Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chapter 5: Changes

Tristan was standing by the entrance of the park, his arms crossed over his chest. He was trying to look very grumpy as he waited for Nora to meet him. He was hoping that by looking as unpleasant as possible, he’d be able to scare away potential customers. Unfortunately, his plan wasn’t working. He was just getting a lot of strange looks from the tourists.

“Don’t eat the food! It’s poisoned!” Tristan hissed to a couple that was walking past. The gatekeeper turned to give Tristan a quick glare. Tristan flashed him a fake smile before he turned to a family that was walking through.

“Be careful! The sharks are known to eat little kids!” Tristan whispered to the two small children in the family. The little girl looked at Tristan like he was insane and the little boy stuck his tongue out before his mother pulled him away. Tristan frowned at them as they walked into the park.

Just then, a bright blue shirt--the uniform of the park employees--caught his eye. He glanced over at the gatekeeper, wondering if he had called security, before he turned his gaze back to the blue shirt. He smiled as he realized it was Nora walking towards him with a very unhappy expression on her face. She smiled and said “good morning” to the tourists as they passed her, but each time she saw Tristan, her glare returned.

“Nora! It’s so good to see you on such a nice morning!” Tristan said happily, turning up his annoying factor.

“Yes, it’s lovely. Or at least, it was before I remembered that you met my boss yesterday and made a good enough impression that you actually got a job.” Nora said quickly. Tristan beamed with pride.

“And my mother said that I wouldn’t amount to anything…” Tristan sighed, looking off into the distance. Nora stared at him for a moment when a baffled look on her face. She shook her head and sighed heavily.

“Just…come with me, okay?” she said, grabbing his wrist. Tristan let out a yelp of surprise as Nora dragged him along behind her. She led him to the park’s welcome center and brought him through a door that said “Employees Only.”

Tristan looked around the room with a little bit of awe building inside his heart. It wasn’t a big room, and it wasn’t very showy, but he’d never actually been into an “Employees Only” room that wasn’t at a fast food restaurant. Needless to say, this room was much better than all of those.

There were lockers all along two of the walls, and there were wall lights above some of the lockers. The lockers were the same color as Nora’s shirt, and the walls were a light sage green. There were overhead track lights that illuminated the entire room. In the center of the room was a large wood table with chairs all around it. There was a counter on the wall to Tristan’s left, with a coffee maker, microwave, and sink. There were cupboards above and beneath the counter, all of them made out of dark wood.

Nora glanced over at Tristan as he looked around the room. “Do you like it?” she asked, snapping him out of his trance.

“Oh, yeah, I guess…” he said with a shrug. Nora rolled her eyes, but there was a light smile playing on her lips. She walked over to one of the lockers and motioned for Tristan to follow her. He meandered over and stood next to her, his hands in his pockets.

“Okay, this is your locker.” Nora said, opening the locker up. She handed Tristan a piece of paper. “Here’s the combination…” she said as he took the paper from her hands. “And it works just like a school locker. I can’t imagine you’ve been out of school long enough to forget how to use a locker, so I’m not going to explain that to you.” Nora said quickly. Tristan scoffed.

“Well, thanks for giving me that much credit…” he mumbled. Nora ignored him.

“You can keep your clothes and any other belongings in here during the day then pick them up at the end of your shift.” she continued, stepping out of the way so that Tristan could look inside the locker.

“So, is lunch provided?” he asked, peering into the locker. It wasn’t very wide, and it was only a half-locker, but he really didn’t need that much space.

“If you bring money to buy something from one of the restaurants or venders here.” Nora replied from the other side of the room. Tristan turned around to look at her just in time to get a shirt thrown in his face. He pulled it away from his face and gave Nora a quizzical look.

“That’s your uniform. You apparently weren’t informed that employees are supposed to wear khaki pants, not khaki shorts.” Nora said with a sigh.

“Hey, at least I’ve got the khaki part down.” Tristan said with a shrug. Nora rolled her eyes.

“Just get changed in there--” Nora said, pointing to the door on the wall to Tristan’s right. “And meet me in outside the welcome center when you’re done, okay?” Nora finished quickly.

“Okay, okay…” Tristan muttered, taking his shirt into the other room. He closed the door and smiled as he heard Nora let out a heavy sigh. He was going to make her life miserable.


Tristan walked out of the welcome center and saw Nora talking with a happy couple. He smiled as he approached them. This was going to be fun.

“Yes, but I’m going to guess that the Water Spout isn’t going to be your cup of tea,” Nora said with a friendly smile. The couple laughed.

“No, I think that would be a little too twisted for my stomach to handle.” the other girl said with a giggle.

“You have a sensitive stomach? I would suggest not going to any of the restaurants here, then.” Tristan said, butting into the conversation. The couple looked at him with confused expressions while Nora stared at him in shock. “Yeah, a LOT of cases of food poisoning come from these restaurants, and don’t even get me started on the vendors!” Tristan said with a small laugh. Nora’s mouth fell open as the tourists exchanged worried glances.

“There are also some pretty intense attractions in here, like the dolphins at five. Pretty scary--” Tristan was suddenly cut off when Nora elbowed him in the ribs.

“I’m sorry, you’ll have to excuse him. He’s a compulsive liar. He just can’t control himself.” Nora said quickly. The two tourists looked at her skeptically. Nora nodded convincingly and their skeptical looks began to slowly fade away.

“I am not a compulsive liar!” Tristan gasped, clutching his stomach where Nora had elbowed him.

“Don’t listen to a word he says, just go enjoy your time here.” Nora said quickly. She smiled then began pushing the couple away from Tristan. Tristan glared at her as she walked away.

Nora turned around and stormed towards Tristan, a look of hatred in her eyes. “Listen, Tristan, here’s how the game is going to be played: if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. If you behave yourself and speak civilly, then I’ll do the same.” Nora said patiently. “However, if you are mean to me, I will be mean to you. If you misbehave and don’t speak civilly, then I’ll do the same.” she finished, getting as close to Tristan’s face as she could. She had to stand on her tiptoes in order to do this, and even then she was still a good two or three inches from his face.

“Do you understand these conditions?” Nora asked, sounding much more threatening than Tristan had ever thought possible.

“Um…yes…” Tristan said slowly. He and Nora stared at each other for a moment longer before Nora flipped her hair over her shoulder and turned to walk off.

“All right, follow me. I’ll show you what your new job is all about.” Nora said briskly. She walked away quickly and Tristan sighed. This might be harder than he had originally thought…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chapter 4: The Blanket Octopus

I looked down at the water below me. It was clear and blue and poorly lit. I sighed and tapped my flippers against the cement I was standing on. I was feeling a bit nervous this evening, which really wasn’t like me…

It was night and the zoo was closed, but there was still a guard lurking around. He didn’t usually come down this way, but I was still feeling on edge. Once I jumped into that water, I was out in the open with no hiding place. I took a deep breath, said a short prayer, then dove in.
I swam down through the tank, being sure to keep my breathing steady. I had a full tank of oxygen on my back, but I didn’t want to use it all up right away because I was breathing poorly. I glided along slowly, glancing out of the tank as I passed. The only lights on in the room outside were small wall lights. None of them were shining on the tank, but a light from above shone down and illuminated the water with an eerie glow. I swam farther down, my muscles tensing.

I peered through the water and shivered. I wasn’t a fan of the dark, and the water just kept getting darker and darker the farther down I went. Where are you, my pet? I wondered as I took another breath.

As if to answer me, a dark shadow suddenly shot up through the water. I flapped my arms and legs madly, completely surprised by the creature’s appearance. My heart beat loud enough for me to hear it, and I put a hand on my chest to try to calm it down. I realized I was inhaling quickly and began to slow down my breathing. Once I had calmed down again, I closed my eyes and sighed. I opened my eyes again when I felt something touch my arm. The giant creature had come down to ask if I was all right.

You scared me. I said, turning to face the beast. She just swam past me, as if to say that she knew that all ready. She came back quickly and rubbed her head against my abdomen. I reached my hand out and pet her as she went past me.

Why were you so on edge? She asked, floating a few feet away from me. I shrugged.

I had an…interesting day… I replied. I tried to seem nonchalant, but I knew she wouldn’t buy it.

Riiight… Well, I scared the living daylights out of at least forty people today. She beamed, twirling through the water.

I’m glad that makes you happy. I said dryly, rolling my eyes. She giggled and I realized again how much of a child she was. I have some really good news, though. I continued as I swam towards her. She stopped spinning and looked at me.

What is it?

I’ve found someone who might help us. I replied with a smile. She stared at me quizzically for a moment. I might finally be able to get you out of here!

I dunno… I kind of like it here… She said softly. I stared at her, shocked.

You only like it here because you can scare people. Think beyond that! I can take you back to your home, back to where you came from. I said, swimming around her. Think about it--open spaces, more food, maybe you’d meet a nice guy… I continued, smiling. She sighed.

I just… I don’t know how I would do out there…

You’d do fine. I’d be there to help you. You know I wouldn’t just leave you to fend for yourself.

Yeah, I know… I just…

You’re just what?

I’m scared.

I stared at her, taken off guard. My eyes filled with pity as I swam towards her again. You’re completely healed now, I said. There’s no reason why they should be keeping you here, and you don’t have any reason to be scared. She looked down at her long tentacles.

I know… But I’m still scared… Just like you were scared when you dove into the water. You didn’t have any reason to be scared, you just were. She said, looking up at me again. My eyes met hers and I felt my heart breaking for her. She didn’t deserve to be in this box… She deserved to be in the ocean, off the coast of New Zealand… And she didn’t even realize it.

We’re going to help you, and it’s going to be okay. I promise. I assured her, placing my forehead against hers. She sighed and looked up at my pitifully.

Okay… She said softly. I smiled. Just then, the beam of a flashlight caught my eye. I gasped and she turned to look. The guard was coming.

I’ve got to go! I said, swimming upwards hastily. She spread out her tentacles to try to hide me from view as she swam along with me.

Okay, don’t get caught! She called when I reached the top of the tank. I poked my head out of the water and began crawling onto the cement outside the tank. Once I was out, I turned around and waved to my friend.

I’ll talk to you later, but I’m not sure when… My schedule just got a little busier. I said with a sigh.

That’s all right. Just don’t get caught! She called, turning up to look at me. I smiled then jumped up. I removed my flippers then dashed off to put my diving gear away. I was feeling much better after a talk with my little sister, even though I had almost been caught…

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chapter 3: Tristan

Tristan leaned lazily backwards, staring up at the sky. It was a perfect blue day, a day that tourists loved. A day where all of your plans came together flawlessly, just because the weather cooperated.

Tristan was about to ruin this day.

He sat up just in time to see an employee walking out from the zoo’s gift shop. She looked to be in her early twenties. She had brown hair pulled back into a neat ponytail, and from the distance Tristan was at, she looked fairly average. He watched her, waiting for her to notice him. She was bound to notice him… He was in a fairly odd place, after all.

Just then, the woman looked up at him, looked away, then looked back quickly. Tristan smirked as she walked towards him briskly. When she came to the base of the wall he was on, she stared up at him.

“Excuse me, sir,” she began politely. She had to yell a bit to make sure that he heard her. “But, we usually ask our guests to stay on the ground.”

“I am the exception to everything you’ve ever learned.” Tristan replied. She stared at him quizzically.

“Sir, please get down. We really don’t want any children thinking that it’s all right for them to crawl up on the walls. While you understand the risks involved with being up on that wall, children might not, and we wouldn’t want them crawling up there and then falling down.” the girl explained very politely. Tristan saw her point, but even the emotional appeal of children’s safety would not deter him.

“Sorry, but I can’t come down.” Tristan said, not sounding sorry at all.

“Why not?” the employee asked, still managing to sound patient. Tristan smiled as he began his tirade.

“I am protesting the very existence of this amusement park. I mean, the words ‘amusement park’ are worth protesting in and of themselves. People are coming to this place and gawking at poor animals that have been taken from their natural habitat and forced to live in confined spaces. Not only that, but the animals have been trained to do idiotic tricks for a couple of little fish! All while people clap and cheer and pay hundreds of dollars just to spend two to three days here.” Tristan paused, waiting for the woman to reply. She stared at him for a moment before speaking.

“Sir, I do not want to yell at you when I try to refute your argument, so I would greatly appreciate it if you came down to my level so that we could continue this conversation.” the woman said, still sounding very calm and patient. Tristan was not expecting this response. He wanted some emotion, some screaming, some yelling. Something that would make this woman look bad and create bad publicity. He sighed and realized he would have to get off of the wall and talk to her face to face in order to get any more of a reaction…

Tristan stood up and, very carefully, walked over to the overhanging tree branch that he had used to crawl up onto the wall in the first place. He grabbed the tree branch and swung himself over it, straddling it like a horse. He inched his way to the trunk of the tree then climbed down to the ground. He made fast work of climbing down; it was the balancing part that made him go slowly.

“Okay, I’m down on the ground now. Anything you’d like to say to me?” Tristan asked, purposely sounding more annoyed than he was.

“What’s your name?” the girl asked.

“Tristan.” he replied shortly.

“I’m Nora,” the girl introduced herself. She did not, however, extend her hand in a show of friendship. “Now, you have every right to protest and think whatever you want, but we would really appreciate it if you would do it outside, okay?”

“We? What, is there a mouse in your back pocket? Or is someone listening in through that headset of yours?” Tristan asked, motioning to Nora’s headset. Nora stared at him, trying not to look annoyed, but frustration showed in her eyes.

“When I said ‘we,’ I meant me, my manager, and the owners of the park.” Nora replied. Her voice sounded patient, even if she didn’t look patient.

“It’s public property. I can protest wherever I want.” Tristan said, leaning towards Nora. He found that invading a person’s personal space always worked to further annoy them.

“Check your information, sir; this is a privately owned park.” Nora said. “You might want to do a bit more research before you begin bombarding an organization with false statements.”

“Oh, so it’s not true that the animals are confined to tiny spaces? It’s not true that they’re trained to do stupid tricks? It’s not true that people pay obscene amounts of money just to watch those stupid tricks?” Tristan asked, his voice rising with every question. Once Tristan had finished his rant, his nose was only inches from Nora’s nose.

Nora stood there, staring up at Tristan with a soft glare on her face. She had hardly flinched through his outburst, and he wondered how long it would take for him to break past her apathy until he reached real emotion…

“No, it is not true that the animals are confined to small spaces. They are trained to do tricks, but ‘stupid’ is a relative word that most people would not use to describe them. People do pay a lot of money to come to the park, but we are a business and we can’t just let people in for free.” Nora said. She now had an annoyed undertone in her voice, even though she seemed to remain calm.

“This is an organization that takes advantage of animals and the tiny brains of human beings.” Tristan snarled.

“This is an organization that helps animals and brings joy to thousands of people each year.” Nora retorted.

“This is a place that sucks intelligence out of anyone who enters!”

“This is a place where children learn about fish and other aquatic animals!”

“This is a park that puts insanely high prices on cheap trinkets just so people can remember their time here!”

“This is a park that provides people good memories that they’ll have for a lifetime!” Nora yelled, now completely furious with Tristan. The two of them stood there for a moment, fuming at one another, before either of them realized that people were staring. Nora sighed. Tristan smirked.

“I’m sorry, everyone!” Nora said, turning to the group of people that had stopped to watch. “My boyfriend and I were just having a fight about my job. He’s just insecure and needs attention, so he wants me to spend more time with him.” Nora said convincingly. The people seemed to believe her story and began walking away slowly. Nora sighed then turned to look at Tristan, a glare back on her face.

“Boyfriend?” he asked incredulously.

“Look, if you want to protest because you think the park is a bad place, fine! Just do me a favor and learn more about it first, okay? Before you get all judgmental about our organization, figure out what we’re all about. Take some time to know us before you start talking trash.” Nora said in a soft but angry voice.

“Well, are there any jobs open?” Tristan asked, returning her tone.

“There are always jobs open in the summer.” Nora replied quickly. Her eyes suddenly widened as she realized what she had said. Tristan smiled.

“Well, then, hook me up with the boss and we’ll see what I learn by being totally immersed in this place.” he said, crossing his arms over his chest in a satisfied way. Nora stared at him for a moment, and Tristan was almost certain that he could see the anger rolling off of her shoulders.

“Ugh!” Nora exclaimed before she turned around and stormed off, clenching her fists at her sides. Tristan threw his head back and laughed.

“Ah, sweet victory…” he mused. He glanced down at his watch. It wasn’t even ten o’clock.

He was going to get a summer job. And he was going to make this place a living nightmare.


I have a hunch that these chapters are probably being written slower than any other work of fiction I've written. I've probably written slower when working on an essay for school, but I'm sure that even some of those essays went faster than these chapters are going.
I have also realized that these chapters are fairly short. In Works Word Processor, they are only two to three pages long (in Times New Roman twelve point font). I suppose that's not a very bad length, but in comparison to some REAL novels, two to three pages is not a very long chapter. And, if I plan on only having thirty chapters, it's not going to be a very long book.
I'm on day three and I'm already having doubts about the success of this project...
However, I know that I will at least finish this story, no matter how short it is or how long it takes to write one chapter. I will at least give myself the satisfaction of finishing, because that is what really matters with this entire challenge.
Currently, I'm just happy with having gotten chapter three done before eleven o'clock at night.
In other news, it has been brought to my attention that posting this story online might lead to some problems. Both stealing and publication issues have been brought to my attention. So, because of this, I feel the need to end this post with a warning:
If you steal my story, you can be sure that the truth will find you out. And once the truth does, you'll have at least one very unhappy person to deal with.
All right, that's the end of my warning. It may get more severe as time goes on, but I feel like that will suffice for now, since we're only two chapters into the story and it doesn't appear that anyone is reading this blog anyways. Oh, well. I'll post chapter three soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chapter 2: Nora

Nora stormed forward, clenching her fists at her sides. Her day had been going very well, but everything was suddenly going very wrong.

The day had started normally. She woke up, had a bowl of cereal, got ready for work, and was out the door in an hour. The drive to work had been fairly easy, considering it was summer and the tourists were never very collected when they were behind the wheel. Today, however, Nora had not swerved for anyone, nor did she have to stomp hard on the breaks because a careless driver pulled out in front of her.

Once Nora had gotten to work, all of her coworkers had been very cordial and nice. She smiled and greeted all of the people she passed, and her smiles and greetings were returned. She had noticed that not all of her coworkers were “morning people,” so it was nice to see them opening up at an earlier hour.

She couldn’t blame them for being in a good mood, though. The sun was out, the breeze was cool, and the air smelled of freshly cut grass and saltwater (a strange combination, but one that Nora liked very much). It was the perfect day… Until about eight o’clock.

The gates to the park opened at eight each morning and closed at eight each night. It was a popular attraction year round, but in the summer, people flocked in. Today had been no different. As soon as the gates swung open, people swarmed in. They were organized into lines then let into the park once they had shown (or, in some cases, bought) their ticket. Then, they spread out in little packs, traveling this way and that through the park, looking at all of the attractions and animals. At that time in the morning, the most popular attraction was the zoo. And that was exactly where Nora’s problems began.

Nora’s job at the park was to give tours through the zoo. Her first tour started at 8:15 in the morning, and she always started exactly on time. She looked down at her watch and saw that there were minutes remaining before she had to begin her tour. She glanced up at the people waiting at the zoo entrance and noticed that there weren’t many people there. She had a list that contained almost twenty names… Nora frowned but shrugged the matter aside. If the others didn’t show up, that was their loss.

She walked forward towards the group of tourists and smiled. She had been giving tours for a year and she was well informed about all of the different creatures in the zoo. There had been only a handful of questions that she couldn’t answer, and those had all been in her first few weeks of giving tours. She was confident and outgoing by this point, but something seemed off today… She glanced down at her watch again and took a deep breath. Time to begin.

“Good morning, everyone!” Nora said over the noise. She had a headset with a microphone on it, but she never turned it on until the entire group was inside the zoo. “My name is Nora and I’ll be your tour guide this morning.” She smiled and began counting heads. “Is this all that we have for the tour today?” Nora asked, not expecting a response. The tourists looked around, trying to figure out how many of them were there for the tour. “Hm…” Nora mused to herself. She only had about half of the people that were on her list… “Well, I guess we’d better get started.” Nora said with a shrug. It was 8:15, and Nora was never late.

She began leading the group through the zoo, showing them the fish first. She loved to look at the fish in the aquariums and watch them dart around, looking for another fish to chase. After the fish came the aquatic mammals. There were manittees, dolphins, and a few small whales, as well as seals. The dolphins were a favorite among the crowds, and people especially liked it when divers went into the dolphin tank and swam around with the animals. Next, Nora led the group through a glass tunnel that was surrounded by water. There were sharks and stingrays on all sides. Nora always had a smirk on her face as she led people through this hallway, because someone always screamed. Sometimes, it was because a shark would pound against the glass, thinking it could get to a small child’s colorful hat. There were other instances where a stingray or two would follow the group all the way down the tunnel and watch them for a moment before swimming back in the other direction, and that always seemed to intrigue tourists. Nora then led the group through the section of the zoo that housed the penguins and two polar bears. Nora knew that the penguins were a crowd favorite because of their cuteness. She always had to stop for a couple of extra minutes so that the group could just watch the penguins swim and play. Finally, Nora would lead the group to the last exhibit…

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Nora said, her voice carrying through the large chamber. “The blanket octopus.” Nora beamed as she stared at a sheet of glass that spanned the entire wall. There was water on the other side of the glass, but it was clear and blue and empty. The tourists stared at it, puzzled.

“Must be a pretty tiny octopus…” One man muttered, walking closer to the glass. The tourists walked forward, peering into the water-filled chamber. Nora’s smile became more and more mischievous. They were all in for a surprise, just like any other group Nora had ever led.

Suddenly, the crowd gasped and recoiled. A brick red mass, looking much like a sheet being pulled through the water, shot up in front of the glass. The creature swam gracefully about, its long coattails rippling behind it.

“That’s an octopus?” one child asked incredulously. Nora walked forward and bent down next to him.

“Yep. It has tentacles like an octopus, but some of them are connected together by that red skin. That skin looks like a blanket being dragged through the water, so it’s called a blanket octopus.” Nora explained, trying to keep it simple enough for the child to understand.

“Oooh…” The boy said, nodding his head. He stared at the creature in silence for a moment. “It’s really pretty…” he breathed. Nora smiled.

“Yeah, it is…” Nora watched the octopus for a moment then straightened up. “Believe it or not, this is a female blanket octopus.”

“Whoa! The males must be huge!” a teenager exclaimed. Nora laughed.

“Actually, the male blanket octopi are much smaller than the females. They’re usually only a few centimeters in length, whereas the females can grow to be over two meters in length. Because this female was raised in captivity, she’s larger than most blanket octopi in the wild would become.” Nora explained. The teenager stared at her with his mouth hanging open.

“I thought that the guys were always bigger…” he said softly. Nora smiled kindly.

“That’s what most people think. The blanket octopus is an exception to that belief, though.” the teenager turned back to the glass and stared at the octopus. Nora let the entire group watch in awe as the octopus showed off its beautiful coat. Finally, though, it was time to move on. Nora led the group out to the gift shop, ending her first tour of the day.

And that’s where things went horribly wrong.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chapter 1: The Beginning

I was born by the sea. We lived in a small house at the top of a hill, near the beach. Every day my mother would carry me down to the sand and let me collect shells as I waddled to and fro. As I got older, I was allowed to go into the water. My father taught me how to swim by the time I was three. Swimming was a glorious feeling, and I imagined that it was quite like flying. I would spend hours down by the shore, and my favorite time to go down was right after the tide had gone down. I would run down and stick my face in a tide pool, daring my eyes to stay open long enough for me to see a starfish or a clam that had been swept in by the tide. I would come up for air and rub my burning eyes with a smile on my face.
But that was then. This is now.
When I was about five years old, the biggest storm to hit that beach in years rolled in. We had gone out onto the water in our little boat, and my father couldn’t paddle fast enough. Before we knew it, the boat had capsized. I flailed around under the water, trying to remember which way was up. I finally reached the surface and inhaled deeply. I looked around frantically, trying to find my parents, but I couldn’t. They were nowhere to be seen. I went under the water to look for them, but it was churning so violently that it was all I could do not to get swept too far down.
I abandoned my efforts to find my parents and instead clung to the upside-down boat as the waves carried it to the shore. Once my feet were on the sand, I collapsed out of exhaustion. I curled up into a little ball and cried, screaming for my parents. No reply came. I sobbed as the waves lapped at my feet, trying to comfort me. Seagulls began circling overhead, calling out to one another. I looked up a number of times thinking I had heard the voice of my mother or father, just to find a seagull screeching to its companion.
I waited on that beach for many years, hoping that my parents would miraculously appear out of the water. They never did.
During that time, I got my sustenance from the sea, catching fish and pulling clams out of tide pools. I boiled the sea’s water and drank it. I bathed in the sea and slept in the sand. My best friends became the seagulls above me, and the beautiful creatures below the water. I felt a pang of guilt each time I caught and cooked one, but I had to survive somehow.
Then, one morning many years later, everything changed. I awoke to a bright and sunny morning above me, but something was wrong. I heard no seagulls. The lapping of the water sounded different…heavier, almost. I immediately panicked and thought there was a storm coming in. I hopped up and looked out to the sea, and I realized that there was a storm coming in. But it was not a natural storm. It was a storm unlike any I had ever seen.
The water was black. I stared at it, and realized that it shined with an unnatural rainbow of colors. It looked thick, and when I reached out to touch it, I realized it was slimy and heavy. I stared at it, completely perplexed. I knew it was not right, and I knew that it did not belong here. But I had no idea what “it” was…
Just then, I heard a cry. It was one of the seagulls. He had landed in the black water and was coated in the unnatural ooze. I saw him, flapping helplessly in the water, and I did what first came to mind: I jumped in. I swam as hard and as fast as my arms and legs would carry me, and I pulled him out of the black water. I carried him back to the shore and tried to clean the black water off of him, but had little success. I knew I had to do something… I knew I would need help… I had to leave the beach. The place where I had spent my entire life…
I looked back out over the water and realized that fish had floated to the top. Beautiful, vibrant colors could be seen poking through the darkness. I was shocked. This black ooze was poison, and it was killing my fish.
I determined right then and there that I had to discover what this monstrous liquid was and who had put it here. I had to find a way to clean up the mess it had made. And, most of all, I had to make someone pay.
The thought of my parents was pushed to the back of my mind as I trudged along the beach, heading towards the nearest humans with a seagull cradled in my arms. The only thing I was thinking about now was righting the wrong that had been done to my home, and the home of so many others.
They would pay--they would all pay. They would fix what they had broken and they would clean up the black poison. And if they didn’t… They might not live to tell the tale…

Definition and Explanation

A blank page is calling to me, saying that it needs words. I tell it that I really have no idea what to write on it. I have a title and two or three characters. That's about it. Usually, when I start a story, I have more to go off of than that. So, I suppose we can consider this a new experience for me.
I love to write. Writing is something I'm passionate about. However, I have found that more and more stories are piling up inside my head and not getting out onto a piece of paper...
This is a problem.
Problems need solutions.
Hence, this blog.
I am challenging myself to write one chapter in a brand new story for thirty days. As I mentioned before, I really have no idea what this story is about. All I know is that it has a title and two main characters. Beyond that, it will have to grow and evolve on its own. Which, come to think of it, is a bit of a scary thought...
I may or may not like this story. It may or may not be cliche. It may or may not be funny. It may or may not be my best work. It may or may not be a lot of things. I am pretty certain, however, that it will be difficult. I might not be able to wrap it up in thirty chapters, so I might have to extend my deadline. I'll post one chapter each day, though, so that I can be held accountable, and I'll probably put up a regular post to go with the chapter so that you can all be amused by my ramblings/frustrations/joys along the way. So, here we go...
Thirty days, thirty chapters, one book.
Get ready for lift off...