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Stange Attraction

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Drifting along letting the current guide me, serenely feeling the reverberation of the whales songs. Suddenly I hear a change, this song was not serene it disrupts the steady beats with yelps and whoops and high ally oops. My tentacles pull in my body translucent in the water I turn towards the shore my head popping out of the water. Humans, with their strange vehicles that allow them to ride above the waves in a way I never could. I allow my body to sink lower into the depths, waiting.

It only took us an hour to get to the beach so the sun is still waiting to rise and the morning sand is cold and damp with dew. Ruby starts making a bonfire and Kevin and Joe set up our tent. Cody and I sit on the sand just watching, checking waves roughly ever seven should be at least rideable. When the fires going and the tents up the others join us. This is our tradition sitting in silence watching for the sun to rise as the blessing for our day. When the sun rises out of the ocean we jump up whooping and yelling. We run like children with our boards crashing into the waves. Ruby stays on the beach to nap before making us breakfast, how she puts up with us beach bums I will never know. We sit past the breaking waves waiting for a rider. Kevin and Joe are too excited they chase after the first wave that comes, they never caught the patience of surfing. Cody and I sit waiting the anticipation building in our limbs like a tangible second skin. Then we feel it, the approach of our wave. A small chill goes up my spine, the water is at best 40 degrees but that's not the chill I notice. Never ignore that chill, hesitation is the death of all spontaneity. I don't know if Cody is beside me or not, I'm chasing and that is all that's in my sights. My first ride of the day is an 11 footer and even when she breaks and clips my board I stay standing. Cody finishing beside me we turn around and paddle back out a shared grin on our faces. We stay out for hours before Rudy forces us back to shore to eat.

Their laughter no longer reaches my ear. I cannot feel them cutting through the water, maybe they've gone. I rise back to the surface. No they've returned to shore strange human smells of food waft over the ocean breeze cutting away at the salty tang. We have no words for these smells they do not belong in our world. One smell is familiar though, shrimp one of our people lower in status to almost all others but still a sea dweller. The smell of their cooking flesh disgusts me, I sink again waiting.

The smell of shrimp disgusts me, I sit eating my kabob of tofu and veggies watching the waves. Joe stays in this round opting to sit and play guitar for Ruby. Kevin pouts on the paddle out.

“You two are too serious I can never joke with you.” Cody shakes his head laughing Kevin and Joe don't understand our humor on the waves.

“Just watch the waves Kev.” I paddle away to my own spot taking claim of the waves that rise there. My leash is scratching and it feels too loose. On my next ride out Cody meets me where I land. I put my leg out on the board floating by Cody just in case I fall as I'm adjusting the leash. I never quiet learned how to swim but with the leash and Cody surfing by me I'll never be under long enough for it to matter. I get the leash off when Kevin comes from behind knocking my board sending me over and into the water. I start to sink.

I'm floating watching when one sinks. I had been waiting and it came right to me.

I have never seen a jellyfish outside of an aquarium and here was one right in front of me never mind that I was still sinking my arms flapping trying to stay close to the surface. It comes it's tentacles brushing along my foot leaving a searing burn. I watch as it swims up towards my face, it's graceful tentacles hold it steady. It seems to be staring at me as I stare at it.

I didn't expect it to look like this, I always imagined them differently. Our stories always made them seem to be these fierce creatures that would kill you at any opportunity. Yet this ones eyes open as it sink. Staring back at me with amazement, almost affection.

I don't know why but as I wait for Cody to come save me I'm struck more by my fascination with this beautiful animal then by my screaming lungs. I reach out my hand to touch it's head.

It's strange fin comes out towards me and I think my death is coming; however, it's own strange tentacles brush the top of my head and it tickles.

It feels so different it tickles my hand to touch it and I smile the last of my air floating out of my mouth. I don't want to leave it, I want to play with it. Right then I feel Cody's arm around my waist, he kicks us up to the surface. I let in a large gasp of air as Cody helps me back onto my board. Kevin sits giggling, proud of his prank. Once Cody get's himself seated he properly punches Kevin in the jaw sending him reeling slightly. I look down into the water searching for the jellyfish it floats under us almost apart of our group but still a world away. I reach down wanting to touch it one more time.

I see it reaching for me and I want to rise up and feel those tentacles again. My fear has vanished, maybe our legends were wrong. Perhaps they are not evil creatures, I rise to meet those tentacles for a brief second.

Kevin ruins it, as the jellyfish reaches me he screams kicking his legs sending a current that rips my new friend away from me.

Like an unfair god the waters current sends me away and I am powerless to fight against it. I'm sent away, I may never see this strange human again, but I love it.

That day when we finish surfing I make a stop at the aquarium my foot wrapped in a small bandage, when it heals I'll make the jellyfish scars into a jellyfish tattoo. To keep my friend close to me. I sit in the jellyfish walk for hours Cody as my only other companion. I watch them swim and marvel at their grace. I want my friend and I wonder where the sea has taken him. I'm not sure what happened under that water or if it was the lack of oxygen but I felt something with that jellyfish and the feeling won't leave.

I travel to new shores finding new humans my fear having left me I dance in the surf made from their vehicles waiting till my human finds me again. If the currents are kind I will float back to the waters where we met; even if they don't the tickle of those tentacles lingers.





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