Sitting on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, it’s hard not to indulge imagination.
Watching waves crush against the various outcropping of rock clusters hundreds of yards below, it’s hard not to imagine my own death, tumbling down this side of jagged hill and a sickening crunch on the unforgiving rocks. Ugh. I move a little further away from the edge.
My imagination turns to less deadly dreamings about those mighty rock formations: one giant crest just below the surface must be an exhausted whale who has snuggled up to a sandbar just to rest for a few hours. Nobody knows whales’ darkest truth: it’s exhausting patrolling an ocean this big.
Down a half-cove is what surely must be a giant sea walrus, or perhaps just the biggest seal that ever lived, it’s enormous frothy snout sniffing eagerly for the masculine, pine scent that surges out every now and then on the inland breeze. It must be admitted that seals have an affinity for pine. They do not like to encounter it, of course (the sap inevitably gets in their eyes) but they just can’t get enough of the scent.
A gathering of seaweed, black just under the foamy crest must be a small colony of man-sized leeches, California’s best kept threat to human-kind. They have managed a decent survival attacking intrepid kayakers who insist on braving the rugged coastline for the best, most unique shot of the cliffs found everywhere. An adult human only contains enough blood to feed only one of these mammoth leeches, but it’s enough to subsist for 30 days. The man-sized leeches (called Bleeches) rarely attack surfers, as surfers are less likely to travel alone and the Bleeches rarely attack groups.
There’s fog rolling in, probably 40 miles down the coast. It was only hazy an hour ago, but now thick clouds squatting on the horizon are crawling on marshmallow legs across the ocean surface, panting, wheezing, grasping the shoreline, sweating the trees with a fine mist that quite frankly, the trees rather enjoy. They’re kinky that way.
Or perhaps the fog is something more sinister. Pirates caught up in its swirling mass have been lost for 200 years attempting to reach shore and today they succeed. Nah, that’s been done.
So instead, the wheezing fog is harboring sea criminals: prickly urchins, exotic tuna, and dolphins, dangerous ocean predators that are in deep shit on their home dimension and have paid an extensive price for safe passage to a planet that’s mostly liquid hydrogen and oxygen where oceanic dwellers such as themselves are mostly regarded as benign, simple beings. Their fracturing our laws of physics draw attention (not to mention four dozen dolphins plummeting from a purple chasm two dozen feet above the sea), so the fog is manufactured as their cover.
In their home dimensions there’s a black market for fog, paid for in sounds (their currency) and a special brew is required for breaching this particular planet, the name of this fog brew roughly translated as “˜Blue.’ Our planet is regarded as exotic and slightly dangerous called as nobody from their dimension has ever experienced water that is actually the color blue. They’re frightened, but what options do they have? After all, they are criminals in their home dimension.
There’s a boat out there, a few miles off shore. It’s tiny and I can cover it with my thumbnail when I choose. I’d like to believe it’s actually a Geo Prism, a rental car perhaps, driven by two gay men from Denver trying unsuccessfully to arrive at the Castro Street Fair today, but their sentient, teleporting vehicle chose a pleasant ocean view. The men are sitting in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s nephew, a spectacular unnamed chrome consciousness that is quietly hoping its passengers are thrilled by something so spectacular and staggering.
But no, the two men are bewildered and terrified, wondering if they will die a silent ocean death, the power of this fathomless blue in every direction, but they cannot bring themselves to discuss their possible fate, their last hours and minutes together, so instead they blame each other for not taking the last PT Cruiser, even though the color was an apologetic gray.
And that’s when the men notice three dozen dolphins falling from a purple chasm in the sky.