They live on the back of a fish, but somehow she’s not happy.
(from The O. Henry Prize Stories 2006)
Who knows what she would do in such a situation? Thrash and flail the sea, flinging our meager posts and provisions miles across the deep? Perhaps, but Ceta is the gentlest of beasts, and also the wisest—she would see the futility in such aggression, knowing with a beast’s instinctual wisdom that there’s no cure for calamity once it has lodged itself inside.
Man. Best story I’ve read in a long time. These people live, somehow on the back of a fish (or they think it’s a fish, although some signs point to whale or dolphin) that’s big enough for huts and other amenities. It’s a benevolent creature. It doesn’t seem to dip below the surface. So life should be sort of carefree for the nigh-scientist of the group, but his lover, Osa, she thinks there’s something better out there. Beautifully angsty and mysterious.
Yes, there are small tributaries to Waterworld here, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. No, this wasn’t written by Hack. Here’s an interview with David Lawrence Morse about “Conceived.” Wish I could find a link to the story proper, because it’s awesome.
Camper Van Beethoven, “She Divines Water”