A stumbling start

A super quick post cause the dog and I are waiting in the truck together for the kid to finish his swim lessons.

Behold, hear ye hear ye, read all about it….My start to NaNoWriMo 2017!

The Aliens Are Spying On Us

“Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”

I hummed the old ditty to myself as I watched the endless sky light up in every shade of red the human eye can encompass, deepest blood red to faintest pink. The trouble was it was noon, and the weather report had called for a clear day’s sail. The nearest weather of any sort was 100 nautical miles away, not nearly close enough to build such a sky. I pondered the rippling, flowing red sky, noting the shade of pink of my niece’s first birthday dress, the red of the heart shaped love letter I’d had tossed in my face a few weeks ago, the catalyst of this trip.

It was right about the time a booming shock wave knocked me on the ass of the deck of my boat and a huge wave crested and broke over the bow that I decided it was time to rouse my brother from his mid-day cat nap, with the ship’s cat aptly named Dickhead (short for Moby Dick). I needn’t have bothered to have the thought, my twin brother being as much as of a sailor as I. I had barely picked my now dripping self up to eye a suddenly becalmed sea when he burst out of the hatchway stairs, a set of parallel scratches on his bare chest to show where the cat had launched off at him when the ship bucked.

He took in my rather soaked state and the shade of the sky, his wide eyes reflecting the darkest shade of red. I watched his lips form the W sound, when I realized I heard nothing. Not the steady hum of the desalinator, the soft slap of waves on the hull, the faint whir of the wind turbine at the top of the mast, or my twin’s question. Thought what else could it be than “What the fuck?”

I shook my head and turned back to the wide expanse of ocean, which should have been relatively empty in this massive stretch between Hawaii and Tahiti. Instead the near horizon was filled with something massive and dark, sleek with the turquoise water of the Pacific spilling off it’s sides. Our beauty of a ship was not insubstantial, at a sturdy 85 feet long, but we were suddenly, utterly dwarfed by whatever took up the view to the south.

My twin’s hand gripped my shoulder and I jumped, bursting out “They don’t say what red sky at noon means!” At his wince I guessed I’d shouted in his ear, but at least I could distantly hear his response of, “You still haven’t answered my ‘What the fuck’, sis.”

Shaking my head, we looked out over the utterly still ocean to see something detach itself from the impossibly huge dark shape, heading right for us. A million possible courses of actions flitted through my head, and with the ease of the Navy’s long training I decided that waiting was the best course. Anything that appeared in a blaze of fire out of the sky wouldn’t be easily outrun, and since we were the only ship for a few hundred miles as far as we were aware (present company excepting) clearly we’d been targeted. Running away from someone who was gunning right for you was folly without more information.

My twin left my side briefly, only to reappear after a short stint below deck, now fully dressed albeit in his sailor style of board shorts and a blindingly yellow sun shirt. We stood on the starboard side and watched the shape head for us, my short Columbia dress already mostly dry in the high noon sun of the Middle Pacific Ocean.

We couldn’t quite make out the shape, other than to tell there was one, which seemed odd that I couldn’t put a word to it. Rectangular? Not quite, yet not quite round. Somewhere in between, but it had to be sleek based on the zero wake left behind it.

Writing Prompt: Answers

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     It should have shocked the breath from her, stolen her thoughts for just a moment. She was braced for it, eyes squished shut, full surfer’s wet suit tight against her, making her feel vaguely stifled as always. Instead she slipped into water which caressed her through the black suit, a soft welcome to an alien world.
     A rough grayish shape brushed past her right side, and she instinctively grabbed for it, her movements strangely coordinated despite the weight of the water. As she latched onto what she knew was the dorsal fin of a bottle nosed dolphin named Kevin as soon as she touched him, another part of her brain started muttering, “Since when can I breathe underwater?”
     She felt there were two of her, a woman who caught rides from dolphins named Kevin as a matter of course, and her landlubber side who rarely swam outside a chlorinated pool or hot tub and was still reaching for air where there was only water.
      :Of course you catch rides from me, every Saturday at this time. Why else would I be hanging out by a human pier?: She heard the words in her head, felt a strange burble of concern which was not her own, as half of her self was struggling with the not being freezing and choking for air, while the other half hung on as the dolphin, Kevin, dived deeper, heading due West away from shore at an easy clip for him.
     That corner of her self still trying to guess up from down as the light faded around them decided this was clearly too much, the last straw, chucked up her hands and went on vacation. She distinctly muttered to herself, “And don’t let the door of reason hit your ass on the way out!” which made less sense that she was mind talking a dolphin. Named Kevin, of course, what else would a talking dolphin be called?
     :Are you alright, Ambassador? You seem unduly confused.: Kevin’s voice placed in her mind again; curiously, the words seemed to have an orange tinge to them; alarm, she guessed. She opened her mouth to answer, sucked in a metric ton of water, and began to thrash, dropping her hold on Kevin’s fin, convinced she was about to drown.
     A moment later she gasped and snorted, tears and snot pouring down her face as the long rays of the evening sun caressed her face. She took a long time to just breath- actual air!-before realizing they were far from land. All her eyes could see once they cleared was the searing brightness of the sun washed ocean, stretching all the way to the incandescent horizon.
     The soft shimmer beside her in the cobalt blue waters turned into a dolphin’s blunt grey nose, one eye peering at her closely. The one shred of her mind still hanging around swarmed with questions, so she reached out and grabbed one at random.
     “How much magic are we talking about, here?” strangely relieved to hear her own voice, thin and reedy against the vast rolling ocean as it was.
      :What is your last memory of the ocean, Ambassador?: Kevin side stepped her own question entirely, but that dark round eye drew an answer from her. The truth was almost startled out, she didn’t have to think about it.
         “I grew up in the desert, hundreds of miles from any ocean. We visited a few times, last one was when my uncle died,” her voice trailing off at that bit, the thought a sore bruise she wanted to ignore, a strange tang of metal filling her mouth.
       :Oh dear, the Council warned us of this possibility.: He nudged her gently, concern seeming to radiate from him, a gentle purple in her head. :Let me take you home, the Council must be appraised and your Aunt Ursula summoned!:
     She was so startled by the incongruous appearance of a child’s villain’s name from the dolphin, she replied without thought. :Ursula? What does an evil sea with have to do with me? With all of….: she burst out before that small part of her thinking brain broke in, “Of course this involves an evil sea witch, why wouldn’t it?”
     :I’m sorry you believe Ursula evil, there is much to fix if this is so. Shall we continue, Ambassador? There is less time to waste, now.: Kevin turned into her, bumping her hand so she again grabbed him out of reflex, a move that felt oddly familiar and comfortable all at once.
     “What, go where? How do I…” she sucked her breath in and decided to go with the flow, having no option as Kevin barely waited for her grip to settle before he was diving again. She held on with purpose this time, she’d get her answers, even if she had to deal with a telepathic dolphin and a sea witch, possibly evil and possibly not, to get them.