Guest Blogger Chris Speciale

This will be my last guest blogger from Carteret County, the grand finale so to say. A really great story! I have so enjoyed working with these young people. Every submission I received was really good. Again, I say, please do not be discouraged if your submission was not chosen. Some were just a bit too graphic for my taste.


Chris Speciale

Senior

Croatan High School


Two Dolphins


Two dolphins twirled and danced together in the wide, spacious seas. As two

inhabitants of the waters, they would know that the seas hold millions of tales and stories

of passing fishermen and passing warships and passing dump freights. The two dolphins

never really thought much of the passersby, but spent time with them whenever they

could-the fishermen especially enjoyed the company. As the two dolphins danced, one

would sooner or later spy a small boat hanging like a cloud above them. While they

acknowledged it, they simply continued their dance before they decided to go meet the

strangers.

Upon the cloud lay two humans, one was a peasant, the other a princess. The peasant

was given the order by the king of England to sail the princess safely to America, and he

was doing a great job of it… that was until their ship sunk. The captain and the crew of it

was lost to the bottom of the sea, somewhere miles behind the two dolphins, deep within

the abyss. The peasant, luckily, was quick on his feet and took the princess and himself

aboard the small boat, where they now were. Unfortunately, the ship sank three days ago,

and since then, neither of the two had eaten anything, and they had just gulped down their

last drops of freshwater. Plus the princess was getting cold.

“I have three cherries in my pocket,” the peasant said to the princess. The peasant

couldn’t be more than forty years old, but his voice still sounded young and clear, and

was projected with a healing comforting tone. “You will eat when I say so–I don’t know

how far from land we are just yet.”

The princess sat curled up in a ball on the seat of the small boat. “I am starving! I

must eat!” She yelled, with a voice similar to the peasant’s, only lighter and more

feminine and smooth.

The peasant agreed, but ignored her. She could live a while longer… in fact she had

to-that was his job. He looked out to the sky in the direction they were coming from and

observed large gray clouds. Those clouds weren’t there earlier. “There’s a storm coming.”

“What do you propose we do about it?” The princess nagged.

Frankly, the peasant thought the only thing to do was let it pass and pray it doesn’t

sink their tiny boat. But the chances of that looked deathly unlikely and gave the peasant

a sickening feeling at the end of his gizzard.

“My job is to protect you until you get to America,” the peasant answered.

The princess hugged herself and started to shiver. “I wish I was like one of those

dolphins,” she said randomly.

“What dolphins?” The peasant asked, confused.

“Look below us,” the princess suggested. Apparently, while the peasant had his eye

on the storm, he had become too distracted to notice the two dancing dolphins swimming

beneath their boat. “I’d like to be like one of those dolphins too.” He spoke aloud.

Then he reconsidered his thought. “I wonder if I can catch one and we can eat it.”

The princess rolled her eyes to him, “Smart, man, real smart. How will you cook it?

You’re not gonna burn this boat to make a fire. And even if we had a fire, I wouldn’t

allow you to do such a killing anyway.”

The peasant looked down in regret for such a stupid thought, and cursed himself. She

was right–about the first thing she said, at least. He couldn’t understand the last thing she

said. “Why wouldn’t you allow me to?”

The princess groaned in annoyance. “Just look at those creatures. Would you really

destroy such a beautiful, joyous love such as theirs?”

The peasant shook his head, “I suppose not.”

“You wouldn’t because I wouldn’t let you.”

“Even if you were starving and we could supply fire?”

“Never under any circumstances!”

The peasant clicked his tongue inside his mouth. “Weird.”

“Heartless!” She insulted back.

Let’s hope I don’t have to prove you wrong, there, the peasant thought, worried about

the oncoming storm.

Hours passed, and the two people sat silent for most of the time, only speaking when

they had to on matters that pertained to getting the princess to land. As the hours passed,

the sunset, and the storm came closer, and the winds picked up, and the waves grew

larger, and the whole world became thrice more violent than it was only hours ago. The

world became a battlefield.

The peasant had fed the princess his three cherries. She told him they tasted like mud.

The peasant apologized, but they couldn’t have been too bad, else the princess would

have spit the cherries back out.

The peasant also had to resort to taking off his shirt and let the princess cover herself

with it. But it didn’t seem to help much. As the world fell darker, warmth bled from the

princess like a wound over her entire body. She was shivering everywhere, and the

peasant felt helpless.

The ends of the storm were directly above them now. The storm started with a

downpour of rain, then that was followed by the crashing of waves as the ocean became a

gallery of rapids.

The princess was soaked, and both her arms were stretched to both ends of the boat

with her hands clinging to the edges like they were her diamonds.

Meanwhile the peasant was doing his best to sit or stand higher than the princess at all

times. He couldn’t predict when the first lightning may strike… its approach is always all

too silent.

“Don’t worry,” the peasant assured the princess. “You’re going to make it to

America.”

The princess didn’t shake her head or nod… she simply shut her eyes and prayed to

herself, holding on to the boat, hoping it won’t flip over and drown her.

Then the peasant could see a large wave building a few dozen yards behind them.

“Hang on, princess,” he warned.

It was as if God’s fist had just punched the ocean.

The wave slammed down onto the surface of the water, and waves came rushing

forward. Half of the water dug underneath the boat, while the other half splashed up and

jumped into and over the boat–altogether pushing it forward who knows how fast!

Then came the thunder. A magnificent clap of thunder broke through the clouds and

filled the skies!

That was when the princess tried to speak to the peasant, but he could not understand.

“I can’t hear you over the thunder!” He screamed. Then the revelation occurred…

Thunder! While the thought that he had just heard thunder was delightful, it was at the

same time terrifying! The peasant was delighted that no lightning had struck him… but

what was terrifying was the question why? Unless there was another poor ship below this

storm that stood higher than they were on this ocean of chaos, it could only mean one

other thing…

“Land!” The princess’s voice was heard at last!

The peasant turned around to see a lighthouse and shadows of trees and silhouettes of

majestic buildings. They were almost home!

Just a little further!

And then came another unexpected punch to the ocean by God Almighty! The world

shook around them and the peasant was dizzy. He could not look at the land and wait to

arrive; he must keep his eye on the princess. She was still in the boat–thank goodness!

She was frozen and soaked, but she was still alive and on board.

And no one heard it coming, and nobody saw it until it came, and the peasant didn’t

feel it until it touched him, and in less than one second, a branch of blue lightning

descended from the black clouds and scorched the peasant.

And the peasant could just hear the gods toying and taunting him from above. They

were saying, “Let’s see how long this monkey can burn.”

The peasant was willing to accept that challenge.

After the strike came, the princess was blinded for a while, and then noticed how

warm the peasant was. With the strength she still had, she crawled on the bottom of the

boat for two feet until she reached the peasant and she sat up again, and she held on to the

peasant’s body, and she began to warm up. The feeling was miraculous!

Although to the peasant, the feeling was dreadful. “Don’t worry,” he forced himself to

speak through burnt lips, “You’re going to make it to America.” And my supply of heat for

you will probably keep you warm until you reach land. I’m going to die tonight, the

peasant knew, but it will save the princess. She might have died if she had to take any

more cold.

“Let’s see how long he burns,” the gods laughed in his face. The peasant accepted

them–this was his punishment for all those sins he’s committed in his life. Let them

punish me. They can’t stop me from protecting the princess.

The two were like that for a long time. No more lightning struck the boat, and no

more thunder was heard. And the rain calmed a little, and the waves had grown smaller.

Hours passed.

The princess did not realize the peasant was dead when he was. She only took

advantage of the heat that he gave off. The eye of the storm was directly above them

now, and the small boat finally reached shore.

The princess climbed out of the boat, shaking and starving, but relieved to touch the

sand again, and relieved to feel the ground once again. When the peasant did not follow,

the princess actually ran back into the boat to tell him the good news! But then she saw

that the peasant was indeed dead.

For a few seconds, the princess seemed to imitate the peasant’s state. She was

breathless… shocked at the unbelievable scene before her. But she inhaled a huge breath

of air, and then knelt down in the boat in front of the peasant and she wept at his feet.

And she wept as the rest of the storm passed by… the clouds were dissolved, empty

of rain and exhausted of all the lightning they had held.

Hours passed, and the princess wept.

Suddenly, she heard the call of two dolphins behind her. She turned around to see the

fins of the sea mammals singing a mournful eulogy for the brave peasant, who sacrificed

his worthless life for the glorious one the princess was bestowed by her king father to her.

Then the princess laid the peasant down in the small boat, and she folded his hands

over his chest, and she gently closed his eyes with her fingertips. Then she stepped out

onto shore…and she pushed the small boat-now an open coffin-out into the wide, endless

blue ocean.

The princess stood at the edge of the beach with the water washing her feet every

minute, watching the small boat drift slowly away from her. Then, as if they wanted to

carry it with them, the two dolphins swam on either sides of the boat underneath it. The

princess listened to the crying dolphins and watched until the boat was completely out of

sight, and the mourning of the two dolphins was nothing more than a faint echo.

But the words of the peasant continued to echo even louder. “Don’t worry. You’re

going to make it to America.”

And so she did, just as the peasant had promised. And to it, the princess made a

promise of her own.

“You will not have died in vain, my friend.” She swore, and shut her eyes to see

infinite darkness ahead of her.


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