She was slowly moving with the rhythm of the wind. She was dancing to the harmony of the singing birds and waterfalls. She was wearing a lovely dress made out of the clouds from the sky above, so bright and so pure. Her face reflected the softness of light that was coming from the shinning sun. She was now irradiating a full scheme of warm immaculate colors.

As she was getting closer to the ground, kneeling on the damp grass, her body temperature started to get cooler and cooler. She could hear the wind whispering in her ears; it told her the last things she was ever going to hear. She started seeing quick flashes of her past taking place right in front of her eyes, they seemed so vivid and real.

She was now connected to the earth, lying down completely on her back, surrounded by green, blue, yellow and white. Nature was calling her name softly, inviting her to become one with the universe; to be dirt, to be water, to be dust. She was very tempted, but resisted the conversion a little longer.

She was still able to contemplate life around her. She saw how the falling leaves danced to the sound of nature as they were falling before reaching the ground. They were noiseless, perfect thieves, but crusty and old. She also saw how the whole world just kept functioning, without noticing her; birds kept flying, bugs kept crawling, water kept flowing, and the wind kept blowing.

The sun was rising higher and higher above the horizon. Its bright rays painted the whole sky orange and set a warm tone upon her body. However, she kept getting colder. She could see these heavenly sunrays consuming all her surroundings, brightening up every shadow. Her head, fixed to the sky, was getting heavy as a stone, and all her limbs became immovable. She could no longer feel the dampness of the grass under her body.

As the wind kept blowing, whispering more secrets in her ear, a big gray cloud slowly crossed the endless blue, blocking the yellow sunrays. The warm tones of her skin started to fade away; she was now turning as white as her dress of clouds. She seemed to be more absent as the wind kept pushing the coming storm.

Suddenly, nature consumed her. The vivid visions from her past that had crossed her mind earlier left a subtle smile on her face. Her last heartbeat gave her a soft pinkish tone, but it only lasted a second. She was now becoming one with the universe. She was finally accepting nature’s call. She was returning to where we all come from.

Maria Tinoco’s short story “An Ocean’s Gift” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of The Match Factory. Maria is a sophomore majoring in Illustration.  She was raised in Bogota, Colombia, and moved to New York in 2013 to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.