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A Day In My New Life

by Wolphin

Well, I couldn't pass this one up, so here is my contest entry. I had been thinking about something along these lines for a while and the contest seemed to give me a reason to do it. Anyway, here it is, enjoy it.

A Day in My New Life.
By Wolphin.

My alarm started that annoying beeping at just the wrong point in time, rousting me in the middle of a beautiful dream. I was about to roll over and thump the clock, when mercifully, the noise stopped. I just lay there for a while grumbling about forgetting to turn of the alarm, after all, it was Saturday and I was looking forward to sleeping in. I tried getting back to sleep, but I just couldn't get comfortable. Finally I decided to cut my losses and get up. That was when the fun started.

I was lying on my stomach and tried to roll over onto my back, but I just couldn't do it. No matter how I moved, I just couldn't turn over. This dissipated remains of my slumber pretty quickly and I opened both eyes.

Whoa! Something was seriously wrong! I was seeing two sides of my room at once, and there was this big grey thing in front of me. I quickly closed my eyes again and completed a mental checklist. Yes, I was awake. No, I was not drunk. No, I was not on any 'medication'. I contemplated this, then slowly opened my left eye and looked around.

Yep, it was the left side of my room. There was the door, desk and mess on the floor, but there was something strange sticking out from where my nose should be. I closed my left eye and opened my right. It was the other side of my room, mainly a wall, with a window and a few posters. Again there was this strange thing sticking out of my head. I opened my left eye again and had a look around. I was definitely looking at two separate images of my room, with just a small overlap of binocular vision. I calmly closed my eyes and contemplated this.

Experimenting, I moved my right arm. Something moved, but it didn't feel right for an arm. It was more like just moving a hand which was attached to your shoulder, except your fingers didn't move either. In fact, it wasn't like an arm, it was closer to what I'd always imagined having a flipper would be like. It was the same with my left arm.

By now, something was starting to click. I tried to move just one legs, but they both had to move in unison. It was as if I didn't have two legs, rather there was only one... sort of like a tail. I took in this piece of information and slowly processed it. My brain protested at thinking this early in the morning, but it finally spat out an answer. It was something like :

2 x fin + 1 x tail + 1 x grey nose thingee + funny eyes = dolphin.

Strangely enough, it seemed to fit. I had always wanted to be a dolphin, so today I just happened to wake up as one. No problem. I lay there contemplating my new situation. After a while, I accepted the fact and progressed to finding out about my new body. If I concentrated, I could feel the bed sheets on my dorsal fin and my tail. With a start, I realised I was breathing through a hole on the back of my neck, but it seemed natural. I wondered about sonar and somehow a wave of sound shot from my melon, I waited for an echo, there was one, but too faint to be useful.

"Needs to be in water," thought some previously unknown part of my brain.

Water. I needed water. With a slight panic, I called for my parents. I know I yelled out "Mum, Dad!" but it didn't seem right when it came out.

Luckily, they were both nearby and burst into the room. I could tell something was wrong from the way they stopped and stared.

Mum just went "Oh."

While Dad responded with a better "Bugger me!"

I tried calling to them again, "water, I need some water."

To their credit they sprang into action. Dad ran to the laundry and filled a bucket with water which he poured all over me. It saturated the bed, flooded the room and shorted out the power, but made me feel a lot better.

Mum then started a single human bucket brigade, and Dad jumped on the phone. While Mum poured water over me, I listened into parts of Dad's conversation. They were all along the lines of : "I want to report a stranded dolphin."

"Um, bottlenose I think," pause.

"In Darlington," longer pause.

"Yes, I know that its over 30km from the ocean, you tell that to the dolphin!" This was usually followed by the sound of the phone being slammed down and muttering about the questionable linage of various people.

Eventually, my father appeared at the doorway.

"It's no good," he said. "They don't believe me, we'll have to take it ourselves."

I wanted to tell him that it was ok, not to worry, his son was fine - just looking a little different - all that deep and meaningful stuff, but I couldn't. After trying to communicate with my mother, I had established, while I could understand them, they couldn't understand me.

Anyway, their next task was to get me to the back of the ute. Considering, that by my estimation I weighed about 180kg and there was only two of them, they did a pretty good job. Lucky for me, the good old pulleys still work perfectly. Then they filled almost every container we had with water and packed it in around me. Dad jumped in the front, Mum got in the tray with me and we took off like the clappers.

On a good run, it usually takes about 40-50 minutes to reach the coast. Dad did it in under 25. He took the most direct route, which happens to come out at our one and only marine park - Underwater World. He drove up to the side gate and pressed on the horn. After a while a security guard wandered out to see what the noise was about. Dad motioned to be in the back.

"Jesus!" the guard exclaimed, jumping back and grabbing his walkie-talkie.

In moments we were ushered into the park. A team of people sprang into action. I was shovelled into a proper sling, which had holes for my flippers and had salt water sprayed over me. Other people ran around taking measurements, photos and talking to each other. A vet came and gave me a complete examination, taking tissue samples, blood samples, god-knows-what-else samples. Finally, I was lowered into a small salt water pool.

It was my first time in the water. I luxuriated in the feeling of its touch. Subconscious processes clicked in, telling me how to swim, when to breathe, how to use my sonar. I'm not sure how long I swam in circles in that pool. It was too small to do anything else, but was one of the best feelings.

Eventually, I sensed someone new approach the pool. It was the veterinarian. I stuck my head up and listened to what he said.

"Well, he's a normal, healthy, male bottlenose dolphin, aged between 9-11. From the looks of him, I'd say he's grown up near here. The couple which brought him in say he just appeared in their spare room, but the police are looking into it. We'll put him in with the others and try to re-hab him. I'd say he's got a good chance of going back..."

I stuck my head underwater again and continued swimming. Then I felt the water level falling again. Let me tell you, experiencing falling water is pretty traumatic for a dolphin. You try to swim, but end up beached on hard concrete, but after all I had experienced today, I handled it pretty well.

Once they top of my head was out of the water yet another team sprang into action. The sling was lowered and I was manhandled into it. Then I was hoisted out and taken to another pen. As I was lowered into the water, I could sense something was different. For one, this was the natural ocean, I was in a sea pen. Secondly, I could hear other dolphins nearby.

Before they released the sling I heard someone say "Got a new friend for you girls!"

"Girls?" I thought. "What do they mean girls?"

The sling opened and I was free. I powered my flukes and broke free of the group surrounding me. My sonar told me I was in a large open area, rough bottomed but surrounded by a fine mesh. I sensed someone else's sonar. Another dolphin!

I turned to the direction from which the noise had come from and found myself staring at another dolphin's face.

"G'day," I managed to stutter in my funny dolphin speak.

"Hi," she replied. "So you're the strange one are you?" I could understand her!

"Um, I guess so."

"Well, it looks as if you'll be here a while," she said. "May as well meet the gang."

She turned and headed of to a corner of the pen, with me trailing behind her. In the corner were two other dolphins. I found myself probing them with my sonar. All three were females, two about my age and one a few years younger.

"I'm Mila," said the first female.

"They call me Kilo," added the second.

"And I'm Echo," put in the youngest.

"Umm, hi. I'm called..." I paused, thinking. "...Wolphin."

I told them about my previous life and they nodded sagely.

"Happens, you know," one remarked thoughtfully.

They told me about their lives, then we played for the remainder of the day. As night fell, I reminisced about my previous life, and now, here I was. The only male dolphin, surrounded by three amorous females. Well, they say re-hab can take a long time, a very long time...

So, that was it. I hope you enjoyed it. As usual, and comments greatfully accepted.

PS - If on the off chance I actually do any good, you will be pleased to note, my prize will probably be passed on to someone else due to the fact I'm seperated from the bookstores by a few thousand miles :-)


Email : Wolphin @ Rocketmail.com
Urgent Email : EMCCONIGLEY@cc.curtin.edu.au
Web : http://student.curtin.edu.au/~emcconigley
Quote : "Eventually something funny will go here."
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Copyright 1997: Wolphin <wolphin@rocketmail.com> . If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first.       Thank you

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