Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ride

So Sam climbed up the back of Tom's shell as quickly as he could before the pair of old boys swam off.

After a last look at the rock Sam had called home, they passed the corrals and skimmed the edges of the school of sardines.  Soon they arrived at the surface, resting on the quiet side of the foamy wave belt called "the break zone".

Dorothy had just caught a wave and she looked magnificent.  Her boys cheered as she shimmied her body and nosed onto the giant tunnel known as the "green room".  Her slick silver body flew forward like a spring leaf departing the tree while cradling a drop of rain.  She turned back waving to her boys and Sam like a proud champion.

Sam felt an excitement he had never experienced before.  Last time he met Dorothy, high tide had pushed him dangerously close to the shore.  Dorothy had kindly carried him back to the glassy waters behind the surf zone after realizing his pending perils at the beach.  She was just a young dolphin learning to surf then, friendly yet shy, strong yet a bit clumsy.  Sam happily looked on as she expertly taught her boys about waves.   Sam closed his eyes to feel the breeze and shut out the shiny bright sparkles bounced around the surface, imaging a pair of wings carrying him away faster than the waves and higher than the surface of the ocean.

A few seconds later he paused when he realized he had indeed taken flight.  The world darkened despite of his attempts to open his shells wide. He couldn't see or feel the comfortable weight and embrace of salty water.  He smelled of rotten fish, decaying leaves and broken bones and torn branches reminiscent of the shorelines near the beach.   Yet he found no rocks, corrals or sea creatures to cling to, the confinement that carried him, the rising sense of danger, the stifling air smelled of... He realized then he was in the pouch below the mouth of a pelican.   As his consciousness restored, he recalled hearing the anxious screams of his friends below, from Dorothy, from her boys, from Tom and even the faint sound of his neighbors' nervous clicks and clacks.

Though he wanted to scream, cry, punch or bite, he somehow couldn't muster the strength or the will.  What could a little clam do when a giant bird carried you away as his prey?  Even among clams, Sam counted as rather lazy and pessimistic, unwilling to treat life's events as opportunities.  Just look where it had gotten him when he took a chance for the first time in his life!  He should have stayed below the rocks around the corners of darkness, hugging the underbellies of the ocean watching the busy crab scratching away his life, the bits of corral reef before them and everyone elses' ear drums. 

But he wondered, sometimes.  That faint sense of dread visited when every routine was down to sand grain level precisions.  He knew any creature who had a shred of sense would have just ignored it or swam up to the next lively reef.  But some nights, when he found the moon light came in through the waters like a knife piercing through sheets of glass, he felt the silent voice of the "purpose" loomed louder than the oceanic storms and all his neighbors combined.

Well it looked like "purpose" or not, he was about to find out. He sighed deeply as life flashed before him.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds nicely poetic in places! And it's good to have smells in a story. Poor Sam! He's braving dangers to have an adventure. :)

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  2. I like the feeling of being in the pelican's beak. Okay, so maybe I don't like it, but I can imagine how it feels. Your descriptions are really good.

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  3. Good adventures for Sam...it was easy to picture. I like your use of "purpose". Really makes you think. :)

    Thanks for stopping by and reading my guest post. Your support means a lot!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  4. This is such an imaginative, well-written story. I never thought I would be so worried about the fate of a clam!

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  5. Great writing! Dolphins are such charming creatures.

    I am wondering what happens to the clam.
    You write with so much clarity & suspense. :)

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  6. Oh, this is such an interesting idea, and it's so well-written and descriptive. I've never imagined being inside of a pelican's beak before, but somehow, it feels like I can picture it now.
    Postscript: thank you for visiting my blog!

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