Chapter 2: Ecstasy
Storm clouds build up on the opposite side of the horizon. The tropical breeze grows stronger, but my eyes do not leave the floating island. I tuck my shell back in the sand, to keep it safe, and make my way into the Ocean.
This is a big step, Will, but no invader is going to pollute your island!
Mom and Dad warned me about humans. They kill sea life and claim islands as their own. They put up structures called buildings and factories and chop down every tree in their path. They are selfish brutes.
I lift my hands over my head and dive into the deep water. My eyes adjust quickly. I’m able to breathe underwater, even though I’m not a merman.
Above the waves, the clouds keep smashing together. The Sun disappears, and shadows engulf my whole body.
I kick my legs and swim in a whale-like fashion towards the mysterious figure. My blue eyes glow up, and I open my mouth. A mystical melody escapes it–the song of the Beast of the Bermuda Triangle. Mom and Dad taught it to me. This song is the only way how creatures like me communicate. It also tells humans that we’re coming.
I finish it and examine some of the Bermuda Triangle’s graves. There are sunken ships, boats, and planes. Most of them are in pieces. This is not the work of my parents and I. Something else sinks all these human creations. Serves them right for destroying the Ocean.
I grab my necklace pendant and take a deep breath.
Be brave. There is no turning back.
The pendant glows up bright blue. I hold my arms out to my sides and wait for my metamorphosis to commence.
I take on my Water Dragon form. Fin-like wings pop out of my back, and I grow a long fish tail that has deep blue spikes on it. My neck stretches out, as well as my body, and my hands turn into claws. My mouth becomes rigid, similar to that of a beak, and fins appear behind where my ears used to be. They reach down the length of my back. My belly and the inside of my tail are gold, but everything else becomes different shades of blue: sky, navy, turquoise, cobalt, and cyan. My beast self is beautiful. I am very proud of it.
I’m close to the figure now. I feel it. I flap my wings and slice through the Ocean like a fish. I poke my head out, and sure enough, there’s the mysterious figure.
She’s a carnival cruise ship known as the Carnival Ecstasy. Seeing her up close, I now realize just how enormous she is. She has fourteen decks and is white all over, but her lifeboats are orange. Her funnel is the red, whale tail-like figure I saw from my island.
I’m curious. I may not like humans, but I do like this ship. I slip my head back under and take a few minutes to circle it. I swim to its underbody and poke it with my beak. It’s hard. There’s no way I’m going to be able to break through it. I want to get a closer look at the ship itself, not just its underside. I swim back out to the Ocean and ask for it to take me up to her bow. A whirl of water twirls around my body and delivers me right to the Ecstasy’s mini golf course.
I’m looking straight into the eyes of a human girl!
Oh snap, Will! What is wrong with you?
The girl is about my age. She is the most beautiful thing I have seen in my life. She has long, dirty blonde hair and a pink flower behind her left ear. She is wearing a blue bathing suit, a hat, flip flops, and a lavender, translucent coverup. There is a golf club in her hand. I’m lucky that she’s the only one on the mini golf course right now, so she’s the only one who sees me. Thank goodness.
This is all I want in life–to stare into the eyes of my soulmate, but I never expected her to be human. I feel no fear around her, but peace, affection, and curiosity.
She gently sets the golf club down and tiptoes to me. Lifting her hand, she moves it towards my face.
I sing my song for her and stick my head out of my whirlpool. Her hand smells gentle and soft.
“What are you?” she asks.
I want to say “I’m a friend,” and “I love you,” but I don’t speak English. Therefore, to communicate, I close my eyes and press my beak up against the girl’s palm. It feels amazing.
Her jaw drops. She’s fascinated.
I admit, I am too. This is my very first encounter with a human.
The minutes pass, but they’re magical. However, I feel like the girl and I aren’t going to be alone for much longer, so I take my leave. I pull my head away from her and put it back in my whirlpool.
“Wait!” she yells, but I go ahead and drop into the Ocean.
The storm is getting closer. Black clouds cover the whole sky, but I do not want to leave, not after such a remarkable encounter with a human.
Is everything Mom and Dad told me about them wrong? Is a beast allowed to feel such things? What is happening to me?
This girl is special. I want to see her again. No, I have to see her again. Only then can I call myself a true Guardian.