The Waterwood Box, 90

Catch up!

Adam and Ramata broke the water’s surface near one of the many mountaintops that poked through. Above the water line, the string of mountaintops turned into a long, island chain, exposed like the humps of a gigantic sea serpent. Dry land. Adam stared in amazement but not for long. He had to get back under the water to breathe.

Ramata also dropped under. “So, that’s dry land, huh?”

“Well, technically.”

“There isn’t much there.”

“What? Those islands are huge.”

“There isn’t much on them is what I meant. What will you eat and drink?”

Adam hadn’t given any thought to that. He broke the surface again and looked at the islands. Ramata was absolutely right. There wasn’t much on the islands at all. Some plants grew near shore, but they seemed like water plants – they wouldn’t last long outside in the air. He didn’t know if he could survive on lumps of barren rock.

Back under the water Adam breathed deeply. Cool, wet oxygen. “You’re right. There isn’t much there. But someday, maybe. That’s my home, Ramata.”

“What makes it home, Adam?”

“What do you mean? I’m a human. I belong on land.”

“If you insist, but remember Sesre’s story. I can help you with food while you’re up there, Adam, but remember Sesre’s story. She knew home is where you make it.”

“I’ve come too far to give up now, Ramata.”

“You’re giving up nothing! Look there! Barren rock! That’s your dry land! That’s what drove you to open the Drain!”

Adam paused. Again he knew Ramata was right. His own conscience told him, “That’s what took away Spot.”

Adam remained steadfast. “I’ve got to try.”

Ramata huffed and kicked. “Fool!”

“Please, help me,” Adam begged. He swam closer to the base of the island. A small shelf of sloping rock extended off from the side of the mountain and formed a hard, flat area – a beach of sorts. Adam swam to a shallow point in the water and rolled over on his back.

To get out of the water, he first had to take off his swim suit. But the suit stuck tight, as though it were glued to his legs. The harder he tugged, the tighter the suit gripped.

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The Waterwood Box, 90

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