Luminescent Love Story

Until today, one of the most beautiful nights I could remember was on my honeymoon with my husband. I rested in his arms with my back to his chest as we watched the sun set, admiring the pastel horizon slowly fade to blue. I don't remember what we talked about, exactly, but I remember the stars and moon rising and still remaining glued to him.

I never realized how much I could see after my eyes adjusted the dark. The moon seemed as bright as the sun, and the stars suddenly became so interesting. We laid down in the sand and examined the heavens, pointing to whatever constellations we would name and giggling with each other about the beliefs of ancient societies.

At some point, he tapped my shoulder and said, "Hey. Want to go in?" He then gestured to the ocean and sat up.

"Sure." I said.

He stood and grabbed my hand, lifting me up and escorting me to the sea. As we walked closer, he stopped suddenly and stared at the sand.

"What'sup, babe?"

"Nothing, just..." He kneeled down to the wet sand and dug his hand in. "Watch this." He then cupped his hand and pulled the sand from the earth, leaving a small, blue, glowing hole.

"Wait, what?" I kneeled down to look at the hole he had dug. It was as.if the sand was reflecting the stars above, shimmering in the night. "What's going on?"

"These are Dinoflagellata. Micro-organisms that bioluminesce. They are some of my favorite creatures. They are all over the ocean, but sometimes they wash onto shore." He then threw the sand in his hand away and rubbed the remnants on his swimming trunks. "Come on. This should be fun!"

He grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the sea, and with every step I took, I could see my legs glow with a faint blue light. Eventually, we were waist-deep, and glowing completely in blue, shimmering light.

It was nothing short of magical.

"I wanted to come to this beach in-particular because of these little guys. I didn't know if they would be around or not, but I'm happy they are here tonight, with us."

He then pulled me closer and kissed me passionately.

That was exactly 10 years ago. We are still married, but decided against having kids. We were both busy people. He had his research, and I had my writing.

Throughout the past year, he had become more and more absent. Some nights, he wouldn't even come to bed until well after midnight. He had become tired, grumpy, and unresponsive.

I kept telling myself that this is what happens after 10 years of marriage. There's no way for passion to stay for so long. He is busy with his work.

Somewhere, deep inside, I began to fear that I was no longer adequate for him. Was he tired of us? Was he grumpy because of me? Did I do something I shouldn't have?

Today was our anniversary. I didn't want to bring it up, but I knew I needed to say something. This man could not have been the same person I married so long ago! He had changed. We have changed.

Maybe its time to...

I was completely lost in thought and shaken by a text notification.

"Meet me in the living room at 5. I have a surprise." It was from my husband.

"Ok." I sent back. Then immediately, "Is everything alright?"

He responded quickly with, "Yeah. Just come at 5. Love you!"

I didn't respond. Usually, I would say, "I love you too." But I just couldn't. Not now.

At 5, I went to the living room, and found him rummaging around the carpet, before pulling it up and revealing a trap door that he quickly opened.

"Wait. We have a basement?" I asked.

"It's more of a bomb-shelter than anything else." He then grabbed my hand again, like he had so many years ago. "Come on!"

The wooded stairs creaked with our weight and after he turned on a light, I could see cobwebs and dust all around, except for on one, distinct path. I guessed he was down here a lot. There was not much else to see. The walls were wooden and musty, and there was a metallic button with a single red light at the far side of the room. He quickly jogged to the wall and pressed the button, causing the wall to slowly drop with a whirring noise, opening into a small, lit room.

"Wait, what is that?" I asked as he pulled me along. "Where are you taking me? Is this an elevator?"

"Yeah, it's an elevator. Trust me, you will love this."

He pressed a button on the inside and the wooden wall rose back up while the elevator sunk into the earth. I don't know how far down we went or how fast the elevator was going, but the trip was long enough for him to comment about how he contemplated putting in elevator music, but didn't have the time.

The doors opened to a pitch-black abyss. "Do you have a flashlight?" I asked.

"No. Just wait. Let your eyes adjust." He pulled me forward and forced me down slightly onto a chair he had prepared.

Memories began flooding into my head from our honeymoon and the romantic night we spent wading into the ocean.

"Can you see it yet?" He asked.


"You will. Just wait."

Suddenly, a white light appeared above me. It was far away, as if a star in the sky. Then there was another, and another. "This is really cool." I said, "It's like we are outside."

"Wait. It gets better."

My eyes began to adjust more, and I began to see blue mixed with the white. Then green and purple. Red and orange. The world became illuminated by faint light all over.

"What is this?" I asked.

"Ah." I could now see him beside me scratching the back of his head. "10 years ago, I changed my research direction. I am now studying bioluminescence in micro-organisms." He paused for a second. "Do you see the red? That was the hardest color to get. I had to bio-engineer that color, developing the first man-made animal in existence!"

"This is cool, but..." I trailed off.

"I did this after I saw the light in your eyes that night 10 years ago. I knew there was one thing I wanted to do, but had no idea how to do it until a few months ago, so I was working tirelessly to finish it by our anniversary." He then grabbed my hand again, "Come on."

He pulled me further, pointing out all the nooks and crannies within the cave I could get caught on. I soon realized I was walking on a wooden platform, and began to wonder if he had always worked from home. Certainly he had put enough time into this place to make it a perfect research destination.

"Look over there." He said, I could see his arm point towards a small, luminescing cluster.

"What am I supposed to see, exactly?"

"You are looking at that red glob over there, right?"


"Watch this!" He then clapped his hands and the entire cave glowed brighter than it ever had before. I could see pillars of wet rock reaching from the ceiling above and connecting onto the floor, along with dark crevasses stretching much farther than I could ever hope to see. It looked as bright as day, except instead of the sun, there was a plethora of colorful dust illuminating the walls.

He grabbed my head and directed my eyes toward the wall we were looking at before. "Do you see it?" He asked.


There, where the congregation to red light was before was a heart, with the phrase "I love you" scrawled inside of it.

I hugged him, feeling ashamed for what I was thinking just earlier today.

"I love you too."

Prompt: Finding out you’ve had a basement the whole time you lived here is one thing. Finding out the basement has an elevator straight down into a hidden bio-luminescent world is entirely another.

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