A Diver's Wish
Ah, the sea. Calm, serene, and blue, its surface was sparkling and undisturbed. The moonlight reflected off of it, giving the water's surface an almost eerie glow
Suddenly, a strange black shape appeared. It grew larger and larger until
*SPLOOSH!* James, happy about his dive, swam over to the boat and handed his fins to the assistant at the ladder before climbing up onto the deck. He removed his mask and regulator, walking over to his seat. "Man, what a dive!"
"I know, wasn't it?" James turned to face the voice, which was coming from his dive buddy, Rob.
"Yeah. Man, I never get tired of seeing the ocean floor."
"Same here. Shame that we have to head back home to North Dakota tomorrow."
" James' gleeful mood dampened a bit upon being reminded of that fact, as there were few places to dive within a medium distance of his house. In fact, none of the diving locales in North Dakota were oceanic dives, which were James' favorite. He could only do those while on a vacation, like this one.
As James took off his gear and wetsuit, the muttering aboard the boat grew louder as more people surfaced from their dives. As this was a live-aboard trip, everyone was living and eating on the dive boat. The night dive that everyone had done had been after dinner, so there was a bit of free time before it was time for lights out. Back in their room, James and Rob began packing their gear as they discussed their trip.
"You know Rob, I think I liked that night dive the best."
"Ah, well I personally liked that dive where we saw that large shark. Remember how you thought it was going to eat us?"
"Yeah, I remember that." James paused for a moment, as if contemplating something.
"James? What is it?"
Turning to face Rob, James replied, "Oh, it's nothing that new. I was just wondering if we could do this more often."
Rob came up to James, putting his hand on James' shoulder, saying "You know we can't do that. It just costs too much, and we can't risk going into debt."
"Yeah, you're right," James said, consigned to the fact that he wasn't going to see the ocean floor again for a very long time.
"Hey, they're having a limbo party on the main deck. Wanna join in?"
"Ah, why not. Better than just sitting here."
Up top, the limbo party was going strong. Rob and James were the among the first to do the limbo, but James couldn't make it once the pole had been lowered. He decided to walk up to the balcony on the upper deck, and take a look at the ocean one last time. As he gazed over the sea, a shooting star streaked across the sky. James noticed this, and muttered to himself "Man, I wish I could see the ocean floor more often." After a couple of seconds, he said "Ah, who am I kidding. I've got a life back in North Dakota, and I can't come down here that often."
"Hey James, they're down to the last rung! You coming?" Rob's voice rang out from below.
"Sure thing Rob." James said, before walking back to the limbo party. If he had stayed a few more seconds, however, he would have noticed a strange human-sized shape pop out of the water briefly.
The next day, the ship was all moored up and everyone was ready to head back to their homes. James and Rob were among the last to get off the boat, and just as they had fully loaded their vehicles James realized something. "Ah, snap!"
"What's wrong?" Rob asked his dive buddy.
"I left my BC* in the room, that's what!" As soon as he spoke, James swiftly ran back onboard the boat and to his room. There, he began scouring the room for his BC. "Come on, come on, com-" *RUMBLE* James wasn't sure what just happened, but he decided to worry about it later.
After about 30 minutes of frantic searching, James finally found his BC in the closet. "Now, how did you get there? Well, what matters is that I've found you." He said, as he went back above deck. What he saw, however, wasn't what he expected. "WHAT THE @$#%#!" While James was searching for his BC, the boat had mysteriously unmoored and drifted out to the middle of the ocean. James was utterly surprised, especially since he was pretty sure that boats couldn't drift this far in a mere 30 minutes.
James raced up to the cabin, hoping to find something he could use to signal for help. However, all the radios were down, and even the emergency alert system was mysteriously offline. He went back to the balcony to look for anything else he could use when, out of the blue, the boat rocked violently, sending James into the water. Upon reaching the surface, James looked for the boat so he could swim for it-only to find that the boat was drifting away from him at an unrealistic speed.
James sighed, resigning himself to his fate. He was going to die here in the ocean, he just knew it. As he treaded water on the off chance the Coast Guard would come looking for him, he felt a rather strong nudge against his left leg. Looking in the direction the nudge came from, James could see nothing until there was a sudden splash of water. After he got the water out of his eyes, James gasped. And who wouldn't, if they were suddenly locking eyes with an orca! Before he could fully compute what had happened, the orca dived underwater, and began strongly nudging the bottom of James' feet. "Stop it, that tickles!" Before James could continue his protest, a pair of orcas swam up on either side of him and began rubbing his torso. "OK guys, if you want to be so friendly why don't you take me to some land, huh?" He was ignored.
As he watched the orcas push against his body, he noticed that the skin that the orcas were rubbing up against looked
different somehow. Almost as if it was changing color... Before he had any more time to process this, James felt his legs being pushed into his body. He couldn't see the orca that was doing the pushing, but he swiftly spoke his mind: "WHAT'S GOING ON?!"
James felt his spine extending, pushing something out of his rear end at the exact same rate that his legs were being pushed inward. It was almost as if the skin of his legs was being "pushed" to form this new
thing. With a final heave, the orca pushed in James' legs all the way, and the growing appendage stopped its growth. As the orca swam off, James tried to get a look at his new appendage, which was rather hard with the orcas still rubbing his body. But he did manage to get a glimpse of it, and what he saw shocked him to the core. He had a tail just like that of the orca he saw earlier.
Before he could react to this new development, the orca that had been pushing on his legs began rubbing against his hands, which began to turn black and fuse together. As he helplessly looked on, James' body became bulkier, and he could swear that something was growing out of his back. As the changes to his body pressed onward, James' hands completely fused into a pair of rounder points covered with black, rubbery skin. His arms soon began swelling into more of a paddle-like shape. James then felt one of the orcas that had been rubbing his body push his head so it was looking upwards, where it locked in place. James soon went horizontal in the water, and was suddenly pushed underneath the surface as the orcas began rubbing his entire body-even his face. He gurgled as he gasped for breath, not noticing that his head was growing larger and being pulled out into a large, face-encompassing muzzle. James did notice, however, that his hair was being rubbed out by one of the orcas (his eyes were closed from being underwater, so he didn't know which one). Surprisingly enough, he felt no pain as each of his hairs was tugged out and drifted off in the current, as he had felt no pain earlier. His whole body soon began increasing in size, with his head and neck growing at a much more rapid pace. Eventually, his shoulders and neck were indistinguishable from the rest of his still-growing body. His arms finished turning into paddle-like fins, and his eyes stung momentarily before they opened involuntarily-revealing a clear picture of the underwater world.
As soon as his eyes opened, James' first thought was to get to the surface for air. He quickly swam up to the water's surface, moving much quicker than ever before. As he swam, James had a strange feeling-almost as though he was swimming differently than normal-but he ignored it, focused on getting air. Upon surfacing, he took a deep breath in through his nostrils, and a deep breath out-through a hole on the top of his head. Shocked by this sudden physiological change, James began panicking. After a minute or two had passed, however, the orcas from earlier came and literally pushed James down below the surface. They went deeper and deeper, and James wondered if they would ever stop. Just when this thought ran through his mind, they released him, and James went to say some words to the orcas when he noticed something.
It was a shipwreck, one he had dived during a previous live-aboard trip. He swam over to the wreck, marveling once more at the life teeming within it. As he looked at the fish swimming through the ship, he passed by a room he already knew to contain a mirror covering an entire wall. James stopped, deciding to see how the fish acted when looking at their reflection. So he swam back to the room, and tried to get in-except the double-doors were much smaller than he remembered. In fact, he just barely fit his head through them. All the fish fled once he entered the room, and James suspected they fled since they were scared of humans. Upon seeing his reflection in the mirror, James realized that he was right about the fish being scared, but not about what they were scared of.
He didn't see the human that he always saw in mirrors before all this happened. Instead, he saw a healthy-looking adult orca. James decided to swim all the way in to get a better look at himself. He just barely managed to fit into the room, so James wagered that he was probably about 26 ft. long. And if he was right, that probably meant he weighed about 8,800 pounds. His dorsal fin just touched the ceiling, meaning he was probably about 18 feet tall, including the dorsal fin. Since his body took up about 2/3 of the room's height, it probably meant that 6 ft. of his height was dorsal fin. Taking a closer look, James noticed that the "saddle patch" just below his dorsal fin was a curved white oval, with its ends touching the sides of the dorsal fin. His smooth, rubbery skin was pitch-black, except for a pair of white ovals near his eyes and a white underbelly.
As much as he wanted to look at his new body, a surprisingly strong urge to head back up to the surface overtook James, and he acted on it by instinct. He wormed his way out of the cramped room and kicked his tail, heading out of the wreck and up to the surface of the water. He took in the deepest breath he could, filing his lungs completely before diving back down below the surface. As he dove and passed things that he would have longed to see if he went back home, James realized that now he could see the depths of the ocean all the time. He couldn't help but crack a smile, even though he knew it would look weird on his new face. After all
his wish had been granted.