Daydreamer

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2008

Hannah V. Read
Daydreamer diving into the pool

Wings back, eyes forward,feet pointed towards the clouds, and I dive

Splash! A clap of water crashes to my cheek. But I don’t even think about that. I think about how my arms and legs are moving—well, mostly my arms moving up and down but also going side to side. I feel like a bird, a bird soaring into the gray misty sky. The heat licking at my wings, but I am free, don’t have to care about school or anything else. As I soar I see a medium-sized shadow sprint through the water as it sees my big body soaring above it. My eyes narrow in closely, trying to see the direction of the fish. I can feel it, and just as it is trying to turn around, I dive. Wings back, eyes forward, feet pointed towards the clouds, and I dive, I slice into the water like an arrow and catch my prey I begin to eat it, and then I realize that I am still underwater. But then the strangest feeling pops over me, and I am not gasping for air. In fact my body begins to shift, shift into the shape of a fish, a silvery shimmering fish, gliding through the water, towards a group of smaller fish, doing fish-like errands. I swim around and around this area, and my tail begins to feel funny Suddenly the oysters at the bottom sure look delicious. But, I need some air. I pop to the top, slapping my heavy—heavy?—well, slapping my heavy tail against the water. And then I realize—wait a second—I’m an otter. And suddenly every single oyster on the bottom looks s000 scrumptious. And then, I dive. Dive down deep, trying to get them, but just as I do that, a huge wave slaps against me and pushes me off course. So huge, the biggest wave I’ve ever felt. I swim back, forgetting the delicious oysters that just lay under my eyes. Forgetting everything except that my life depends completely on me getting out of this wave. I try kicking and steering my body to the side. I have never kicked this hard before—I will probably go limp. My heart nearly sinks as I feel the water steepen a little ways and turn my head to see a waterfall. My only chance of life is to find something that I can hold on to. And then, I see it, a rock, sticking up, just a little ways, I only have one chance to grab it, and I reach out and I let out the first real breath that I have taken in a long time, when I feel the smooth surface of the hard rock. But just as I shift to get into a more comfortable position, one of my paws slips and I hit my head on the rock. For a second, I feel pain, ear-splitting pain, sucking my whole body into the feeling. But then, I remember. I’m just daydreaming, again. And I’m not an animal—in fact, I am a normal girl, and I swim back to my father waiting for me by the diving board.

Daydreamer Hannah V. Read

Hannah V. Read, 9
Austin, Texas

Daydreamer Aditi Laddha

Aditi Laddha, 11
Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

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