With renewed energy, Adam pulled his arms from the tube and let it float beside him while he took off his water-logged jeans. He slid his entire body feet first into the cloth tube. The material covered him from the bottom of his ankles to just underneath his armpits. His arms, shoulders, and head were free to move about. The tube squished his feet together but Adam didn’t care. He was so, so warm. He rolled over to float on his back and inhale the salt air with a deep satisfaction.
“Wow, Adam,” said Spot. “Now you look like a water-man!”
“Well, I don’t care how I look. I feel like I’m wrapped up in a hot towel,” he said to Spot.
“What’s a towel?” asked Spot.
“Never mind,” Adam said and turned over to watch his jeans slowly sink beneath him. Just before they were lost to the depths, he remembered his knife. Somersaulting in place, Adam dove underwater and darted, not unlike a fish, toward his jeans. He pulled the knife from the right back pocket and tucked it into the top of his new swimsuit. For the first time since the flood, he felt comfortable.
The next item Adam removed from the waterwood box caused Spot to spitter and sputter and spatter and splatter salt water everywhere. Between water-wrinkled fingertips, Adam held to the sun a thin, semi-clear circle about the size of a quarter and made from some flexible material like rubber or plastic.
“A breather!” gasped Spot.
“What is it?” asked Adam as he turned the thing over in his hand, bending it in half and half again.
“It’s an antique. The Coral Annals recall that the Turtles invented breathers after the Rise. They’ve been long forbidden.” Spot swam around Adam’s hand and stared at the small disc.
“Well, what do I do with it?”
“I don’t know what you do with it. The Annals tell tales of water-folk using breathers when they wanted (or needed) to leave Ocean.” Spot’s eyes never once strayed from the breather. “Maybe it’s for me?” Spot whispered.