Another short story. For those wondering, yes, this is a very large story I am laying out to show you. Welcome.
Part of what-
Molly sipped on the generic soda she had purchased from the small gift shop near the piers, and turned the pages of the book she had decided to read that day. It had been a quiet few days of vacation time, where Molly was meant to relax and rest. Molly had mostly followed these rules, sleeping in, walking around the peaceful ocean front town, eating well, and not doing anything too difficult, but after a few days of this, Molly decided to structure her time around a good book, maybe shop for some bath products, and end the evening with a good book, a nice bath, and maybe a fire in the fireplace afterwards. It was with this peaceful mind that Molly turned the page of her book and listened to the peaceful sounds of dolphins playing. Some fellow tourists, here more for the wildlife than the relaxation, were looking out into the ocean, spotting the wildlife, while others splashed and played closer to the shore.
Molly had found a spot on the pier, under an awning, so she could enjoy the scenery and also be cool in the shade. Molly’s best friend, in fact the very woman who had paid for and insisted upon Molly’s vacation, had given her a nice sweater, a purple and blue sweater, which kept Molly from gaining a chill from the breeze off of the ocean. The brand of the sweater was the same name as this friend’s nickname, the name everyone used for her. The dolphins played, a few boats were out in the ocean, and the beach was overall, lovely. Molly opened up the book, the first in a book series by a woman named Elizabeth Boutier, and continued reading about the magical world contained in its pages.
An hour or so passed before anything of note happened, and when it did, one wondered instantly how anyone could have thought the scene was ever peaceful. The gentle, playful whistles and clicks of the dolphins had been joined, as any of the tourists watching would have noticed, by a few beautiful whales. Molly did not know that her favorite whale was a humpback whale, but in the moment, she saw it playing with its young calf, she did know. The whale had come in closer to shore than usual, with its young calf, and the dolphins danced and played with joy, a beautiful scene. The boats moved about in a large circle, giving the wildlife plenty of room, determined to not spook the beautiful animals. The dolphins had been diving the ocean floor, kicking up sand and silt, but still the water was pretty, even if more cloudy than usual.
Sadly, the idyllic scene was masking nets dropping around the whales and dolphins. One dolphin swam, and narrowly avoided being contained in the net, from its hunting of sand dwelling fish. This dolphin, who if he had a name, would probably have a strong, good, dolphin like name, but as that no one in the scene could possibly know the dolphins name, we shall call Blue, named for his eyes. Molly, who also did not know Blue’s eyes, though she would eventually be face to face with them, saw the boats, and was suspicious of their movements, so she slipped her book into her shoulder messenger bag, and moved closer to the end of the pier.
Time moved slow for Molly and Blue, but was still wonderful and happy for the whales and dancing dolphins contained inside the crafty boater’s nets. Blue dove again, curious as to why there were less of the dolphins around him, but chalking this up to his hunting, and the other dolphins wanting to play with the new, and completely unnamed, humpback calf. The humpback mother, known as something very old and loved, can be called Soula, as she was a female soul of the ocean. Molly watched the boats, and cocked her head, urging her eyes to focus on the boats. Why were they moving like that? Surely, they risked scaring the whales and dolphins at play? Why would they want to ruin the tourism of the small town?
The waterproof watch of a dock worker clicked, another moment passed, and Soula felt an odd tremor she couldn’t explain, but one that made her uneasy. She looked around, but saw her happy child playing with the dolphins, and wondered if maybe she was simply tired, as all mothers always were, more so ones that couldn’t breathe in the water they lived in, the plight of all whales.
Molly’s own watch, ticked another second, and she saw something hanging from the boat. Molly took a few steps forward, and felt her stomach drop.
Blue surfaced, noticed the boats, and saw the top of an all too familiar structure, a net. Not a metal one, but a net none the less. Blue shrieked, wishing for any of the miracles he had heard passed from older creatures to him. The whales, both of them, and at least seven dolphins, by Blue’s count, were stuck in large nets held between two boats.
Molly watched, and realized the boats were working a long game, trying to use their dropped nets to totally incase the sea creatures. One more step forward, and Molly spied the name of a tourist agency in the town.
“For a fucking park.” Molly groaned, and looked around.
“Yeah, they told me to hold my jet ski patrons here until they finish rounding them up.” The beleaguered dock worker said, as he took yet another picture of the blonde waiting to hit the waves on a jet ski.
Time stood very still for one moment while Blue shrieked, his shrieks alerting Soula, who now surfaced to try and see what was wrong. Molly raced forward and shoved the blonde off of her perch on the jet ski, and revved the engine of the jet ski. The blonde was still under the water when Molly took off, and the dock worker was too stunned to say anything at all, until he started laughing at the soaking wet girl now clinging to the dock.
Blue watched, mesmerized, as a girl leapt from the dock and quickly took off toward the boats propelled by some sort of machine. Blue could hear and see the sounds in a way we can’t understand, and hoped it was as hopeful as it seemed.
Molly had never driven a jet ski, but it seemed to be the sort of day where she could do daring things, so she rode the waves toward the boats, and watched the water, trying to track the progress of the nets. It was a matter of moments, and those piloting the boats hadn’t noticed the jet ski, having gotten comfortable in the idea of having the ocean area to themselves.
Molli realized as she rode, that the boats couldn’t hold the creatures if the netting fell, and knew she had not only a small knife in her bag, but a multi tool, so she rode towards the closest one, cutting the engine as she neared the boat, letting the jet ski bob up to the taller boat. This boat had one of the larger looking nets, so Molly removed her knife, and moved as quickly as her now wet from water splashes hands would allow her, to cut the very thick, but mercifully not metal, ropes, holding the netting to the boat. The rope strained as the knife made its way through it, and Molly hoped that the tension wouldn’t be enough to snap her face when it finally came free.
Blue, watched this, and hoped the net would fall with the weight. Blue swam down towards the ocean bed, and noticed the netting was very long, and weighted at the bottom, so the netting would easily fall if not held up from the ropes hanging off of the boat.
Luck, as it would have it, was on Molly’s side, because while the rope did in fact jerk a snap from the release of tension when she finished cutting through the thick rope, jerked away from her, and Molly was able to avoid injury. With a kick, Molly pushed the jet ski away from the boat, and fired up the engine once more, knowing she wouldn’t be so lucky and undiscovered for long. Blue squeaked in noises to tell the now panicking wildlife of Molly’s actions, urging them to make their way free. Blue watched the net wall, opening a small wall of space for some of the dolphins. Molly made her way to the next boat, who had, as Blue could tell but Molly had yet to notice, noticed Molly. Molly had her knife in her hand as she rode, so she was able to start cutting into the rope as soon as she had bobbed up to the boat. Molly had killed the engine too soon but the waves propelled her to the boat and bumped her into it quite hard, jarring her. Molly barely held on to the jet ski, and nearly lost her knife, but managed to hold onto it for a moment, and began to cut at the rope holding the net. Blue wanted to grab the net and try to open the space more, but he lived in too much fear of net to go too close. Still, Blue stuck close to Molly, watching her work. She seemed possessed, Blue noticed while he observed Molly work.
Molly was obsessed, because this made her mad. A fresh mad, a mad that she didn’t know she had inside of her. This area was beautiful, and the laws, until recently, prevented such actions. These animals were only playing this close to shore because they had grown to trust humans to enjoy them, not abuse them, but some silly entertainment and hunting laws had allowed these kinds of people to now exploit the trust the animals had in them. Molly shook a little with rage, noticing Blue out of the corner of her eye. A large wave whacked Molly, and she was in the water, her knife gone. Molly kicked up, grateful for her abilities as a swimmer, and broke the surface of the water, sputtering. Blue was near her, Molly having fallen out side of the net, and nudged her back towards the jet ski. Molly looked for the knife while she clambered back up onto her stolen jet ski. The knife, Molly assumed, had already fallen to the depths, so she dug into her wet bag for her multi tool, glad she had attached a wrist band to it for occasions similar to, although admittedly, not this particular, situation. Molly slid the multi tool wrist strap onto her wrist, and opened the knife, to begin her work. Blue watched, anxiously squeaking and clicking to Soula, who wouldn’t swim closer to the net for fear of entanglement, something she had seen before.
Molly sawed at the rope, ignoring the shouts from the sailors above. One worker, had stopped shouting when he saw her climb back up and remove another tool from her bag, and moved towards his work area in the captain’s room.
Molly was nearly done with her efforts when another wave took her off of her jet ski. This wave also moved her jet ski away from the boat, and nearly dragged Molly over the net. Molly grabbed the edge of the net, and kicked her legs out, fighting the weight of her bag hanging on her chest, Molly dragged herself along the rope, returning to her spot she had been sawing. Pulling her weight up, Molly used one hand to hold herself up, and the other to cut the rope. Molly’s arm shook from the exertions and she knew her strength wouldn’t hold for long, as that she never worked out, not for this sort of activity anyways.
“I’m not a fucking hero.” Molly screamed in frustration as her arm shook, her certain lack of strength revealing itself quickly.
“Yes, you are!” Came a voice, but before Molly could investigate its source, she was plunged into the water, the rope having snapped, plunging the net and the rope, and Molly, into the water. Blue watched, amazed at her efforts, the net dropped in the water instantly, and Soula and her unnamed calf swam free, joining the free dolphins and Blue.
Blue was overjoyed they were free, but noticed the sailor who had disappeared had returned, and he looked angry, and had a certain energy around him that made Blue fear for Molly’s life.
Blue was right to be worried, as the man had retrieved a gun from his personal items, and was intent on revenge.
Molly, having realized why she was in the water, and also put together why she was sinking into the water, began kicking to free herself from the current formed from the dropping rope. The net had entangled on Molly’s leg and bag, however, and Molly knew in one moment why all the wild life had stayed away from the net. Urging herself to stay calm, Molly ignored the stinging in her eyes from the salt water, and carefully removed the rope from around her legs. Her bag, Molly realized in a moment, needed to be cut from her body, or else she would quickly become entangled in the falling net, so Molly used her tool to cut the canvas of her messenger bag. The two ends of the bag now easily slid from the netting, and Molly’s bag was also free. Molly kicked with all she had away from the netting, toward the clicking noises she could hear under the water. Molly blinked, and found herself face to face with the dolphin called Blue. Blue’s eyes penetrated Molly momentarily, urging her to follow him. Molly swam on, kicking hard and swimming up for air. Blue panicked, knowing the surface held bad news for Molly.
Molly couldn’t shake the feeling she had felt when staring into Blue’s eyes, wondering why he had looked at her like that, squeaking as he had.
Molly gasped for air as she surfaced, and she looked around for her stolen jet ski. She spotted it, not too far from where she had surfaced, and began swimming towards it. Blue watched, seeing where she was going, and swam beside the machine, trying to stop it from moving further away from Molly in the waves. Molly swam quickly, and didn’t notice the first bullet from the sailor’s gun whiz by her, in her panic and the sloshing of the waves. The second bullet, with Molly’s head above the water, was able to be heard by Molly, the bang ringing out across the beach. Molly didn’t “feel” the bullet whiz by her head, but was very aware of how helpless she was while so close to the boat. Molly’s mind raced, panicking, wondering how on earth some annoying tourist agency would be okay with trying to kill someone, even if she wasn’t totally on the right side of the law, which Molly felt was arguable.
Molly screamed when the next shot rang out, and was grateful it didn’t hit her, but saw it splash, and worried for the other wildlife. A final wave pushed Molly into her jet ski, causing no small amount of further bruising that Molly would notice later, but before the next bullet was fired, Molly had the jet ski turned back on. Another shot rang out from the gun, hitting where Molly had been a moment ago, and she took off away from the boats. Molly had no idea where she was going, and knew only that she needed to get far away. Molly’s mind raced, and she wondered how fast bullets could travel, and more importantly, how far.
Another two bullets shot out from the man’s gun, but these, thankfully, did not hit Molly, nor Blue, who swam alongside her under the water. The bullets slowed when they hit the water, and slowly dropped down. The bullets would later be found over the course of time, one as soon as three days from now, and one of the last found ones found three decades later, but those are different stories, one of which was told by the very writer Molly had been reading before she dove into the water, the very writer whose book was now very waterlogged in Molly’s bag, Elizabeth Boutier, so we will let her tell the tale of the bullets, sometime in the future.
Molly rode her jet ski far, with no clear destination in mind. Blue realized this, but stuck next to her. When Molly finally thought once more about destination, she slowed the jet ski down, and finally let it idle while she looked around. The boats, and also, the shore, were long gone from sight, and Molly realized with a sinking sensation, that she knew very little about navigation.
Molly saw the dolphin she had seen back at the boat, Blue, pop up from the ocean.
“That was crazy, right?” Molly said, looking to the dolphin. “I mean, to try and trap you guys, and then to try and SHOOT me?” Molly asked incredulously while tying the cut straps of her bag so she could secure it on her person instead of desperately clinging to it with her thighs and one arm.
Blue squeaked by way of response, and Molly looked around.
“I have no idea how to get home though, and that was foolish on my part I guess.” Molly hugged her arms to her chest, trying to control her breathing. Molly looked down at her arm, several scratches were there from the multi tool, open with its knife, bumping against her arm. Molly sheathed the multi tool and placed it back in her bag, shaking water from her bag and trying to sort out some of its contents. Molly checked her phone, which was water logged and she assumed long dead. Molly’s watch was water proof, it seemed, but only able to tell her what time it was, not her location. Molly had a small tourist map of the town and bay in her bag, but it was likely ruined from the water, and also didn’t cover the water, nor offer insight for how to find the direction.
Molly strained to think of the ways people tell direction, wondering if maybe she knew the direction the shore was, she could get back, but also wondered if someone would be waiting to kill her, or arrest her. Molly wanted neither of those options, so she stared at the ocean, and wondered what to do.
Blue flipped out of the water, and seemed to urge her to follow him, so after a little thought, Molly sighed and fired up the jet ski, following Blue in the water. Blue kept pace with Molly, leading the way to some destination, Molly did not know. Blue, however, did know.
Blue had been told, in the sonar communications, to bring Molly to safety, so Blue was leading Molly to a very special place, one that very few humans ever were privileged enough nor worthy enough to find.
Molly hoped the place Blue was leading her to was nearby, as the Jet Ski, she knew, was going to run out of gas soon, and as is the kismet of magical islands only the ocean life knows about, the island appeared as the jet ski began to sputter out of gas, allowing Molly enough speed to ride it up to the beach, and then drag it to the sand. Blue squeaked and chirped at her, but Molly didn’t know what he was saying or what he was trying to communicate to her. Molly sat down on the warm sand, and looked around. Blue squeaked again and then swam away, so Molly opted to explore and try and figure out her best options. The small beach had a couple of tree’s nearby, so Molly walked up to the shade of the tree, and began removing the contents of her bag.
Inside her bag, Molly found her water-logged papers, book, and maps, as well as her wallet. Molly had a bottle of water, and a couple of snacks in her bag, mercifully all wrapped in plastic, and seemingly in okay condition. Molly had a spare sweater in her bag, which was totally soaked, so she placed it in the sun on the warm sand, with a few heavy rocks to hold it down against the wind. Molly assessed how much food she had, and then dug into her bag for any other helpful items. Molly found a small stash of weed, a pipe, and, to her delight, a lighter, which had managed to stay reasonably dry, having been packed in a waterproof smell proof bag by her best friend, Roxy.
“Have a good vacation!” The note on the inside said, and Molly laughed. Roxy was known for always giving you what you needed, but this was a new skill for Molly’s best friend. Molly removed the sweater that very friend had given her, and placed it on the warm sand as well, weighted down by some rocks. Molly’s tank top was also wet, but now that her top layer was able to dry in the sun, the tank top could also try and dry a bit. Molly didn’t want to shiver in the shade, so she was glad when she found her small bottle of sun screen, and slathered it onto her now bare skin, keeping her wet tank top on, and hoping her sweaters dried quickly. Molly knew she needed to start a fire, so the lighter would be helpful. Molly also knew she needed to be calm, so she loaded and lit the pipe, considering her options. Molly was already hungry and thirsty from her wild afternoon, but before she dared eat her few snacks, she needed a game plan.
Molly eyed the small island, and found that along the base of the tall trees, fallen branches, so Molly walked forwards those in hopes of dry wood she could gather that would be suitable for burning. Molly found several large branches of wood, and eyed them, trying to identify their type. Molly was a fairly decent outdoor type, frequently camping, and having lived on her own for a very long time, Molly had learned all about identifying things for herself. Curiously, some of the wood looked like oak, and several other excellent burning types of wood, but when Molly investigated the tree’s, they were all fruit bearing tree’s. Molly also found several large oranges and grapefruit, as well as a bushel of bananas, that seemed to have fallen from a tall tree. Molly found some limes, and several large coconuts, also scattered along the ground under the trees. Molly gathered all of these fruits, and some branches, and carried them back to where her sweater was drying, before turning back and gathering several more armfuls of the unexplainable wood.
After a bit of work, Molly had amassed a large pile of wood next to her pile of fruit, and she started to survey the island. Molly was a bit away from the shore of the water, past any flood lines she could see, so, not seeing much of a better spot than near the shady tree she had found, began to dig a small hole with her hands and the edge of a branch. Before long, Molly had dug a decent sized hole, and she made a nice bed for a fire to grow, and then stacked logs in a pyramid, with small twigs underneath.
Molly was grateful for the lighter, as that there wasn’t much dried grass or other small bits of easy fire starting material, and even with the lighter, it took Molly the better part of an hour to get the fire going in the wind. By the time the fire was going strong, Molly noticed the sun was now starting to track quickly towards sunset, so she kicked it into gear and raced to gather more wood.
Molly watched the sun closely as she gathered up as much wood as she could, positively terrified of being on a very small island in the middle of a very large ocean, alone, in the dark. While she gathered, Molly also grabbed up some more fruits, knowing this could be her only food source, and she was dehydrated, the fruits could supply sustenance in more ways than one, since she hadn’t found fresh water yet. Molly’s arms were sore, and the temperature was dropping as the sun did, so Molly decided she needed to figure out some sort of shelter pretty quickly.
Molly eyed the sun, knowing she had at most two hours, probably less, until darkness, and added some more logs to the fire. The shade tree near her offered some help, and Molly searched for any supplies in her bag to aid in shelter. A small envelope tucked in her first aid kit offered some insight, a large heat saving blanket, the cheap plastic ones that folded really small, was something of some comfort. “I really need a tarp…” Molly sighed, but was grateful for the tacky blanket that would at least save her from exposure, if not keep her totally comfortable.
The sun was setting, but the beautiful sunset on the ocean, coupled with a warm fire, was a nice sight for anyone, so Molly set about making some sort of leaning shelter with the tree in the shadows of the fire and the lingering sunlight from the sunset. Some of the longer branches Molly had found gave her an idea for leaning them against the tree, and making a bit of shelter from the elements, so she set about grabbing a few more branches, and searched for any vines that may help hold these parts together, unsure of how much she could muster from her bag, and knowing the supplies would be helpful.
Oddly, as soon as Molly set about this mission, she found a small pile of nice long logs and branches, enough to make a handsome shelter if needed, if she had more time. Molly made quick use of the gifts this island was offering her, and used all of her remaining strength to pile sticks and vines onto logs and drag them back to her camp area. Molly leaned a few branches up into the tree, resting them in a Y in the tree. Some vines lashed the main beams to the tree, and helped Molly secure some smaller branches to these larger logs. Molly had found several large leaves that had fallen, while she gathered fruit, so she ran back to that area, finding large piles of leaves, with no small amount of fruit hidden in them. Molly grabbed what she could and ran back, dropping the fruit unceremoniously in the sand and lashing more of the leafs to the small structure. Molly could still barely make out the area she had grabbed the leaves from, so she raced back for one more load, grabbing fruit and piling it into leaves, before carrying a large armful back to camp. The sun still offered some light, but not enough to safely gather anything, and Molly knew she didn’t have the strength, so she set about organizing her little camp area. When Molly had been able to see the entirety of the island, it was a small thing with only a small line of tree’s that could be seen through, the other side showing another small embankment of beach, before the continuing endless sea, so she knew she was, by all stretches of logic, safe from predators, but she wanted to secure herself a little.
Molly placed some more wood on her fire, and lay a few pieces of logs next to each other, lashing them together quickly and carefully with vine. Molly had learned this trick ages ago, and before long had a nice flat shape she could lay on later when she slept, with some modifications, but for now, could sit, eat, and enjoy the remaining sunset. Molly set about feasting on the fruits she had gathered, digging into the incredibly juicy oranges and the tender ripe bananas first, knowing these offered many of the nutrients she needed quickly. Molly knew with some effort she could open the coconuts, but didn’t want to risk hurting herself in the dark, and she was far from an expert on opening them.
As the sun set, the most stunning inky blues and jewel toned purples lit up the sky, and stars started to shine brightly against the velvet backdrop of the setting evening sky. A few dolphins could be seen in the distance jumping in the water, and occasional tails and spurts of water gave notice to beautiful whales. Molly considered her day, while watching these beautiful creatures, and sighed.
“Well, I may be stuck on this island for a very long time.” Molly said out loud after slurping some more of the juicy orange she was eating. “But, it was worth it, I think. I mean, a couple of whales and some dolphins are now safe. And I messed up their net a bit, so maybe they don’t go back there for a little while.” Molly tried to encourage herself, to mostly avoid being scared.
“Someone also fired a gun at you.” Molly said, shivering. “That never gets old, does it?” Molly thought about this very long, kind of crazy, and definitely weird, day, and smiled. “Scary, but worth it. No creature should be in that situation. I am glad I did it.”
A beautiful whale call fell on Molly’s ears, and she took it as way of response. Molly smiled and continued eating, not knowing what the whale had really said.
What the whale had said, in that moment, actually, was in a loose interpretation, “You are fucking kidding me, really?” But, that isn’t as romantic sounding, is it?
The night fell, and Molly listened to the sounds of the whales, the sea was alive with sound, this small island seemed to be in the middle of a very popular whale and dolphin hang out, because she was hearing no small amount of whale singing, and dolphin squeaking. Molly ate another banana, feeling a horrible ache in most of her body from the day, her poor arms were like rubber, so she knew the banana would help. Molly sipped carefully and slowly on her water, trying to make it last longer, but knowing she was going to be in awful trouble if she didn’t find a water solution fast. Molly, to fight her worry, peeled another orange for the juice, and considered how to hollow out coconut shells. Making bowls and gathering rain water would be one option, so Molly tried to think of productive ways to gather water on the small island.
“There should be fresh water somewhere, how else would tree’s, all these fruit trees and such, there must be fresh water somewhere…I will find it tomorrow.” Molly told herself while the whales sang. Molly used her fire light to improve upon her sleeping tray, adding some of the greener branches, and adding a layer of the large leaves she had gathered down onto the sleeping cot, and set it under the shelter. Molly then lashed some shorter bits together and made something else to sit on, and watched the water.
“Important to stay calm…Important to find water…Important to make better shelter tomorrow.” Repeated these things to herself for a while turning over various thoughts on the subjects, before finally the exhaustion from the long day caught up to her. Molly added some more logs to the fire, knowing she probably wouldn’t sleep deeply enough for it to go out, and the embers were strong enough now to stay lit, and crawled onto her island made sleeping cot, meant mostly to keep her off the ground. The temperatures had dropped substantially with the sun, so Molly wrapped her heat retaining plastic blanket around herself, and folded her sun-dried sweater as a pillow over her still slightly damp hoody from her bag.
“Calm…Water…Shelter…Calm…water…. shelter… calm…water…shel…” Molly said to herself as she fell asleep.
Whales and dolphins sang and squeaked to each other, mostly about the kind one on the island, and Blue the dolphin tried to figure out what to do with the kind one on the island, knowing she may in fact be part of what is to come.
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