Ocean Freaks

Adrenaline pumps though my veins as my body touches the water. I'm holding on to my surf board and I scoop myself back up. It's the biggest wave I've ever ridden, and all my ocean lovers are watching, cheering me on. I'm on my feet, and I'm riding. My hand goes through the closing wave as my dad calls, "Lily! Go Lily!"

I laugh because he never cheers me on. I look, and now I know why he's calling my name. The forest people are attacking. I'm still surfing as I see them shoot my people down. My dad mouths," I love you," and he's shot one, two, three— four times. I cry at the gory scenes because my friends are dying and I wish I were to.

My wave is over, and Poseidon, the boy I've been crushing on, gives me a sign that means love. I give back to him, and when I think he'll survive, they shoot his head. I look at my left hand making an "o" with my middle finger and thumb. The index is "L," the middle and the thumb is the "o," the pinky and the ring finger make the "v," and when you turn you hand sideways, it makes the "e."

They are searching for survivors, and I take action. I go under my board and hold my breath. (We ocean lovers can naturally hold their breath longer than the Forest lovers and it's quite useful.) I don't dare come up until about eight minutes when I have to. The forest people are gone, and I have horrible news for my tree-hugger mother. I change into my gross, rough, leafy skirt my mother made me, and I dry my hair.

Honestly, I saw this coming. After the apocalypse, most of the people who are alive find the ocean evil because that's where the atomic bombs were set. They aren't smart enough to see that humans set up the bombs, so they find people who worship the ocean as evil as the ocean. We were going to prepare to fight, but it never came and I knew we would be attacked. The rest of my people weren't afraid to hide their love for the ocean, and neither was I, but my mother could hardly stand my father revealing it, so I did her a favor: I kept it a secret.

I get closer and closer to our nasty tree home. The forest people that killed my friends march past me, and I have no control over what they did. It's too late; I save the tears for my mother, who didn't know who she fell in love with.

My parents were stuck underground with each other during the bombing. They slowly and mistakenly fell in love with each other. By the time it was safe, people hated the ocean and so did my mother. My father told her he loved the ocean, but it was too late, she had already given birth to a beautiful baby girl.

I climb the tree and my tan legs slip several times. I'm finally at the door, and I walk in. She's sitting at the table as if she knows I'm going to tell her. Her hair is red and her eyes are brown. She's tired of me, I know it. I'm a disgrace, and we both agree.

I just say it, "Dad's dead and so are the rest of the ocean lovers." My eyes water, but hers don't.

"I know." she whispers.

"How?" I question, getting scared.

"I told them where you surf." I think she's serious.

I say three words to her, and I mean them, "I hate you." she stands up to protest, but I run in my room. Solitude is what I need. I don't want food or water. I just want to surf. I want my dad, and I want to talk to my friends. They're dead and I want to be with them and leave my mother here to rot.

Days pass, and pretend like I have gone mad. I haven't done anything but I lie on my bed and whisper "Hi Dad, what's wrong with mom?" or I just pretend to talk to him. It frightens my mother, so she leaves my room. I'm pathetic. I need to leave this place, and never come back.

I go to the ocean at night and make a raft. I use bark from empty trees as the base, and use beautiful seaweed for tying it together. My old blanket is used for the sail speed, and I run back to my house. I gorge myself with foods I hate, because I'm so hungry. I pack the first aid kit and the water transformer that my dad bought so if there was a water shortage, we could use the salt water and "transform" it into drinkable water. I pack fattening bread that'll last me days, and almonds for health.

My mom is snoring and I sleep for about four hours. I wake up and pack several bathing suits. I dress in a black surfer's suit that is made out of nice fabric. My strawberry-blond hair is thrown into a ponytail and I write my mom a note before I leave and take the things I've packed. It reads:

Goodbye, I still hate you.

-Lily

There, I leave without a word. I'll be better off alone, with maybe someone who loves the ocean like me. I use sticks for oars and I pack my things. There's a lot of wind and the oars help me move fast. I notice the bodies are still there decomposing, and I make the love sign again.

4

I frantically search for land, and I eat a small piece of bread every day. I'm glad I didn't eat for that whole time because it was like training. I look in the west, but no luck. I keep going this way. I spend my nights using the blanket for a pillow, because it's hot and the bark isn't soft.

In the morning, I'm starved, but all the bread and almonds are gone, I ate it all last night. I remember now, there was only two almonds and a very small piece of bread. Great, now I'm starved, but at least I have water. I use the water transformer and drink the wonderful substance the world calls water.

I've lost count on how many days I've been searching, and I'm irresistibly hungry. I drink water, but it goes right through me. I can see the rays of the sun are making me hungrier, and I dive in the water for a minute or two. That was a bad idea. Now I'm even hungrier. I see the fish eating in their fishy ways of and I go up.

I know I'm hallucinating now because I see land, and a boy eating food. He's injured, but eating. I paddle my way to land with my raft. After all, I have what he wants, and he has what I want. I teasingly show him the first-aid kit as he harassingly eats cooked fish. He's bleeding on his neck and leg, and I probably look like a wild animal.

He has brown hair with aqua eyes. I lick my lips at the food. The boy finally says jokingly, "You're quite the looker."

"You're not bad yourself." I say in the same tone.

"I bet a pretty girl like you wants food." He's still speaking sarcastically, and I do to.

"Yup, and I bet an attractive boy like you wants the pain to end." I smirk.

He nods, and I haul the raft on shore. He hands me a piece of fish and I consume it in about five seconds. I rinse my hands and start to clean his wounds with salt water. It'll stop the bleeding and disinfect the gashes he has.

"Thank-you, I'm Scads by the way." He says seriously.

"I'm Lily, thanks for the food." I answer.

"No problem" Scads smiles.

I continue eating fish and fruit. Scads watches watch me cautiously. I begin to stop eating, and now we're both watching each other as if we're going to kill someone. He gets a rock and so do I.

"Are you a friend or foe?" Scads asks.

"Depends if you like me or not." I answer.

"Let me show you what I am." Scads lifts up the back of his shirt only to reveal a brand with the initials, "O.F." My dad had one, but I never did.

"Ocean freak…." I murmur, dropping the rock and sinking to the sand. The harsh name the forest people called us, "Ocean freak!" they would yell at my father and Poseidon, but not me.

"That's right sweetheart, take it or leave it." Scads says sarcastically.

"I'm an ocean freak to." I admit. Scads laughs.

"Where's your brand then?" He interrogates.

"Don't have one." I say.

"Your love for the ocean isn't real." His words sting me. I grab my surf board from the raft and go surf.

"I'd love to see you surf!" I yell. My right foot steps into the water, then my left, then I throw my board to the water and find a wave. I'm paddling as fast as I can. I dive in hearing music. It's the waves; they are so amazing; they're beautiful. My time in listening is over, and I scoop myself up. I'm on my board smelling the salty breeze.

I look at the land to make sure no forest lovers are there, and I continue surfing. I can't stop my feelings for it. I'm sad because my wave is over. I walk to the sand and sit.

"Who likes the ocean now?" I'm so bratty right now it's weird.

"Still me, that wasn't good at all." I give him the dirtiest look and he laughs. Infuriated, I slap him. I wish I let him die.

"Who are you to say anything you – you—" I start, looking for an insult.

"Look, forest lover, if you're going to find and insult, stick with the slaps." Scads chuckles, rubbing his right cheek.

I'm so irritated; I shove my knee into his stomach. I plop on the other side of the sand, not wanting to talk. He's in pain, but he's laughing. Before I tell him not to, he takes my board and rides the waves. I don't want to look at him, so I dive. I watch the fishes swim along and I'm at peace. They speak with bubbles and I can almost swear I'm a mermaid.

I realize I'm not, and I try to go up, but my foot is tangled with some well planted seaweed. I'm getting dizzy now, and it's pointless to keep the air in me. I blow it all out and I'm losing consciousness.

Something pulls me out, and maybe it's the dead souls telling me it's time to join them or my dad's alive and he's saving me. Something's pressing my stomach, and I spit out some water. Darn, I'm alive. I open my eyes only to Scads. I don't thank him, so he says, "I'm sorry"

"For what?" I'm satisfied; he's going to admit he's wrong.

"Well, because you're such an idiot." Scads laughs, but I stay still. I don't eat, even if he tries to shove some food in my mouth. I grab my blanket and I don't share my drinkable water with him. I don't like Scads, even though he's an ocean freak like me. In fact, he's too much like me. I hug my board and possessively lay on my blanket. He manages with the shifty sand.

Scads; such a rebellious name for the ocean. Too bad he's horrible. I watch his every move as If I'm a shark and he's a helpless, delicious, small fish. He's interesting, for the past few days, we argue, call each other names, and compete.

I call him "Scabs" partially because scabs are gross, and because he has some on his neck and leg. He calls me "Cricket" because he can't seem to catch my attention when he's surfing and "Stupid" because of the drowning incident.

We punch, kick, and slap each other gruesomely, and we end up with bruises. I dive in the water sometimes, and he chases me. I'm too fast, so he gives up.

Scabs surfs like an idiot while I surf beautifully. We make fun of each other because we slip slightly or we just miss the whole wave. Wash-outs are entirely hilarious, probably because Scads gets them a lot.

One day though, our fighting is uncontrollable. He's rambling on and on about how I'm not an ocean lover and I lose it.

"You stink at surfing!" I yell. Not my best choice, he's coming at me now, and I kick him.

"You're a worthless piece of crap!" he screeches. He's running after me, and I dive again. He doesn't even try.

I watch the fish swim quickly and I wonder why. Now I know, because Scads is attacking me, no, he's biting me. One bite, or stab, in the gut and I'm bleeding.

I hear the muffled "Lily!" and I realize it wasn't Scads, it was a shark. It must have thought I was a fish. He gets me out and he says something, but I can't understand him. I'm unconscious. I see my people welcoming me back from my huge wave. They cheer and I laugh.

"Ah!" I say in pain. My gut is burning, and I'm in a different bathing suit, heavily bandaged.

"'Ah' you're awake." He smiles.

"About time I guess, did you miss me?" I joke.

"I don't know. I liked the silence." Scads laughs, wow, he actually looks—cute.

"I've lost too much blood. I'm delusional." I say.

He laughs, "What now? Are you imagining all the ocean freaks together again?"

"Not exactly…" I start, "Which island did you come from?" I ask randomly.

"The Tree" Scads whispers. That's where I came from. He must've been on the other side of the island, the island was pretty big.

"I did to." I respond.

"My people were burned to death. I managed to escape with a cut on my neck and leg." Scads is fighting the tears.

"My mother told on us. I watched my people get shot while I was surfing." My confession makes me feel better, and Scads looks like he has more to say.

"A fake ocean freak told on us…." He seems to be uncomfortable, but I know there's more to this story.

"Who was it?"I ask.

"A girl I knew….." his voice sad now and I know right then and there, he loved her. He doesn't even need to say anything.

I add some of my past romance to let him know he doesn't need to say anymore, "His name was Poseidon. I found out he loved me right before he died." I'm looking at the sky, and not in his eyes.

There's not much of a conversation, but I try to move my arm but Scads's arm gets in my way.

"Don't move" he whispers. I expect Scads to kiss me, but he makes dinner instead. We eat silently. I'm emotionally and physically tired, and I share my blanket with him. The surf board parts the blanket we use as a pillow and I sleep.

I'm in a castle, and I'm queen. The man I married is entering. I expect Poseidon, but it's a boy with aqua eyes entering and smiling.

"Wake up." Scads smiles. My gauze is wet with blood. I guess he's been trying to save our first aid supply because this time, he uses seaweed to cover me.

"Thanks" my eyes are twinkling the way they did when I spoke to Poseidon.

"I figured you might want something attractive on yourself—you need it." He laughs, and I manage to giggle a bit.

We lay on the sand looking only up at the blue. I like the silence. It's soothing and I'm next to Scads, I don't know why, but I feel better around him.

"My parents were burned to pieces." He shudders; these random confession lines kill me.

"My dad was shot four times" I say.

"Someone was getting married when they attacked." Scads is speaking quickly and so do I.

I say, "People were cheering me on for the big wave." Wait; was it Scads who was getting married? I don't dare ask; it's too obvious.

"Oh, doesn't that make it worse? To watch it all happen before you can do anything?" We make eye contact. Man, I love his eyes. They're simply wonderful.

"Yeah, who was getting married?" the words slip through my mouth before I even think.

"Me, but she told on us…" Scads is about to cry. I offer my arms and he dives for them. He's warm and I'm cold. It's getting chilly now.

He manages to murmur, "If I had the world at the palm of my hands, I would destroy all the evil." I can't respond to that.

At night, we use the blanket and separate it out again. Every day, I tell him about surfing and every night gets colder and colder. My wound is healing, but the cold is killing me.

One night, it's so cold; we have to hug each other for warmth. "We have to go back." shivers Scads.

"They're going to kill us." I whisper in the same shivery tone.

"Two more days and we leave." I don't argue.

The next day is windy; perfect for surfing. We take turns with the board and laugh at the washouts. Today though, I trip over a rock and land on Scads. We stare at each other for a long time and he won't let go of my wet arms.

"Do I always have to save you?" his eyes are twinkling and I think mine are to.

"Yeah; it's kind of your job." His arms are not big, but they aren't small. They make mine loose circulation and I can't help but put my hand on his shoulders to relax him.

Scads reaches down to my face, and I expect him to kiss me, but he kisses my forehead instead. I can almost read his mind, "You want me to kiss you too badly." He's right, of course.

Scads changes my seaweed and we sleep hugging again because of the cold. After tomorrow, we are returning to The Tree.

The next day, we pack and exchange a few words. We make my raft bigger by using his wrecked one. He makes the fish with tin foil and the sun's energy to cook our food for our journey. We use the blanket for the sail again and we keep warm by using partially dry seaweed.

Sailing back will only take a day according to Scads. We'll be there by morning, so I'm not going to waste time. I like him a lot—actually. I think I love him, and I need to tell him.

I guess we both need to tell each other something important because we both say, "I need to tell you something."

I let him go first, "I'm unconditionally, uncontrollably in love with you. I want us to stay together if we can."

"I feel the same way." That was too simple.

"Say the words, I can't believe you unless you say them." Scads notices the sun is coming up but I'm so shocked that we're on the island I don't say anything.

I look around, and out of nowhere, I see the forest people come and knock me out. I wake up tied to a chair in front of Scads. He's awake. It's a dark room, but the ground is leafy.

Someone immediately comes and lights a fire. Scads flinches at the stick he holds. It's a brand stick. The initials are "O.F;" it's for me. The man unties me and gets ready to brand me, but I turn around to kick his face. My hands are tied, but manage with my legs.

The man's nose is bleeding and I hear Scads yell, "Watch out!" another forest lover comes from behind me and ties me down. The bloody-nosed man reheats the brand stick and brands me on a bite mark. I scream in pain, and fall to the floor.

A big tank of water is brought in, and they're tying chains to me. I take a deep breath and they shove me in. Okay, I can last eight minutes.

I'm not sure what they'll do to Scads, but I'm pretty sure it's worse than getting another brand. They get cinder blocks and smash them against his fingers. He pretends like he's in pain, but he isn't. They also put him in a tank, but I'm losing oxygen and they put an electric eel in my tank.

I don't move, but the eel apparently doesn't like my hair so it shocks me. All my air comes out and Scads looks at me in pain. My shark bite is bleeding. I'm suffocating when I manage to pull myself out and breathe.

They do the same with Scads, and the bloody-nosed man dunks my head in the water. Scads kills the eel, but has cuts everywhere.

Here comes the worst torture. They let us out, and I hug him hard. "I love you to." I whisper. The two forest people drag us away from each other and I go berserk. "No! Scads!"

"Lily!" He yells back. We try to fight them off, but can't. Once again, they knock us out with a gun. We wearily give each other the love sign before I'm gone.

"Welcome home!" shouts my mother abnormally. I give her a dirty look and spit on her.

"I hate you." I say seriously.

"Oh well, you have to forget about that boy, he's gone." She says, wiping the spit off her face.

With those words, I go outside and begin my search. One hour a day isn't enough, and after a year, I'm frantic. My mom brings home a forest boy home so I can fall in love with him.

I search the beach every day. They boy's name is John, and I don't like him. He tries to shower me with gifts that I don't even want and tries to propose several times. After two years, John proposes to me in front of my mother. She says "yes" for me. Now I'm searching hopelessly for Scads and I have a fiancé? We plan the wedding for about another year.

Three years, I'm about to go to the reception with John. I'm left alone for five minutes and I pack. I always have a board close by and a bathing suit underneath my clothes. I run to the beach, only to find a raft with food and water that'll last for months.

"Wow, you're already in a wedding dress and I haven't even proposed." A boy says.

"Well would you have called off the wedding?" I ask, smiling for the first time in the three years.

"Not exactly. Rip that horrid dress off and let's go." Scads laughs, but I turn around and knock him down with a hug. We laugh. We whisper, "I love fyou" over and over.

I take the horrible dress off and leave it on the beach. I'm in an aqua blue bathing suit and he's wearing white trunks. We hold hands and begin to sale east.

"Did you miss me?" he asks jokingly.

"No." I can't keep a straight face and we laugh.

"So what happened with you?" he asks.

"I went crazy, my mom forced me to be a fiancé to this weird guy, and I wasn't allowed to surf." I smile, and I hug my board.

"I searched for you, punched a guard, and went to jail." I laugh because it sounds like something Scads would do.

All we do is talk, sleep, and drink water. We barely eat because we're so happy to see each other. I may be delusional when I see a building from far away. Scads is asleep, so I wake him. "What?" he asks.

"Look dummy." I tickle him and he sees the building.

"Row!" he yells. We row as close to land as we can; as fast as we can. We're really close now, and I see surfers. We go faster and I see a sign it reads, "Coexist." That's the island's name. We're on the sand when people welcome us warmly. "We did it Scads." I whisper.

"I know." He whispers back.

We get a beautiful beach house close to my favorite surfing spot. One day, I finish surfing and Scads proposes to me to reveal a pearl ring.

"Will you marry me?" he asks.

"Yay!" I yell, and I jump on him.

"I'll take that for a yes." He laughs. We look into each other's eyes. "I love your blue eyes" he whispers.

"I love your eyes too." I whisper. Right then and there, I have my very first kiss.

EPILOGUE

I wear my pearl ring proudly in the hospital as I hold my baby girl. Her name is Serena, which means "mermaid" in Spanish.

"Can I hold her?" Scads asks, rubbing his bags under his eyes.

"Eight hours of labor and you finally ask?" I laugh, and hand her to Scads.

"Hey Serena. I'm your daddy." He whispers. I laugh at him because even I didn't do that. She is beautiful. She has aqua eyes with red hair. She weighs four pounds. Most importantly, she's our happily ever after.