I set sail with the morning sun over my left shoulder. The way generations of local lore told us never to go. I didn't sail out of hubris or naivety. But because the only thing worse than death is not knowing.
I took a small vessel and lef(more)t alone, without ceremony.
For a number of days, little changed. The coastline slipped out of sight. The pattern of the waves shifted from a languid, landward guttering into an inscrutable fabric, constantly reworking itself.
During the idle hours, I would try to make sense of it. The minute you had the knowing of it, something intangible would change, as if it knew it was being watched. I began to wonder if the water behind me went still when I looked away.
I began to wonder if there was a world behind me at all.
Then subtle differences began to emerge. What life there was would not stray nearer. The numerous familiar fishes that would typically prowl along the hull became vague shapes in the distance, then disappeared altogether.
Slowly it seemed as if color was draining from the world at both ends. The sky became more pale, and the water more like the sky. It became harder and harder to remember what everything had been like before.
Food and water began to run very low, but I hardly noticed. Days passed, and it was rare if at all that I felt like eating or drinking.
Then, one day, I looked around and everything was white. The boat still lurched gently on tired legs, but sky and water were inscrutable. I looked over the edge and saw nothing. Then felt the boat jerk sharply to a halt, as the prow ran into something hard, heavy, and immovable.(less)