Race to the Ocean

October 3, 2008
The light that usually peeked through the paper-thin layers of my shell was gone. After being in here for an eternity, I was used to the changing in the light as the time passed. Everything was the same in the dark comfort of my shell except that it was feeling unbearably cramped. According to the whining and rattling coming from the eggs next to mine, my siblings felt the same way about the available space in the shells and were probably just as uncomfortable as me tonight. Not only did my home seem shrunken, but it also felt strangely fragile. Almost like of I was to bump it, the shell would shatter like glass.

The mere thought of breaking my shell and crawling out of the nest to gaze at the sun hitting and warming the sandy beach made both my bones rattle, and my heart leap. All my siblings and I had ever known was the cool and relaxed environment of the nest. What a change it would be to exist in the bustling and busy world outside! I kept both my thoughts and my questions of the outside world to myself where they clawed at the back of my mind, demanding attention, until the light outside was completely diminished.

I could feel the silent thinking, and worrying, of my siblings in the darkness. During our time in the nest, we had developed a kind of sixth sense where we somehow knew what we all were thinking. Our moment of shared feeling and silent conversation was interrupted violently when a splitting crack to my right echoed in the deathly silence.

We were all startled by the sudden and slightly disturbing crack of an egg. But I seemed to have been the last to recover because by the time my heart restarted, the shatters were sounding from all around me now. I didn’t have a choice but to follow along.
At first, I only made a crack big enough for me to spy through in the direction of most of the racket. I was horrified to discover that everyone else had broken out of their eggs and some were now waddling out of the ditch where our eggs had been buried.
“Well,” I mumbled to myself, “I can’t just sit here and wait for them to come back.” If they every come back, I added silently.
When I had thought my home looked fragile, I was right. It took barely a moment to thrash my way out of the egg and take my first breath of fresh air. I broke out just in time to see the remainder of my siblings amble out of the ditch. I used my four new flippers to claw my way out of the ditch in a similar fashion that I had broken my egg.
The reality of my freedom crashed down upon me suddenly just as the waves pounded on the rocky shoreline. I gasped silently when my eyes wandered to the sky to see dark shapes hovering ominously over the heads of the other turtle hatchlings as well as mine. The shapes were swooping and diving towards my siblings, snapping their beaks menacingly. My brothers and sisters all cried out in fear and started waddling twice as fast as before.
“Wait up!” I called out desperately to the stone-shaped turtles that were becoming smaller and smaller in the distance.
I struggled to keep up with my family, already half of them had made it to the roaring black waves of the ocean. I was still ten feet away.
Sadly, I would later find out that two of my siblings were carried off by the black silhouettes and another three would be lost in the swirling white body of water. But at the moment, I was one hundred percent focused one my destination, the ocean. And even thought I was so close now, there was still a chance that I would never get my first swim in the warm, salty water.
It proved difficult walking on legs that I had only known for a few minutes, but the longer I waddled the more I got used to them. And the more I got used to them, the nearer I got to the sanctuary that was the ocean.
At the same moment I knew I would make it, an enormous wave reared up and pounded me down then sucked me into a swirling vortex of water. The current yanked at my puny limbs from all directions. Just as I thought I would be ripped in half, it all came to a sudden stop. I kept my eyes squeezed shut as I drifted aimlessly, my body still in shock, through the ocean. The light current pulled me gently, back and forth. I finally pried my eyes open, my vision engulfed by the deep shades of blue, when I decided I had better start looking for my family.

I called out to them as loudly as I could, but no answer came. Just as I was about to spiral into panic, I head a faint voice a few feet away.

“Over here Sheldon, we’re over here!” shouted the voice of one of my siblings.

I had made it home.

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