I decided to post something a little different this morning. A bit of dabbling. A story I have been playing around with. Not that I haven't posted stories before, but they were always non-fiction based on personal experience, and this is a piece of fiction. I rarely write fiction. So this is a short-short (short-shorts are 500 words or less) Paranormal Fantasy. The setting is from my own personal experience, but that's where it ends. This story is a work of the imagination, and maybe not that great, but it was an interesting exercise for me. I hope you enjoy it.
Kati and the Dolphins
Anni is fourteen and Kati is fifteen when both of their families receive the news they had been waiting for. They are going to America!
For Hungarian refugees who had been living in a refugee camp for the past four years, this is wonderful news. It is their chance at a new life. What is even more wonderful is that Kati and Anni, who are best friends, will be going to America together.
On September 7, 1951, they board the ship, with hundreds of other refugees. Then they stream to their assigned quarters, women and children separated from men and older boys. Kati and Anni will be sleeping next to each other in upper bunks, with their mothers below them.
When the ship pulls out to sea, they gather on the deck. It is a poignant
moment for the adults, who are sad about not seeing their homeland again.
“But we’re on our way to America, the land of the free and the brave,” Kati says. She and Anni embrace this new adventure with hope in their hearts.
Kati and Anni soon begin to explore the ship. They eat together in the massive dining hall, and play together in the huge recreation room on the ship. Meanwhile, both girls parents’ spend most of their time in bed,
suffering from seasickness.
By the second day on the ship, Kati and Anni have made a new friend. He is a young American who works in the galley and brings them treats on his breaks, telling them about life in America. Anni knows that Dave’s interest in them is due to Kati’s beautiful looks. She has long, curly black hair framing her oval face, and the blossoming body of a young woman, while her own body is still in limbo, like her braided locks. But both girls enjoy Dave’s attention.
On the third day of their voyage as Kati and Anni are sitting in the recreation room leafing through a book, Dave rushes in and motions to them.
“Come on girls. I want to show you something,”
They jump up and follow him to the deck.
“Look! Dolphins!” Dave says, pointing to the great Atlantic below them.
“Oh, They are beautiful!” Kati cries breathlessly. They enchant Anni, too. They count six dolphins carrying on playfully in the great waves.
“Listen! They are talking to us,” Kati says, leaning so far down on the
railing that she frightens Anni, who pulls at her friends jacket and cautions,” Be careful or you’ll fall in the water.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t mind that in the least,” Kati laughs. “They are calling me.
It would be wonderful to join them and ride the waves on their backs.”
“It would not be wonderful for you. You’re not a dolphin. You wouldn’t
survive down there,” Dave says earnestly. Kati gives him a strange look,
and then walks away from them.
After that, the dolphins begin to obsess Kati. She looks for them and talks
about them day and night, and Anni, not knowing how to handle her friends new obsession, grows more and more worried. Even when there are no dolphins out there, Kati claims she can hear them calling her. Her obsession begins to frighten Anni.
On the sixth day of their journey, Kati suddenly becomes very sick. Her
mother, thinking she is seasick, makes her stay in her bunk all day. Of
course, Anni keeps her company.
“Do you feel sick to your stomach?” she asks with concern.
“Maybe a little,” Kati replies. “I’ll be alright by tomorrow.”
That night, as Anni lies in her sleeping bunk across from Kati, thinking she is asleep, she suddenly hears her moaning. Then Kati whispers, “I’m coming. I’m coming.”
“Kati, who are you talking to?” Anni asks. But instead of a reply, she hears her friends soft, lilting laughter. Kati is in her bunk, but her laughter is floating above them, moving across the entire area, before disappearing into the night.
Anni sits up and calls to her loudly. “Kati! Kati! Are you alright?”
By this time both Kati’s and Anni’s mother are awake, and get out of their bunks to see what the problem is.
“Kati is gone,” Anni wails, tears streaming down her cheeks. “She went to join the dolphins.”
“What do you mean she is gone? She is lying right there, in her bunk,” her mother says, while Kati’s mother climbs up and shakes her daughter.
“Oh my God! She is dead! Oh my God!” She screams, waking everyone up. The ship’s doctor is summoned. But it is too late. They take Kati away.
The doctor says she had pneumonia, the kind that strikes like a blitz. Her
mother, blaming herself for Kati’s death, becomes so depressed that she
doesn't utter another word during the rest of the journey. Anni is pretty
Two days before they arrive in New York Harbor, Anni is up on the deck, watching the waves lapping at the ship. Suddenly, several dolphins appear and begin carrying on with their usual antics. Anni does not call down to them like before. She just stands there and watches them in silence.. Then she hears something. “Wee, this is wonderful!” It’s Kati’s voice!
“You hear it too, don’t you?” a voice behind her remarks, startling Anni. It’s Dave. They stand there in silence, listening to the lilting laughter below, until the dolphins disappear.
“Ill never forget you, Kati,” Anni whispers sadly.
Their arrival in New York Harbor is a somber one. Kati’s parents have to think about burying their daughter in this new land. Anni’s heart aches for them. She wants to tell them that Kati’s spirit is happy among the dolphins, but she knows she cannot. So she give them both a tearful hug, and then walks away in silence, carrying the truth with her into eternity.
The End. :-)
The Woo Hoo is I just heard from my editor at Silver Boomer Books, and "Freckles to Wrinkles" is now published and my copy (and check!) will be arriving soon. My story in the book is called "Guard Duty," and it's a horse story. I was also invited to a big to do about the book in Abilene, Texas, but unfortunately, I can not attend it right now.
Thank you for reading my somewhat simple attempts at writing a short short story. I need lots of practice.
Have a wonderful week!