Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Origins of the Flying Fish

There once was an ocean. In it was a school of fish. In this school was a fish named Jump. He was named that because whenever the school swam near the surface, he would repeatedly leap out of the water, as high into the air as he could go. The other fish all ridiculed him for his habit. They told him he was foolish, that he needed to grow up, and that he belonged in the water, not in the air.
Jump always swam in the back of the school, as he wasn't a very speedy swimmer, and felt out of place in the depths. He didn't get along well with the other fish, as they all thought him strange, and his father stayed his distance because he was embarrassed of Jump.
One day, when the school was swimming near the surface, Jump did what he always did and lept out of the water and into the clear blue sky, his scales shimmering in the sunlight. However, this time, the jump was different. This time, Jump saw something that he'd never seen before. A flock of squawking seagulls were flying above Jump, swooping and soaring and gliding a diving, and going higher than Jump thought possible. Jump kept leaping out of the water, again and again, mesmerized by the feathered spectacle. Jump kept leaping until his father grabbed him and held him under. His father reprimanded him and sent him to swim in the back of the school.
And so he did. He waved his tail fin slowly and morosely from side to side, and trailed behind the other fish as they descended into the cold dark depths. His eyes were downcast and sad, and he trailed farther and farther behind. Eventually, before he knew it, he was so far behind that he could no longer see the rest of the school. He stopped and looked around worriedly. He called out, but no one appeared to be around. He sat there, swimming in place, not knowing what to do.
As he thought, a single bubble floated towards him from the darkness below. He stared at it as it got closer. It was unlike any bubble Jump had ever seen. It swirled and shimmered with all the colors of the rainbow, and was dazzlingly bright. It floated upwards until it was right in front of Jump, and then--strangely and suddenly-- it stopped. 
It sat there, right in front of the startled fish. He swam in circles around it excitedly, examining it from every angle. He looked at it, puzzled, thinking this extremely peculiar behavior, unbecoming of a bubble such as this. He swam in place, staring and thinking, thinking and staring.
He sat there a long while, not knowing what to do. Finally, he had an urge to say something.
"I wish I could jump as high as those birds," he said to the bubble.
As soon as the words left Jump's mouth, the bubble burst into a blinding flash of light that swirled all around him.
He opened his eyes a few moments late and blinked furiously, coming out of the daze. Even with his blurry vision, Jump could see that the bubble was gone. He blinked his eyes until he could see again, but still something felt off. He swooshed his tail and his fins, and everything felt normal. He opened and closed his mouth, and took a deep breath through his gills, and still couldn't figure out what was bothering him. He blinked his eyes once more and fluttered his wings.
Jump stopped.
He slowly turned to his left and looked up at his back. There, attached to him, was a translucent wing. His eyes grew wide, and he turned quickly to the right. The same thing was true of his right side. Another wing. He looked back and forth at them both rapidly several times over, then fluttered them excitedly. He pointed his nose upward and swam as fast as he could to the surface.
He exploded out of the water into the air, flapping his wings and he soared over the waves.
No longer was he made fun of by his school or his father. No longer did he feel out of place.
He was flying. He was free.

No comments:

Post a Comment