ‘Coral Realm’ story, but upon reflection, they would not have needed the story to lure me over.

          So where exactly am I? I can’t see the surface of the water, and the abyss below me seems ominously bottomless. I need to force myself to relax...Breathe Deeply…In…Out…Wait! My oxygen levels! Perhaps these mermaids are crueler than I imagined, and simply materialized me here with a scuba suit for false hope. Am I in the Atlantic? It’s quite cold. Whatever, I need to focus, I better start swimming upwards, slowly but surely, less I risk DCS…Wait, what on earth? There are other divers here! And they’re swimming downwards…Why do they seem so excited? Jeez, how many are there?! I’m way too curious not to follow them…

          It wasn’t just a few scuba divers, by the way, it was a massive trail of them.  Considering their leisurely swim-gait, it somehow seemed to me more prudent to follow them rather than continue upwards. As far as I knew, the surface could have been many kilometers away.

          After a slightly uncomfortable ten minutes, I finally arrived at the titular destination.

          Man, have these guys lost their mind swimming down this emptiness? I shouldn’t have followed them, what was I thinking? This is what I get for conforming, I guess I’ll just have to…Oh my good god. This can’t be real. Even with mermaid magic, this can’t be real…And yet it is. It’s as if my painting has literally come to life in the form of a vibrant theme park…A perfect physical translation. Coral Realm. Yup, there’s the racetrack…and the roller coaster. I can’t wait to experience this incredibly weird world!

          My own painting, ‘Welcome to Coral Realm’, hardly did this world justice. Structural both the real version and the version of my painting seemed relatively the same; however I couldn’t help but feel my artwork to be an artificial farce as compared to the real one. It was as if some powerful entity had taken my most radically colorful and joyous dreams, transferred them into the aquatic world, and spectacularly enhanced all the elements by a factor of infinity. I was truly blown away.

          I had never named any of the rides in my painting, but in the real ‘Coral Realm’, each one had distinct neon logos. The first ride I experienced was ‘OctoBubble Twirl’. 

          If you’ve ever ridden a spinning octopus ride at one ofthose questionably-safe carnivals, then you’ve ridden OctoBubble Twirl, assuming you rode it submerged under the ocean. Oh, and assuming you were being spun by the natural tentacle motion of an oversized, overly-happy actual octopus, whilst suspended by g-forces in a human-sized air bubble. Come to think of it, there are a few differences, but the gist remains the same. Anyways, here’s my unfiltered perspective…

          Well, this section of the park has a bubbly atmosphere! Full of yellow coral reef plants…Smiling Seaweed, whimsically wavy sea vines, LSD sponges…I can’t image how LSD could make this scenario more surreal than it already is. I just witnessed a gigantic Yellow Tang wink at me! Before French kissing a Blue Tang. I think I’ll stay clear of absorbing that LSD, this reality is cuckoo enough, thank you…On to the main attraction…OctoBubble Twirl, is it? I like the sound of that…I’ve never seen floating letter-shaped glowing bubbles used as a logo before, I should have painted that. Alright, just gotta’ weave through these lemon-yellow coral structures, wade through that patch of smiling seaweed, ignore the looks from that possibly-perverted Yellow Tang, and follow the rest of the Scuba park guests to the ride.

          Line seems to be moving fast, quite unusual for a theme park! I should buy one of those seahorse balloons. Wait, I don’t have any money! It seems I could take one for free, everyone else is. I suppose I’ll take a blue one, but how is it possible that everything is free? How is it possible that I’m questioning possibility at this moment? Why the hell are there balloons that work underwater? Argh…Mermaid magic confuses me, but I suppose I should be grateful. This is definitely the opportunity of a lifetime; I’m certainly enjoying myself so far. Although I don’t appreciate being kidnapped for this experience…The mermaids could have simply asked nicely, and well in advance as well, not ten minutes prior…Ah! My turn to board the…bubbles? Won’t they pop?  Considering that a giant yellow octopus is currently politely asking me to enter my ride bubble so she could spin me around her body, I really should cease the questions. Looks like I’ll be the last diver to board. Hope I don’t get too dizzy…

          Oh my goodness! It’s as if I’m flying! Underwater! We’re spinning super fast; I should be getting dizzy, but I’m not. I feel oddly euphoric in fact…this is quite fun! I see other riders are raising their arms, perhaps I should do the same. Normally, I’m annoyed when a person loudly shrieks “La-la-la-la-la” continuously like a child, it’s a bit obnoxious. I would usually be outright horrified when a giant Octopus does the same thing with double the effect. However, at the moment, I find it to be a positive addition to the ride! It strangely enhances this joyous effect I’m feeling! Is it magic, or my true, raw emotions? The other guests seem to be in a similar “happy-trance.” Am I being brainwashed? Who cares, just don’t let the fun end, don’t let the fun end…

          Naturally, the fun eventually did end, and I moved on to the next attraction and section. I must say, this transcript of my thoughts paints a rather embarrassing picture in regards to the state of my mind. I’m not entirely proud of the childish notions bouncing around my head, but alas, at least they’re not in your head, dear reader.

          The next attraction was entitled ‘Submarine Racers’; it’s an apt name, I imagine that I may have named it that when creating the painting, though the entire idea for Coral Realm had secretly been  transposed to my mind by virtue of sexy mermaids, so of course I would have named it that.

          The ride vehicles, though not actually what one would typically associate with a regular submarine, were actual vehicles, meaning they were fully controllable by a single rider. These were swift, sturdy, omnidirectional, and surprisingly flexible motor vehicles. Fitting to the title, this was essentially a high-speed race against the other park guests, via a twisting racetrack full of obstacles and aggressive crustaceans. This park certainly won’t be winning any safety awards… The winner of the race received a special prize, read my perspective to find out what.

          What could possibly be more fun than OctoBubble Twirl? Time to go see the race I painted come to life! This excessively orange section certainly has a competitive atmosphere…I see loads of intense and fishy spectators…I spy a clownfish munching on oversized…popcorn? I don’t even want to know what that actually is. I guess they’re eyeing the...Yeah! The race! Their speeds are mesmerizing! It’s too bad I can’t see the whole track, but this definitely seems quite fun! Time to find the line for the next race…Did I just see a seemingly steroid-infused crab break the back of one of the racers with its claw? No. No I didn’t, just like I didn’t see a giant lobster throw another scuba diver across the track…Yup, there goes his oxygen tank. How much air do I have left anyway? There isn’t a gauge on my suit, I assume there’s an endless supply. Why couldn’t the mermaids simply allow us to breathe underwater? Simply turn us into merpeople? Eh, whatever. What was I doing again? Oh right, the line! Oh yeah, I’m also terrified right now. The idea of disembowelment by crab is displeasing. Oh well. Just gotta’ find the line, haven’t seen a sign yet. I like all these nifty, trophy-shaped coral plants, I think I also spotted a few medallions attached to seaweed. Geez! Those swordfish need to watch where they’re sword fighting! They could have killed me! Anyways…there are the floating letter bubbles! I should have seen it earlier. Here we go; I just have to wait for the race to finish…  

          This feverish crowd is making this situation even more nerve-wracking than it already is. So much so that I’m not even surprised that a dainty-looking Goldfish just roared ‘Faster, you dipshit!” at one of the current racers. I’m gonna’ need specialized counseling after this…Despite my nerves though, I feel my competitive gene kicking in. I wanna’ win! There’s supposed to be a special prize for the victor. I wonder what it is?

          Alright, finally time to board! I think I’ll take…Yeah, I’ll pick the light blue one…The control-mechanism looks simple enough, a mere handle bar. Okay, looks like some carp tied to vine-tethers are pulling all the vehicles to the starting line. I hope they’re paid for that….They don’t look too pleased with their duties. Alright, any moment now, I’ll be zooming through this twisting track at breakneck speed; quite literally if the crabs have their way. At least it’s comfortable …. Uh-oh. How do I start the engine?! God, it would be embarrassing to stay stuck on the starting line whilst the other competitors fly past me. There’s not so much as a button, what am I missing? Oh…automatic, I see. Shoulda’ guessed. Surprisingly quiet motor, though I am underwater. Here we go, just got to wait for that small squid to throw down the flag. Haven’t they ever heard of a count-down? The suspense is killing me!

C’mon…Any day now…Is…Is that a Pufferfish making love to a scuba div-Shoot! I missed the start! How do I accelerate?! Oh, just gotta’ twist the throttle, like a motorcycle. Okay…I may be in last place, but I’m finding that handling this little vehicle is pretty intuitive! Light to the touch, but not too light, a balanced weight…Here comes my first turn, a right one…Yup! I’m definitely in love with this vehicle. Easy as a toy! I suppose it is a theme park, but still, it’s a theme park miles under the ocean with a high chance of a crab-related death. Alright, I don’t want to be in last place, let’s accelerate a little more. I definitely appreciate these Shellfish lights, I’d become a pancake otherwise…Yes! I passed somebody! I’ll call him yellow. One down…how many to go? I believe there were a total of ten racers, but I can’t be sure. Some of these curves are actually a bit precarious, especially considering this fluctuating verticality…Whoa! Maybe I should try not flinging myself across the coral barrier? Well, at least I can I eye some drivers bunched up straight ahead. That’s lucky…If I keep up my speed, I’ll definitely…Ooh, looks like the track splits. One seems to simply continue into a very wide curve, the other seems to…end? No, it’s a ramp! A clear shortcut. I won’t pass these guys before the track splits, and the track seems a bit narrow at the curve… Yeah, I’m gonna’ go with the suicidal option. How bad could it be? I see only one other racer decided to take the ramp with me. Up he goes, and…Enjoy becoming lobster food, purple. I thought the gap was bad enough, I should’ve known there would a pack of feral lobsters festering beneath. Too late to turn back now! Better max the throttle…Here goes nothing…Weightlessness isn’t as bad as I imagined, and I still have some control. Not sure if I’m going to make it to the other side though…Least of my concerns though, gotta’ avoid that claw…Whew! That was close. Control is certainly more challenging in the open water. Yes! I made it! Including purple, that’s six racers behind me! That’s puts me in fourth place, if I’m not mistaken. Eh, make that third place. Violet certainly isn’t coming back from that explosion…Wait, why did she explode? Goodness! There are naval mines scattered throughout the track now! These mermaid hosts are psychotic! I’ve got to slow down, I narrowly missed the last mine, and there’s a turn coming up. Alright, so far so good…Hey! Stop ramming my sub, orange! This guy certainly snuck up on me…Geez, his sub is forcing mine to graze the barrier. I’m finished! There’s a mine straight ahead! This guy plays dirty! The track seems to spiral downwards afterwards…that gives me an idea…Yes, just as I thought. He didn’t expect me to stop showing resistance, I made it all too easy for him to shove me over the barrier. I got the timing right as well, but barely. One foot more and I would have missed the spiral track…The sound of that explosion is karmic music to my ears. Oh, and eat my dust, Red…Second Place! I think I’ll avoid that off-road shortcut, I’ve had enough danger. I just have to keep up the throttle, and stick to the main track. There’s the first place racer, Green. He won’t stay first place for long…I’m catching up, and no, I don’t want to shake your claw my angry little lobster…There’s the finish line! I’ve almost caught up with Green! But I don’t think I’m gonna’ make it! Or am I? That finish line is so close…Hah! There it is! I’m the winner! By a fraction of an inch! I’m ready for my…Oh, I forgot. This is a three-lap race. Urgh…

          Second place definitely ain’t bad…Man, if I had simply avoided that off-road shortcut, it would have been a shoe-in. I guess I could of dashed straight through that maze of jellyfish, but…Well, I’m glad I didn’t. Shame about the prize though! I would have liked to have a vending machine that dispenses customizable sex robots! I would have roused envy in all the friends I don’t have, but I suppose it would have proven too much of a distraction. Oh well! An Emma Stone Model is gonna’ have to wait until the afterlife! On to the next section…

You’ll have to forgive this long-winded transcript of my thoughts (or don’t, I certainly wouldn’t.), but you must understand, dear reader, I’m simply too lazy to type out a concise summary.

Anyhow, the next section of the park delved even deeper into this mystery ocean, as in my painting. The attraction was entitled ‘Cetaceous Spirit Spin’. I’m not convinced that I would have named it that, “Cetaceous” should have simply been “Dolphin”, but that’s my un-humble opinion.

          I had always likened this ride to something of an aquatic, calming Ferris wheel, though upon experiencing this wonder of an attraction, that analogy doesn’t do the attraction justice. This was an enlightening and euphoric experience, though not in the same way OctoBubble Twirl   was. In fact, my memory of this experience is quite hazy. On one hand, I could recall the emotions and awe I felt as if experienced mere moments ago. On the other hand, the details of the experience are all a blur to me. There was this consistent feeling of eureka, though in response to what, I cannot recall. I feel as if there is this lost and vital information bursting to flow through my synapses, yet will be forever blocked from my consciousness. It’s admittedly frustrating; however I do hope you find the following thought transcript as interesting as I did, dear reader.     

It’s certainly darker in this section, as it was in the painting. But in my painting, it was ‘cause of its depth relative to the surface. I know I’m already miles deep, so this light-dim seems artificial, like some unseen force flicked on an ocean-encompassing light switch. Gotta’ say, it’s pretty spooky, but I’m digging the blue-purple color scheme this section’s got going. There’s the ride! It’d be difficult to miss, what with those long, glowing dolphin tails. Man, it’s so cool to see my visions literally brought to life! Though I guess this technically was never really my vision…Those scuba riders certainly look like they’re having…fun? They seem to be in some form of stupor. It’s as if they’re in a state of bizarre ecstasy. I could just barely hear a relaxing piano tune; I’d probably have a better time hearing it on the ride. I don’t know, all these big brain plants have me concerned; they’re distinctly human. What if this ride constitutes some sort of mind extraction? Seems unlikely, about as unlikely as anything else in this park…Still, at least there don’t seem to be any violent crustaceans trying to kill me. That’s a step up. Well, time to get in line…Ugh, this one actually looks lengthy. I guess not even mermaid magic could resolve that age-old theme park quirk.

Ten years later, much? How long is this gonna’ take? I should be more patient. I’ll probably only be here once, so maybe I should try appreciating the environment more. What more is there to see? I’ve been wading in line almost two hours now…The interconnected seaweed light bulb displays were interesting, for ten minutes. I like the representation of the natural progression of knowledge, but for some reason, I can’t help but feel boredom at the moment. It’s not simply the slow line, it can’t be…hell the water’s quite cold down here. There are too many extraordinary sights, I mean, I just witnessed a giant seahorse swing around coral structures with its tail. How I’m bored is beyond me. I’m not even excited for the ride anymore! I was before, wasn’t I? It’s as if some esoteric force is oppressing me with this feeling of overwhelming meh…Is this supposed to be the case? The other divers look similarly disinterested; I could see it in their eyes, behind their thick goggles. One even seems to be sleeping. Even I’m getting a bit tired…Too tired, in fact…What time is it? I can’t fall asleep now! I won’t be able to board, I…I…Good night.

Wha’…What’s going on? Am I still in line? No, I’m definitely spinning in a circle, so I’m on the ride…The motion’s quite soothing, maybe that unconscious state was necessary for embarking, as for why, that’s beyond me. Alpha wave activation? Urgh…I still feel rather woozy. And these light beams are becoming blindingly white…Geesh, what kind of ride is this? This is just lame, it’s too slow, I want off. I wonder if I could ask…Oh my goodness…Yes…Of course time is merely a theoretical construct…In actual reality, all logic is inherently false, regardless…It all makes sense…No true natural laws, no true mathematics…The ultimate solution to the infinite regression of existence…it’s so obvious. I should have known from birth. This wondrous orgasm I’m feeling…It’s just as real as the infinite impossible colors…I’m going to decide to live vicariously as a helicopter in 300 millions years, yes…That will be my 56th universe, sooner than I thought… Hoc mirabile est, quod universum sit secundum hoc modo prorsus huic, but one in which immortality is both abnormal and completely, 100 percent perfectly parallel to mathematical precision, yet completely different. Infinitum excedit singulari gaudens. Indeed, truly beyond extraordinary…I see it all, the infinite amount of specific infinities, infinities of nothingness, of color, of restraint, of roller coasters, of lives…I need to share this, but brain-cage limitation flesh-bags will reject it. The Universum re creator may need to be imposed by force…In the Picture-verse, anyway, irrelevant in the grand scheme of things…Shocking, utterly shocking, how teleportation and octopuses having sex constitute the same exact thing, in the end…

            Oh! Is…Is the ride over? What the hell just happened? I seem to be off the ride, new divers seem to be embarking, though I’ve gotta’ use that term lightly, all things considered. That was bizarrely amazing, but…Why? I mean, what on earth was going through my mind? For some reason, I can’t even remember the experience properly. Even by this theme park’s standards, that was beyond insanity. That ride makes the rest of this place seem positively normal by comparison…Man, that fact that I can’t remember a single detail about it makes it particularly strange…Not to mention frustrating as sin. God, it’s like immediately forgetting a wonderful dream, only worse. I have a feeling no amount of hypnosis is going to bring that incredible wealth of knowledge back to the forefront of my mind…Perhaps it’d be best if I simply let it go. I don’t seem to have any other options, anyway. Time to move on to the final section, and if it’s anything like what I had painted, which all of the sections have been thus far, then maybe I should start panicking. Eh, or I could casually swim over there. Works for me.

Rereading this thought transcript to myself certainly kept me intrigued. I can’t quite make sense of the experience I had on the Cetaceous Spirit Spin, despite the thought transcript. Do note, dear reader, that what I presented to you constitutes roughly a quarter of the full experience upon the attraction. There were many disturbing implications based on what I had read, and thought that it would be best if I left that content out. Frankly, it would have still read as nonsensical.

The final section and attraction, consisting of a unique underwater roller coaster, was quite a thrilling endpoint to my time at Coral Realm. Perhaps a bit too thrilling. It’s simply known as ‘Shark Rush’, an exceedingly fitting name, as you may be able to tell.

Aside from being the only roller coaster that I know of on the planet that requires a scuba suit to ride, this attraction is unique in regards to its method of transportation. Rather than the more traditional method of simply taking a seat in a coaster car, the brilliant engineers thought it would amusing if riders were attached loosely by a rope attached to their ankles and the ride vehicle itself. They were either sadistic, incompetent, or forced to do so by their mermaid captors. Combine this in an environment full of ravenous sharks, and I believe you have an attraction that wouldn’t quite live up to Disney Land’s safety standards. Enjoy the final thought transcript, dear reader.

Alright, so far so good…Lots of distinctly red, orange, and black coral, devil trident plants, and a freaky, black mist. It’s definitely got this evil vibe going, but it’s just theming, I can relax. Surely the mermaids responsible for this will have some mercy, and not literally…What was that? No, it couldn’t have been…I’m seeing things. Yes… I’ve been in Coral Realm for too long, I can’t wait to go home and sleep. I just gotta’ find the line. Well, there’s the bubble-title…Shark Rush? Name’s not a good sign, I just gotta’ hope it’s metaphorical. Line doesn’t seem too long, that works for me. This is a pretty unnerving area, but you know what, I’m quite excited! I’m looking forward to an adrenaline rush, and judging from the layout of this coaster, Shark Rush is sure to provide. Loops and all. Guess mermaid magic is too good for physics. Cool! I could see a car train surging past! Wait, that’s not a normal-looking car train, the riders are…They’re being chased by…Nope. Uh-uh. Not for a million. Not even for a billion. I’ve had my fun, I’ve ridden most of the rides, I don’t need to ride the last one. No adrenaline surge is worth the risk becoming a Great White’s lunch.  Vicious crabs, I could handle. At least with the Sub Race I had the agency of a fully controllable vehicle. Here, these poor divers are literally tied like sacks of meat to a cart that looks like it belongs in a derelict mining facility...Goodness! Some of them are even being banged against the coral plants! And I’ve never seen more voracious-looking sharks. Well, I’ve never seen any sharks, but still. Yet maybe, just maybe, their meant to instill fear in the riders, rather than actually attack. Yes…they’re just convincing and clever theming! It’s effective, I’ll give ‘em that! It’s just gonna’ be a fun, rough-around-the-edges roller coaster ride, nothing more. I’m gonna’ get back in li-I’m pretty positive that mist of blood isn’t a mere special effect. I’m also quite sure that the rider currently being repurposed as that shark’s chewing gum isn’t leaving this park alive. Yup, I’m outta’ here. I’ll just be weaving around those peculiarly menacing spikes, and be on my way. Alright! Glad to be away from that nightmare of a section! But where to? There’s no discernible exit…I really should of thought this through…I mean, even if I decided to ride that psycho-coaster, what in the hell am I supposed to do next? Would the mermaids’ have teleported me back to my home? Is there a proper closing time? Those other scuba diver guests dove from above, so perhaps I better swim upwards. What else am I to do?

Coral Realm is quite a fantastical sight from way up here…It’s a shame, really. This is the epitome of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I chickened out on the last ride! I do think it’s justified, all things considered. Risking probable death by shark for a quick high just isn’t worth it. Still no sign of the surface…Glad to see I could swim upwards at this brisk pace, no need to worry about DCS…Compliments of mermaid magic…Hmmm…Coral Realm’s starting to become a dot now…I suppose I’ll find the mermaids on the surface. They may not be overly pleased with my early departure, but…Well, screw them. They kidnapped me, least they could do is allow me to leave at my own leisure. God, how long’s it gonna’ take for me to resurface?! Hold on…I do see a large mass up ahead, light is definitely emanating from it, multi-colored in fact. If it’s not the surface, then what is it? Just got to swim a bit closer…No freakin’ way…Those damned conniving, clever mermaids. I’ve circled back to the bottom of coral realm! From my spot, the ‘Shark Rush’ roller coaster section seems to glow more than the other sections. The message is clear; I’m riding the death coaster. Ugh…Well, I better get this over with.

If I were religious I suppose I would be praying right about now. In a just a few short moments, it will by my turn to board the roller coaster, if I could even really call it “boarding.” Would I call sitting upon an electric chair “boarding” as well? At least I have the thin solace of three other fellow divers who’ll be riding alongside me. They certainly seem frightened. Ugh, one of them just urinated. Can’t say I blame them. Let’s see, the coaster car is arriving back to the station now. Two severed ropes out of four. So I have a precisely 1/2 chance of survival, at least according to this last coaster run. Seems as likely as anything else. Here goes nothing…

Ouch! OWWWW! My leg! That’ll leave a mark…Were electric eels really necessary to tie me to the ride vehicle? They couldn’t have just gotten some octopus to do it? Urgh…Well, at least that painful zap distracted me from my writhing nerves, they were eating me alive…Soon enough it won’t just be my nerves eating me alive…And we’re off! Up the long chain lift… Why a roller coaster needs a chain lift underwater is something I can’t quite fathom, but you know what? If there’s anything I learned during my time at Coral Realm, it’s that logic is overrated, and, as I’m probably about to learn, so is fun. Geez, I’m being quite cynical, I should try and see the silver lining. Hmmmm…My leg has gone numb, that’s a plus. This bizarre boarding arrangement isn’t quite as uncomfortable as I imagined, no lightheadedness anyways…If I close my eyes I could pretend I’m sleeping in zero gravity…Almost at the top now, feels like it’s taking a lifetime. At least if I die, it would be an extraordinarily unique death. Sure there’s cancer, heart attacks, car accidents, watching political debates, the list goes on. Death is death. But how many people could put “Eaten by Great White Shark while riding a roller coaster” as their epitaph? Actually, a surprising number of people can, come to think of it. Oh god, we’re basically arriving at the top now. Soon we’ll all be rushing downwards, probably into the loving jaws of a hungry shark, unable to do anything about it. Heh, I could have sworn I saw one shark grasping at a fork and knife earlier. At least they’re content. Alright, before I plummet to near-certain doom, I need to try to stop and simply think. This will probably be one my last thoughts, might as well be something poignant, something wise…Man, I hardly have any time to think, I have literal seconds before we drop. Ummm…Turkeys? AHHHHHH! Talk about a jarring freakin’ speed! I can’t even see anything, everything is a blur. WOAH! This is awesome! I’m pretty sure my left arm is banging against some rocks, and I’m pretty sure it’s officially dislocated, but I don’t even remotely care! Come at me, shark twats! I’m not even sure if I’m being chased at the moment. The very next second could be my last, my painful last, but nonetheless, all the butterflies have flown away from my stomach. Gah! That was abrupt halt. I’m surprised my leg wasn’t torn off, like that guy to my right. Well, the sharks were definitely chasing us, then. It looks like we’re being given a slow breather…There seems to be more track left after this straight section, so I’m not done with this ride yet...Ah, my arm hurts. But alas, it’s not dislocated. I’m surprised how enjoyable that was. It should have been a nightmare, but it wasn’t, it was the wait that was hellish. So…Three riders left, myself included. Looks like this straight continues on for a bit, then it seems the ride begins twisting and turning again in cavernous area…literally swarming with sharks. Far more than reasonable, not that any amount of them could be considered reasonable. Goodness, this part was hidden when I waiting in line…How could anybody conceivably survive this next part? It’s like playing Russian roulette with five revolvers back-to-back, each revolver loaded with five bullets. Astronomical odds of survival. The butterflies decided to fly back in me…Sure, this coaster is thrilling…But once I find myself being chomped up into mush, the thrills shall come to a swift end. We’re close to the end of the straight now…Déjà Vu. I still need to ponder upon my last thoughts of wisdom, as it truly seems like the end is nigh for me. So I was thinking about turkeys…You know what, screw it. I’m not in the state to be philosophical, instead I’m just going to shut my eyelids. Puppies and rainbows, puppies and rainbows, puppies and rainbows, puppies and rainbows forever…

It’s finished. I survived the death coaster. Barely, and with more than enough of scratches and bruises. I’ll be sore for weeks, but I’m alive. That’s more than I could say for my three fellow passengers. You will be missed. Not by me, though. I’m alive! In more ways than one! That was phenomenally thrilling! If it weren’t for the sharks and the excessive roughness, I might ride it again. Time to exit this menacing section, though…Frankly, it’s my least favorite of them all. Hopefully I’ll be given a survey so I could give my opinion on the matter. That ride desperately needs some renovations. My time in Coral Realm has certainly been fascinating…. It’s been quite a lot of things. But I’m ready to go home, and snuggle in bed for hours on end, maybe playing video games. This was all just a bit too exciting for me. I’ll be happy to get back to painting, but perhaps some things are never meant to leave the canvas.  

Thus ends the transcript of my thoughts, dear reader. The departure from Coral Realm and back into the real world was a surprisingly simple and streamlined process. For a minute, I was aimlessly swimming, wondering what to do next. Then, in the next instant, the entirety of Coral Realm, along with all the other park guests, seemed to vanish out of existence before my eyes. I was then promptly surrounded by mermaids, the same ones I had discovered bathing in my swimming pool. Then, with the heart-stopping sudden speed of a whizzing bullet, I found myself propelled upwards through the great expanse of blue, the velocity accelerating at such an alarming rate that I was sure death was to follow. I was then promptly launched from the surface of the water like a discarded torpedo, before landing as a crumpled mess upon what I soon ascertained to be my flower garden. Though it was rough landing (in fact, I broke my ankle. Rabid Sharks and giant crabs posed no problem to my appendages, however.), my speed of ejection did not realistically line up with my rate of aquatic ascension. If it had, I’d be mashed pulp in outer space at the moment.

I haven’t seen the mermaids since my spectacular excursion to Coral Realm. Not once have I found them bathing in my swimming pool. I was tempted to believe the entire ordeal was some kind of extreme hallucination, that was, until I received the email of my thoughts. On some level, I simply wish that it was. How many other paintings of mine are simply the ideas of magical beings that, for whatever reason, transmitted them to my brain? The whole experience leads to a rabbit hole of disturbing implications… On the other hand, the adrenaline and sense of adventure I had equated to near nirvana. I suppose, in the end, I really don’t know what to make of it all. But from now on, barring aside future kidnappings, I’ll gladly stick to Six Flags.