A young sea dragon takes a breather from her hectic life in the human world.
|Sitka knew she was way overdue for this. She hurtled her car down the highway, thirsting for the salty waters of the Outer Banks. With everything going on back at the Lair, she'd failed to realize how overstimulated she'd been getting. It wasn't until Noah caught her tearing out strands of her own human hair that she stopped to think. It had been 12 days.
Twelve days on the hard, gravelly land that the humans so dearly loved. The biting dry air, the dust in her eyes and nostrils. Not that Sitka's aquatic retreat didn't have its own perils. But her true form took care of all that.
Finally she pulled into a craggly parking lot just one sand dune away from the shore. Sitka got out and quickly stripped to her bikini, tossing the loose T-shirt and jeans shorts through the open window. A couple of young men chortled at the other end of the lot. They were the only other tourists this part of the week. Whatever, Sitka thought. Once she was back in her element, they'd never catch up with her.
As usual she gasped when the cold ocean water washed over her legs. Human skin and blood was so fragile! She just had to get past this one uncomfortable part… and then she could relax.
Sitka had learned the human swimming style back when she was a child. She pelted herself out into the ocean, riding the wavy surfaces and moving as quickly as possible to escape the scrutiny of those two young men. I wonder if they'll care when I disappear? She thought. But whatever. This was about her. For once, she had to think about her.
Deciding she'd brought herself out far enough, Sitka stopped her strokes and tried to relax her breathing. Shifting underwater could be a real pain, but she'd found that slowing her breathing rate first tended to make the transition easier. When she was ready, Sitka sank below the surface and let her body return to its original form.
It always amazed her to see how big she could get as a Sea Dragon. As she'd grown, she'd had to move further and further out in the ocean to accommodate her massive coils. The thick scales and tough musculature of the Sea Dragon afforded more than enough protection from the chill of the ocean. Sitka loved watching the bottlenose dolphins scamper by in the distance. She could tell from their frequencies they were frightened of her, thinking that she might eat them. But Sitka didn't have to eat dragon food. She just needed a restful break from all the flurries of human life.
The ocean depths were quiet. Sitka loved that. Quiet, and any sound that came to her ears was muted, soft, not jarring and spiky like the sounds of the terrestrial world. If Sitka could breathe a sigh of relief, she would have, but that was not the way of a Sea Dragon. Instead she opened herself up to the frequencies of the creatures surrounding her.
A sea turtle floated by about a football field away. She couldn't see it, not in this murky East Atlantic water. But she felt its frequency. Sitka let her giant body sink all the way to the ocean floor. Her scaly webbed feet touched down gently on the sand. Sitka closed her eyes and held that turtle's frequency. She searched it out in her mind. It was violet, rolling, lazy. Like the wake behind a sailboat, only made of deep purple ink. She got it! Sitka matched her own frequency to the turtle's violet wave and then - yes! - she was resonating. She saw what the turtle saw. She felt what it felt. It was riding the changing currents and feeling the subtle temperature changes in the water. How fucking simple to be a turtle, she thought with a grin. I should just give up and stay down here forever.
Sitka knew better than to think that way. She stayed with the turtle, processing its frequencies and every so often sending back a wave of her own. Sitka's bright cold teal seemed to excite the turtle. It flapped its great front flippers and banked up toward the surface in a spiral.
Everything returns to the ocean, Sitka thought as she let the turtle go. Everything flows down to the depths. Nobody wants to come down and see it. But sooner or later, everything returns to the source.
Sitka felt her muscles ease at the comforting thought of continuity. It always helped, getting perspective, realizing that the petty concerns of everyday life were nothing compared to the eternal patterns of the world at large. Living and dying, being asleep, being awake, breathing in and breathing out. Spring and fall, summer and winter. Water flowing down the stream, water forming clouds above. Earthquakes. Sediments floating slowly down to the bottom. All of it just cycled over and over. Sitka liked thinking about that.