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Silent Waters: Based On A True Story Part I

The warning sign loomed overhead on a nearby branch. I dismissed it and
slipped through the web of razor wires. The malevolent barbs seemed to reach out and try to snag my clothes, but I slipped through aware of the dangerous spikes. I was one of the smallest boys in the small fishing village of Taiji, and for that, I was the best at maneuvering my way between the barbed barricades of the southwest cove.

The game that I was playing was simple, but perilous. The objective was to find the can of Naru Noodles, which the boys used at their “flag” in a dangerous game of capture the can. The difficult and most exciting part of the game was avoiding getting apprehended by the fishermen of the southwest cove. The small inlet of Taiji was used for fishing operations and seemed to be the most overprotected business in the small town of Taiji. They seemed to hide every thing they did. They even used a net, gargantuan in size, to obstruct any aquatic entrance to the cove. And on the steep hillside that surrounded the inlet they had constructed colossal barricades, made of wooden stakes and thousands of feet of barbed wire. Little did they suspect that their barricades didn’t effect the actions of the local boys of Taiji.

In fact, the boys used the restricted mountainous terrain, which surrounded the cove, as their personal playground. Fortunately, the vegetation that grew up and down the bluffs hid most of their play. I came to a clearing in the brush, and peered down at the murky green waters in small ocean nook below. A few boats were corralling fish not far from the netted entrance. The blue tarp, which took up a large portion of the shore and sea line, clashed with the oceanic surroundings. The fishing warehoused neighbored the bright blue tarp, idle. Soon the fishermen would be back with their catch of the day, the “big game” like tuna or whale. Furthest back into the cove was the grand Taiji Aquarium. This famed building bordered the cove and Main Street, obstructing any view a pedestrian might have had.

It was in this majestic building where the pride of Taiji resided, The Taiji Dolphins. Everyone in the small town had a curious infatuation with the beloved dolphins. Their gleaming silver statues decorated town hall and Main Street. Dolphins were adored in Taiji, with their marvelous tricks and performances. They seemed to be able to bring endless joy to anyone who watched them.

I moved from the clearing, remembering my task here was to find the can and bring it back as a token of bravery. I stalked the can in stealth searching for the clashing colors of mustard and cherry red. The remains of a brilliant Japanese autumn was scattered on the steep hillside, forgotten in the heat of summer. I carefully avoided the crumbling slippery browns and burgundies, aware of their reputation to claim victims. Then I saw it, the plain can of instant noodles seemed to be a gleaming trophy in the hollowed tree log. I dashed for the noodles when my feet flew from under me. I was no longer ambulatory as I slid down the steep hillside the dead leaves flying up behind me. I plummeted further down as I tried to grab for anything, a twig or a root but I could reach for anything as I tumbled down to mountain to what I was sure would be my impending doom. Then, the rustle of the leaves was silenced as I flew of the edge of the bluffs through the air without a sound. Limbs failing as the dead leaves circled around me I looked down and saw the green waters slapping against the rocks about 20 feet below. A moment of silence and then my body met the warm coastal waters of Taiji.
The momentum of my fall shot me beneath the surface like a bullet. Under the water .I was greeted by bubbles, that swum around me. I swum up to the surface and gasped for breath. I couldn’t comprehend my own stupidity or the fact that I survived and was now swimming in such an exclusive place. My silent fall from the cliff above probably went unnoticed with all the bustle of the morning catch. I decided I needed to prove to the other boys that I had swum in the restricted waters.

I swum deeper down into the opaque waters that surrounded me, looking for a souvenir to prove my feat. I thought of the barnacles that clung to the rocky shores and swum to the surface to retrieve one. The rocks that made up the cliff were covered in shell dwelling creatures and were very significant to the cove. I snapped one off with a quick motion and cut my hand. Pain swelled in my hand and I applied pressure with haste. A few drops of blood made their way through my fingers and dripped down, staining the water crimson. The dark red spot stayed for a second and then dispersed itself. I pressed harder on the cut and convinced myself that it would not get in the way if I ventured further into the cove. I took a piece of my shirt and tied it expertly around the wound like an eagle scout. Then I slipped the intact part of the shell in my pocket.
I propelled myself deeper into the waters exploring the forbidden ecosystem.



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