Blank featureless shores rim the girth of the widening sea. Like pieces of floating bone, bleached by the merciless eye of the sun, they testify to the beholder, ‘Only death resides here’.
But, within the inky depths, there is life of a kind. At a certain time of year, strange glowing clouds can be seen to emerge from the surface, breaking into tiny points of light which shoot skyward like fireflies. The inhabitants of the stark shore call this, Starspawn.
Turbulence sometimes lifts the surface, something large and powerful with a sound that shakes bones and sends panic through hearts.
The people know they inhabit this place only temporarily. Their salt city beneath the ground, like so many before it, will be embraced by the cold arms of this dark unknown, never to be seen again.
The widening sea grows. The pale coasts which once encircled it, lost sight of each other a long time ago. All that remains is a thin strip of land where the last surviving inhabitants of this brutal planet hide below ground, waiting. It is a losing battle, hoping the inevitable won’t happen, but what more can they do? The salt walls begin to crumble and the sea pushes in from all sides. Soon there is nobody left to remember what is lost to the darkness.
Black and brooding, the sea bubbles. Over the course of time, a pale glow gathers as it churns and rumbles, an unseen battle raging in its depths. Then, the pressure overflows, sending black blobs exploding into the sky. They burn up in the air, like vampires caught in daylight. The violence tears the sea apart. Beneath it, the salty bones of the planet shine crystalline white. The glow thickens, blanketing the exposed land. When all is quiet, a soft rain begins to fall and the glowing cloud settles with it onto the pale ground.
With a whisper, living bodies rise, lifting their newly formed faces to the thickening rain. Rivers of water flow into the valleys, journeying on until they disappear inside the ground. When the rain ends, the people dig in the salt. Unseen, a softly bubbling geyser breaks through the crust, spilling its black contents onto the ground.