|Thousands of miles from the mainland, people lived (and still live) in the paradise of the group of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. During the warm days, Hawaiians and Americans both enjoyed passing their time away swimming, fishing, surfing and riding outrigger canoes.
Off the shore of the most eastern and largest island-which shares the same name as the state-a small sail boat sat still in the unusually calm water. From this boat, the two large mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa appeared as a transparent blue in the distance.
Even though there was a slight breeze, the sailboat remained stationary on the water. The reason for this was that the single occupant had lowered the sail.
Camille Beauchamp sat on the deck, soaking up the rays of the sun. She looked up from the book she was reading. She looked around with a sigh. The day after tomorrow, she would be on a plane back to Las Angeles then to New York back to her apartment and job.
Camille had graduated almost two years earlier from college with a Bachelor Degree in English. Her concentration was in creative writing. She had a life-long dream of being the greatest author ever known. However, she had so many ideas to work on that she had trouble deciding on what to write on. Then, when she decided on a topic, she had trouble getting the words down or the story got changed a many number of times.
Frustrated, Camille gave up. She decided that writing was not to be her profession. She looked for employment, and, because of her excellent grades and recommendations, she got an editing job at a publishing company in New York City. Camille liked this job from the start. She decided not to totally end her writing career. She would write on a part-time basis. She would expand on her ideas. However, when she felt frustrated, she would be able to put the papers away. She also would not spend any more sleepless nights.
Camille looked at her watch. Even though it seemed like late afternoon, morning was just departing. She felt that she could float in this peacefulness for an eternity. However, she had reality and her job to get back to-she was surprised when the publishing company rewarded her with this paid vacation.
Camille continued reading her book. Soon she would raise the sail and bring her boat back in. There were other things that she wanted to do for the remainder of this vacation.
Camille, however, became absorbed in the novel that she did not want to put it down. She did not notice the dark clouds forming in the east. A low rumble of thunder brought Camille back into reality. A chill wind was blowing and plump raindrops started splashing on the deck.
"This came quickly," Camille said as she hurriedly put on her windbreaker. Then she raised the sail, with the hope that she could race the storm back to the shore.
Instead of its slow progress, the storm released its fury immediately. The clouds opened up and sent water to the earth. Camille tried sailing toward the shore. However, she could no longer see land. The blinding sheet of water prevented her from doing so.
What was unusually calm water earlier, was now a devastating fury of waves. Camille tried to tack the boat towards the presumed direction of land. However, the fury of the wind tossed the small boat around like a toy.
"Oh God! What have I got myself into?" Camille thought, starting to build up panic.
The boat was impossible to handle. It seemed as if the crashing of the waves would break it into splinters. Looking at the probability of this happening, Camille went to get the life jacket; while she was required to wear one, she had taken it off. It was missing. She frantically looked for it, but to no avail. A wave washed over the boat. Camille, knowing she would be knocked into the water, reached out her hand as a last resort. Her fingers felt a rope and she grabbed at it. It was attached to the mast.
"That was a close one," she thought to herself. "If I went overboard, there would have been little chance for me to survive. I am safe as long as I hold on."
As luck may have it, however, Camille had spoken too soon. Just like in a cheap horror movie, when she thought these words, another large wave washed over the boat. Unable to stand such force, it capsized. Though she tried to hang on, Camille felt the rope slipping from her fingers. She was separated from the boat.
Upon hitting the water, Camille went under. She immediately scissor-kicked until she reemerged. She looked around frantically for any signs of the sailboat. However, it was nowhere in sight.
There was nothing left for Camille to do except swim for shore. There was a problem; she did not know in which direction land lay. She chose a direction and set off, stroke by stroke, hoping she was correct.
Camille was a strong swimmer. However, she did not know if she could last long in these conditions. Every few strokes a wave would force her under. With luck, if this storm ended as quickly as it began, her chances of reaching land would be greater.
Camille had a rhythm while swimming. After swimming a hundred strokes, she would tread water for a few minutes. Then she would begin the cycle once again.
After what seemed like hours-in actuality it was only fifteen minutes-Camille was close to giving up. Tears of frustration and panic ran down her cheeks.
"Oh God, please do not let me die like this! I am so scared!"
Fear of drowning disappeared and a new one took its place, when several fins broke the surface of the water. Camille gulped hard and stared to see if she had really seen something. Several more fine appeared for a second, before being covered by waves.
The sharks appeared to be short as far as sharks go, about nine feet in length. It had a black back; maybe the darkness from the storm made it appear so. One shark did a weird stunt. It reared up out of the water until it danced upon its tail. The darkness of its back complimented the whiteness of its underside.
Camille stared in terror at this creature, waiting for its killing blow. It opened it mouth, revealing two rows of teeth. It was as if it was smiling at her.
Then the creature began to make a sound as if it was laughing. The others around it joined in.
Camille looked more closely at the creature and recognized the bottle-shaped nose.
"Dolphins," Camille thought in relief. Even though she never had contact with them before, she knew that dolphins were friendly. She even heard stories of where dolphins saved people from drowning.
The dolphin fell to its side. Then it swan to Camille.
She hesitantly touched its back. Then she drew her hand quickly away. It was as if the dolphin was talking to her. She put her hand on its back again.
"Do not be afraid," the dolphin said. "You are hearing me speak telepathically. You are a very special person, though you have not realized this before."
"Why am I special?" Even though the storm around her was raging, the sea surrounding the dolphins had become calm.
"You have been chosen by us?"
"What do you mean?"
"I will tell you. My name is Orion. For many years, man has been trying to discover the secrets of the seas. Since the beginning, the dolphins chose a human female. They tell this female many stories. Only one person is chosen. When she departs the mortal world, another is chosen."
"But why was I chosen?"
"Patience, Princess. We know of your expression in words. Is that not true?"
"Yes, but I gave up writing."
"If you chose to be Princess of the Dolphins, we shall tell you the stories of the sea. You can write these stories and share them with the other humans. Choose and the sea will become your friend, not your enemy. No creatures will harm either you and your loved ones. Command us and we obey."
Camille still was not sure whether this was her imagination or not. Still she decided what to do.
"There might be other people caught in this storm. If there are, I want them saved."
Several dolphins swam off.
"It is done," said Orion. "Climb onto my back and hold onto the fin." The dolphin started swimming towards the shore.
Camille noticed many other dolphins following.
"Why are the other dolphins following us?"
"In case I get too tired, they do not want to fail your command. Do not fear. If a human is in need, a few will go for him."
As the dolphins swam on, the storm weakened. The fury of the waves became tamer. A short distance to their right, Camille saw something.
"Orion! To the right! I believe it is a man!"
Orion steered its body towards the direction Camille had indicated. True enough, a human male was struggling to keep his head above water. The smallest dolphin reached him, just ahead of Orion. He nudged the male until he urged him to put his arms around his body.
"Good going, Aristotle," Camille said to the dolphin, very positive that was his name. The male looked at Camille in surprise. "Bring him to shore." The dolphin swam off.
Orion began towards the shore once again. Camille looked for Aristotle, but could not see him.
"Do not fear," Orion said. "The human male will be safe on land."
Soon Orion reached a point of shallow water. "You can wade from here. Remember I will be your friend for life."
Camille was now confident that everything that happened was true.
"I am leaving the day after tomorrow. I do not know when I will be back."
"I know. You will be missed. We will be able to contact you through dreams. So long, Princess."
Orion swam off.
"The ocean which had been an enemy to many, was a friend to one."
Camille finished reading and looked at the other authors and students in the creative writing class.
Julia was one of many students interested in writing. Several famous authors had been invited to travel to different universities to read from their works and to encourage the students to keep doing what they loved.
"How long have you been writing?"
"I have been writing seriously for a little over a year."
After the incident with the dolphins, Camille returned to New York. She became interested in writing once again. However, she did not experience the problems as before. She was able to write stories about sea life. She created new worlds that people never dreamed of before.
In a few months time, her first novel was published by the company she worked for. Then four more were equally successful.
"You have a real talent, Ms. Beauchamp. "Orion" was a beautiful story. It is amazing how you write these sea stories."
"It is like you have lived in the sea," a man's voice interrupted.
It was Greg Montgomery, a popular science-fiction writer. He was an author Camille had enjoyed for a few years. She had always thought he was a much older person. However, she was surprised when she met him; he was the opposite. He was five years older than Camille, who was twenty-five at the time. The highly tanned body stood to be about six feet. When Camille looked upon his face and dark curly hair, she had a sense that she had met Mr. Montgomery before, though she knew she had not.
His dark eyes probed Camille and his face had the concentration like a diver. Then he grinned widely. "I agree with Ms. Winters. It is a beautiful story. All your books have been so."
"Thank you. I have admired your works too."
Camille sat down and Greg Montgomery began to read a section from his book. She loved the sound of his voice as he read.
A few hours later Camille was resting in her hotel room. She had the rest of the day to herself. Then the next day, the authors had another reading at the college. She looked over her material and decided to read from a chapter from her newest book.
A knock sounded at the door.
"Just a minute," Camille called getting up from the desk. She opened the door and it was Greg Montgomery.
"Hello, Mr. Montgomery."
"Please call me Greg."
"You can call me Cam."
"Fine with me, Cam. You may be wondering why I am here. I came to talk about one of your books."
"Please come in, Greg. Do you want some coffee? I just made a pot."
"No thank you." He stared intently at Camille. "It was you. I have never forgotten your face."
"What do you mean?"
"I thought when I read that book that it was a coincidence. Now that I have seen you, I can no longer doubt it. Do you remember the storm in Hawaii? It was last year? You told the dolphins to save my life."
"I thought you looked familiar."
"Cam, I do not know what to do. You are not human."
Camille was shocked. "I can not believe..."
"You were able to talk to that dolphin. I have never seen that before. Only some type of demon can control animals. Maybe even mermaids. I never believed in these creatures before that day. Now I have seen you, you are going to haunt me the rest of my life."
"Greg, do not think I am any more or less human than you are. That dolphin saved my life. He saved yours also. If I was some type of demon, do you think I would have saved your life?"
Greg bowed his head in shame. "Forgive me, I did not know what I was saying." He walked towards the door.
"Greg, wait." He stopped and looked at her. "Do not go. You deserve an explanation."
Greg smiled and said, "Are you still serving coffee?"
For the next hour, Camille told Greg what had happened and what Orion had told her.
When she finished, Greg shook his head. "Forgive me the way I acted earlier. You see, after the encounter, I could never forget you. Your lovely face stayed with me during the days and nights. I fell in love with you and became frustrated because I would never have you."
"It is different now that you know the truth. Do you trust me?"
"Yes. We can become great friends. Where do you live."
"That is good. I live on Long Island. We can see each other a lot. Tell me, do you plan to visit Hawaii again?"
"I would love another vacation down there. I miss Orion."
"I have a house down there. After these tours are over, I am going to go there for a vacation for a few weeks. Feel free to come along with me, there will be plenty of room at the house."
Camille thought to herself. "This is a short notice. However, I would like to go to that beautiful paradise again." She looked at Greg. Smiling, she said, "I would love to go."