Highly Commended Story - A Dolphin Reciting Epic Poetry…
“A Dolphin Reciting Epic Poetry…” by Anandajeeth Sanal, The Kilmore International School, Australia, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Anandajeeth Sanal is a young, enthusiastic 7th-grader hailing from The Kilmore International School, Victoria, Australia. His aspiration is to become a geneticist, as he loves thinking about what are the most fundamental parts of life and wants to one day be the first-ever person to analyse all 46 chromosomes of a human. In his spare time, he is ready to play a match of chess, table tennis, badminton or air hockey and enjoys art and playing guitar and piano. He always loves to sit down with a good book and loves books by his most favourite author, Rick Riordan. Currently, his most favourite book series is the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series and he also likes reading the 39 Clues series.
A Dolphin Reciting Epic Poetry…
It was just another day in the deep sea off the coast of the yellow-streaked beaches of Australia as the shrimps all gathered at the bottom of the sea for the annual Deep-Sea Maritime Meeting. As always, King White Shark III the Great droned on about the relentless pollution of our homes by those selfish humans. To be honest, I had to agree with him. Just a fortnight ago, my resident neighbour, Mr The Friendly Squid had needed to pop by the cleaner wrasse after being pelted by bucket-loads of murky muck. Mr Cormorant, the Sealympic diving champion had almost died from being choked by a transparent thing that had trapped a rather tasty looking (to him) barramundi.
The secretary birds along with King Falcon II the Speedy, this year’s royal guest, had motored in on his vehicle, the savannah water-spider. An almost silent sound echoed through the air as they landed on top of the water and dropped a tube down to speak through from above. Luckily, his speech only lasted a couple of seconds, as no-one could positively understand his numerous squawks and chirps. As usual, the outlook remained pessimistic as I looked at my velvet-covered programme and glanced at the endless list of speakers ahead. I just wanted the meeting to be over, just like everyone else within the cave. The king was back, and he started sweating as soon as he jolted up onstage. The crowd let out a spine-chilling rumble in complaint. “Dear residents,” he addressed us. To talk about ego! “May I welcome the honourable, the internationally recognisable poet, Dolphin Shakeshrimp!”
The crowd jumped in their seats at the mention of the name. Murmurs spread through the audience like sand on a stormy day. As he stood up, the audience gave him a standing ovation. To think, he hadn’t even started to recite his poem! His lips quivered in and his tail-fin drooped as stage fright took over him. His jaw twitched and the twitch became steady as he started to speak. Silence was the only sound left in the crowd. That is, apart from his immaculate speech.
“Zzzzzzzzz…” Within minutes, everyone had fallen asleep. I don’t know why. Part of me just wanted to stay awake for the rest of the speech, and the other part contradicts me, forcing me to drift to sleep. Something was forcing me to sleep, and, my other half just… gave in. Time flew by, and none of us had noticed the event that had just taken place.
Suddenly, the absence of drawling poetry shocked us awake. A glance at the floor told us, plain and square, that the King’s Crown Jewel had been stolen.
The jewel was a diamond at heart, but a plethora of hues at sight. Rubies, amethysts, sapphires, topaz and many more studded the crown, giving it the effect of being a priceless, multi-coloured jewel. Me, being a rather splendid detective, was immediately called to the scene of the crime. And, everyone had a rock-solid alibi. Everyone except for Shakeshrimp, who might not have had the motive, but surely had the means. Seriously, though? Not only was he one of the sea’s most respected citizens, but he had already (and on more than one occasion) been trialled by previous kings. King Mosasaur, Admiral (he preferred admiral over the king) Megalodon, and King White Shark I had all once questioned whether he had a strong alliance with the Land Above.
While I was deep in my thoughts on how to put pen to paper (with water-resistant ink, of course), a loud chirp made me focus my eyes on a fleeting shape above the water’s surface. And, bingo, King Falcon II was zooming away into the horizon, Shakeshrimp by his side, flanked by those nasty birds. The smoking gun: a glinting shape stuck in his wings. The chase was on.
I pulled out my turbo-seahorse and raced straight out of the Coral Parking Lot. It really was a good thing I had put those bolt-on turbochargers as soon as I had bought them. Anyway, I was gaining on the gang when a wave swept me and my seahorse off track. Them, being on the water spider, could easily slip past, weaving a trail between. I gunned the seahorse through a couple of sharp turns and maneuvered us toward the side of the slimy arthropod. I drew my water pistol. And, they proved that life lessons come the hard way. The spider turned to face me and opened its mouth to deliver a cannon of poison. “Only a barbarian brings a cannon to a gunfight,” I called out, in the hope of distracting them.
“And only a moron brings a gun to a cannon-fight!”
It was going to be an easy bet that they would win. I took cover beside a rock. I dodged the first cannonball, the second and the third, but the last one smashed into my seahorse and me and sent us into the rising tide. There was no hope left. I jumped off the side of the rock.
I was surprised to be alright! 2 halves of flexible carapaces, and me inside! Oh, and the 6 legs part! I had failed. I decided I only had one option: to fire off a message to the King, telling him to send his troops.
It was going to be a long wait.