Sharkboy awoke with a sliver of a dream left in his mind from the night before. It was a strange dream, completely black. He hadn't seen anything at all but darkness. The only bit Sharkboy could remember was a voice, a woman's, singing something.
He summed it up to eating some bad fish the night before and decided to forget about it. Sharkboy got up and stretched, he was used to sleeping on hard rock from the years he'd been living with the great whites. He yawned and then dove into the water, almost right on top of one of the younger sharks. The shark began to complain, but was completely ignored. Sharkboy swam back up and pulled himself partly out of the water, keeping his legs in. He sat there for a few minutes until something suddenly grabbed a hold of his foot, not hard enough to do any damage, but hard enough, and pulled him into the water.
"Sheila! " Sharkboy yelled once he resurfaced.
"What!?"The female shark replied, "You were asking for it, sitting with your legs in the water! If you were anybody else, you'd probably be breakfast right now! Speaking of breakfast, have you eaten yet? Aren't you going to meet Max and Lavagirl today? You had better be on time. They shouldn't have to wait for you again. "
"Geez Sheila, you are way too motherly to be a shark! Yeah, I'm going to meet them today and no, I haven't eaten yet. I'll eat later. "
"Oh, no you won't! You had better eat now. If you don't now, you'll forget to later and then you'll come back and complain about being hungry and all the bigger fish being gone. "
"I will not. Whatever. I'm going now. "
"Don't leave yet Sharkboy. I'm not finished talking to you…"
"See you later! "
Sharkboy left before Sheila could say anything else. He went to the part of the beach where he, Lavagirl, and Max met each other to hang out (They visit Max now.). When he got there, they were waiting for him.
"Took you long enough!" Lavagirl complained, "We've been waiting here for twenty minutes! Why can't you ever be here on time?"
"I'm here aren't I? " Sharkboy answered, "No harm done. So, what are we doing today? "
"We could go to Planet Drool and make sure everything is still fun," Max suggested, "Or we could just have fun here. "
"Oh, I know! " Lavagirl exclaimed, "Let's play truth or dare! "
The boys highly objected to that idea, but Lavagirl had her mind set on it. Somehow, she eventually got them to play. Every time it was Sharkboy's turn he picked dare and so far they weren't very creative dares. The next time his turn came up, Lavagirl made him pick truth.
"Okay, truth..." she thought, "What are you afraid of? "
"I'm not afraid of anything." he said, "Fears are for wimps. "
"Fears aren't for wimps Sharky. " Lavagirl told him, "Everyone's afraid of something. "
"Not me." Sharkboy insisted, "I don't have any fears. "
"Come on Sharkboy, everyone has fears. How about we tell you ours and then you tell us yours? Will you do that?" Max asked.
"Fine." he accepted, "What are you afraid of LG?"
"Well," Lavagirl began, "I used to be afraid of being evil, but now I know I'm not. So, what I am afraid of is, well, uh, my feelings, I guess. "
She started blushing and stole a quick glance at Sharkboy, who was paying no attention and hadn't understood what she was talking about and was remarking on how totally weird that was.
Saving her from further embarrassment, Max revealed, "I'm afraid of snakes. "
"Snakes!?" Sharkboy laughed, trying to avoid having to tell them his fear, "That is such a girly thing to be afraid of! You two are so weird. "
"Maybe, maybe not." Lavagirl replied, "Now you have to tell us what you are afraid of. We won't laugh like you did. Right Max? "
Max nodded, curious as to what Sharkboy could possibly be afraid of. Sharkboy was tough. What could his fear be?
"Fine, since you won't leave me alone until I tell you! " Sharkboy told them, "I'm afraid of telling anyone about…how I feel about stuff...about me needing anyone... There! Are you happy now!? I told you! I'm done playing! It's not fun anymore! "
"Sharkboy…" Max started.
"What!? You want a knuckle sandwich!?" Sharkboy threatened.
Max and Lavagirl decided not to question him any further and said nothing about what he had told them. It was best that way. Sharkboy wanted to stop playing truth or dare, but they convinced him to keep playing the dare part. The dares were much more creative this time and let's just say Max's mother wasn't going to be very happy to see him when he came home, Lavagirl now hates magic marker, and Sharkboy may never be able to hang upside down with soda and pixie sticks anywhere in the proximity ever again. Once it started getting dark, they all went home laughing their heads off. When Sharkboy got back to the cave, he yawned, laid down in his usual spot on the rock, closed his eyes, and was asleep before Mary Poppins could have said supercalifragilisticexpialid ocious, which is pretty fast.
The next morning Sharkboy woke up with part of the same dream. This time however, there was more in the dream. It was still dark, but the singing voice was a bit clearer. The woman had a beautiful singing voice and it sounded somehow familiar to him. Now Sharkboy was beginning to wonder why he would be dreaming of a woman singing. It was very strange and he wanted to try to figure it out, so instead of going to the part of the beach where he met Max and Lavagirl, he went to another part of the beach to be alone and think. Sharkboy sat down behind a rock and watched the tide go in and out.
Why would I be dreaming about some lady singing? He thought. Sharkboy thought about his past, a long time ago, when he still had his dad. The only lady I can think of is my dad's assistant, Karen. But, it couldn't be her. She liked to sing, but she was always off key. Who is this lady I'm dreaming about and why is she singing? Uh, I think I'm going crazy!
He had been sitting there for a very long time when a voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Sharkboy!" Lavagirl called from several yards away, "Why didn't you come to the usual spot? I was waiting for you. Then I went looking for you all over the beach. What are you doing here?"
She ran over to him and sat down. He didn't look at her.
"I came here to think." Sharkboy answered, "Where's Max?"
"Max is busy today. His mom made him stay home." Lavagirl said, "What were you thinking about?"
She looked at him with a concerned look on her face. Was something wrong? He wasn't acting like himself.
"I feel like I'm going crazy. I keep having this weird dream," he told her.
"What are you dreaming about?"
"That's the thing, I don't know. It's black; I don't see or feel anything. I just hear this voice, a woman's, singing something. I don't hear the words or even the tune, just the voice, and it sounds familiar somehow. Like I've heard it before."
"What about from your past? Before you lived with the sharks. "
"The only lady I knew was my dad's assistant, another marine biologist. Her name was Karen. She helped him with his work and with taking care of me. They were friends even before I was born. But, she always sang off key. The woman in my dream sang really beautiful, perfect."
"What about your mother?"
"I don't know. I never had one around and my dad never talked about her. The only parent I had was him."
"Do you know anything about her?"
"No. Like I said, my dad never talked about her. I think he had pictures and some of her stuff, but I never saw them. I always wondered what she was like, what happened to her, but I never asked. My dad didn't like it when anyone mentioned her. I thought he would be mad if I asked him."
Sharkboy stopped talking and stared at the tide. He turned away from Lavagirl and he wouldn't look at her.
"I'm sorry for asking you Sharky." Lavagirl said sympathetically, "I know you don't like talking about this. But, if you tell me, we might be able to figure it out, maybe even figure out where you can look for your dad. I bet you miss him."
"More than I can ever tell you…" he replied.
"Okay. Tell me about your dad."
"Well, you already know he was a marine biologist. He could tell you almost everything about any known sea creature. I thought he was the coolest person in the world. His name's Rico." (If any of you know who played him, the name choice is kind of funny)
"What else can you tell me? What was he like?"
"He was nice to everyone, even if he was in a bad mood. He didn't complain about anything, never felt sorry for himself. He never yelled if I messed something up…He took care of everybody else before he took care of himself and was exhausted at the end of the day because of it, but always made time for me…He always said "Animals, whether from the sea or not, are just like people, you got to treat them that way". He liked fish sandwiches, even though people think they smell bad, and hated chocolate just like I do…"
Sharkboy quit speaking and looked at the ground. His breathing was shaky and he was trembling slightly. Lavagirl could tell he was trying not to cry. It was dark now, and he was glad she couldn't see his face.
"He said he'd always be with me…That he wouldn't ever leave me…I guess he lied…" Sharkboy choked out.
"He didn't mean to leave you Sharkboy." Lavagirl told him, "He couldn't control it. Remember what Max said. He's looking for you right now! You just need to find him. Besides, if it hadn't happened, you would have never become part shark. You would have never met Max and me. I'm glad I met you Sharky."
"Yeah, I'm glad I met you too LG. It's just that I've been living with sharks for more than half my life…I like them a lot, but they're not really the family-type. With sharks, you have to fend for yourself your whole life. Sometimes even unborn sharks eat each other. That's why girl sharks usually only have one baby, because it's eaten the others. It sounds cruel, but that's just the way life is for them, it's normal…The only shark close to a real mother is Sheila. Honestly, she should be human. My point is that I have been with the great whites for eight years, since I was only five, and it's just hard. I miss my dad and I just want him back…"
"I know you do. You can get him back. We just need to keep looking. I don't know how, but your dream might be able to help. Just focus the next time you have it. Try to dream about more."
"Okay. It's late, I should go."
"Yeah, me too."
She tried to lighten the mood, "I'd hug you, but it would probably hurt more than it helped."
He laughed, "Ha! Like I'd want you to hug me."
"We don't have to tell Max everything you told me…not the little details…if you don't want to. We can just tell him what he needs to know to help."
"Fine. You tell him. I don't want to have to explain it twice."
Lavagirl said goodbye to him and they both started heading home. After she had taken a few steps, Sharkboy called to her.
"Hey Lavagirl!" he yelled.
"Yeah?" she called back.
Sharkboy went into the water and started swimming away before she could answer. Lavagirl smiled, Sharkboy's still Sharkboy. She turned around and ran home. She had a feeling it was going to be a long week.
The next morning, Max woke up early and decided to get to the beach before Sharkboy and Lavagirl. He asked his parents if he could stay out longer, maybe even the whole night, because he had a feeling that he was going to anyway. They objected to it, especially his mom, but eventually told him it was okay as long as he stayed safe and called every so often. His mom gave him one of her cell phones and he got a backpack of stuff to bring with him. Just after Max had eaten breakfast, the doorbell rang. His dad got it and came back in with Lavagirl.
"Hey Lavagirl." Max said, "What are you doing here?"
"I'll explain on the way." Lavagirl answered, "But what I can explain right now is that Sharkboy has been having these dreams and we are guessing they are about his mom, so we are all going to look for his dad in his submarine. We need to go now. Sharkboy is waiting for us at the beach. He says I won't melt the submarine and even if I do, you dreamed it up, so you could fix it. Come on!"
"Whoa! Wait a minute!" Max's mom stopped them, "You all are just kids. You cannot go in a submarine. You don't know how to control it."
"Mom, I dreamed it up. It's not like other submarines. I know how it works." Max explained, "Please? We need to look for Sharkboy's dad."
"You can't go in a submarine sweetie. You are only ten! Sharkboy and Lavagirl are…How old are you?"
"We're thirteen." Lavagirl told her, "But you can come with us if you want! Would you let Max come with us then? Technically, he has gone much farther. He has been to Planet Drool. Please!? You don't understand. Sharkboy hasn't seen his dad since he was five. We really need to find him! I'm even going underwater! That's a huge risk for me!"
"Oh, I can't believe I'm even considering this! What do you think honey?" she turned to her husband.
"Go for it!" he replied.
As they were leaving, he yelled, "Call me if there's phone service under the sea! I hope you find him! I love you!"
"Love you too!" Max's mom yelled over her shoulder, "I'll call!"
Now they were all in Sharkboy's submarine somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. Lavagirl and Sharkboy had told them everything, excluding the part about Sharkboy almost crying. Sharkboy was controlling the submarine and looking at the controls and other devices, Lavagirl was trying to stay cool, Max was looking at a map, and Max's mom was trying to put together what was going on.
This is crazy! Max's mom thought. I just learned a few months ago that my son's dreams are real and now I am in a shark-themed submarine with him and his dreamed-up friends looking for a man I don't know. This will be some story!
"Tell me again why we are looking in the Caribbean Sea. Also, how are we supposed to find one man with such a huge area to look?" she asked.
"Sharkboy had another dream." Lavagirl answered, "He believes this is where we should look and I trust him."
"I do too." Max agreed.
"I had the dream about the lady singing again, but this time I dreamed more." Sharkboy told them, turning away from the controls, "I could hear the tune of the song and it sounded like a lullaby. It sounded familiar somehow. Anyway, I spent a long time thinking and trying to figure it out and I remembered this one time that my dad was telling me about when he first became a marine biologist and went scuba diving off the coast of Jamaica. He said that there were many different kinds of marine life there and that he would love to go back and explore the whole Caribbean Sea. I know it doesn't sound like a very good idea, but my instincts tell me that I should look here."
"Oh that's great. You're going on instincts." Max's mother said a bit sarcastically.
"He's half shark Mom." Max explained, "He always follows his instincts. He isn't going to change his mind. Lavagirl and I trust him. You can too."
She finally decided just to trust Sharkboy. Max does. It must be worth it.
They looked for hours and hours at every depth. Eventually Max and his mother went to sleep after she had called his dad. Max's mom had tried to convince Sharkboy and Lavagirl to sleep as well, but Lavagirl had simply told her, "Thanks, but I'd rather stay up a while." and Sharkboy had said, "I'm not going to sleep until I find my dad." So, the two of them were still awake. The clock built into one of the machines now read 5:52 am. Lavagirl was getting sleepy and said they should go to bed, but Sharkboy insisted that he wasn't tired. Yeah right. She thought to herself. He was slumped over the controls with his eyes barely open, rubbing them every two minutes to try to stay awake.
"Come on Sharky, you are obviously exhausted." Lavagirl told him, "You are practically asleep right now. Did you sleep at all yesterday?"
"Yes. I slept for…two hours, I think…" Sharkboy replied, "I'm not tired."
"Yes you are. And you need more sleep than two hours. There will be plenty of time to look when you wake up."
He ignored her and paid attention to the machines instead. She sighed and shot lava at him.
"Ouch!" Sharkboy exclaimed as he jumped up out of the chair, "Why did you do that!?"
"Because you weren't listening to me." Lavagirl replied calmly, "Now we are both going to bed."
"You are so bossy."
They both went to sleep.
Sharkboy was having the dream again. At first, he didn't hear the voice; it was silent. Then the woman was singing. He heard the words this time. "Lullaby, and good night, in the skies stars are bright
May the moon's silvery beams, bring you sweet dreams
Close your eyes, now and rest, may these hours be blessed
Till the sky's bright with dawn, when you wake with a yawn
Lullaby, and good night, you are mother's delight
I'll protect you from harm, and you'll wake in my arms
Sleepyhead, close your eyes, for I'm right beside you
Guardian angels are near, so sleep without fear
Lullaby, and good night, with roses bedight
Lilies o'er head, lay thee down in thy bed
Lullaby, and good night, you are mother's delight
I'll protect you from harm, and you'll wake in my arms
Lullaby, and sleep tight, my darling's sleeping
On sheets white as cream, with a head full of dreams
Sleepyhead, close your eyes, I'm right beside you
Lay thee down now and rest, may your slumber be blessed
Go to sleep, little one, think of puppies and kittens.
Go to sleep, little one, think of butterflies in spring.
Go to sleep, little one, think of sunny bright mornings.
Hush, darling one, sleep through the night
Sleep through the night
Sleep through the night"
Sharkboy listened to her singing, it was beautiful. She sounded like an angel. He tried to look at her, but it remained dark. He realized this was not just a dream, it was a memory; he'd had a mother around at some point a long time ago. Unlike the other times he had this dream, it kept going. Sharkboy felt someone stroking his cheek. Then, he could see her; she was beautiful. She had wavy dark brown hair down to her shoulder blades, ocean blue eyes, and tan skin. She was tall and thin and had a tiny birthmark that looked kind of like a shark fin on her lower jaw on the right side of her face below her ear. She wore a necklace with several charms on it: the first of a heart, the next of a killer whale, the third of a great white shark, the middle of the letter L , the fifth of a music note, the sixth of a seashell, and the last of a mermaid.
Sharkboy wanted the dream to last longer, but woke up all of a sudden when someone screamed. He got up and ran to see what was going on. He found Max's mother unconscious on the floor, Lavagirl trying to wake her up without burning her, and Max trying to regain control of the submarine.
"What on Planet Drool just happened!?" Sharkboy asked.
"Max's mom saw some big fish with sharp teeth swim at the little window over there and it scared her." Lavagirl answered, "It was attacking the window and she screamed and fainted."
"She fell on the controls and it switched out of auto-control." Max added, "I was trying to keep us from hitting a coral reef.
Sharkboy looked out the window.
"Adults are such babies." he commented, "That's just a barracuda. It can't do anything to her when she is in here and barracuda attacks are very rare anyway. They usually only attack dumb people wearing shiny jewelry or getting to close."
He sprayed her with water to wake her up and took over the controls.
They had been looking for hours when Sharkboy put the submarine on auto-control and got up.
"Hey." he said sitting down on the floor next to Lavagirl.
Max had decided to see if he could daydream about finding Sharkboy's dad. His mother had decided to do some work on her laptop and call her husband.
"Hey Sharky. You didn't get up early today." Lavagirl replied.
"Well, I did go to sleep at almost 6 in the morning."
"That's true. But, I thought you might try pretending to sleep until I fell asleep and then going back to looking."
"I was actually going to do that, but I fell asleep."
"I figured that. I know you well."
"Yeah…I had the dream again…"
"Was it the same as the other times you had it?"
"No. I saw her this time…"
"What did she look like?"
"Really pretty…She had dark brown hair and blue eyes. Also, she had a birthmark that looked kind of like a shark fin and a charm necklace; one of the charms was a great white shark. Another charm was an L; I think her name might have started with that letter…Do you really think that she's my mom?"
"I don't know. What other woman would you dream about?"
"I dream about you sometimes…"
He got up and went back to the controls before she could say anything. He didn't look at her.
The day passed by and again they'd found nothing. They almost gave up on looking.
Later that night, they'd all fallen asleep. Then the submarine crashed into something and they were jolted awake. It had accidently been switched from auto pilot. Luckily, it was not damaged.
Max looked out the window, "We hit another submarine!"
They all ran over to look and it was exactly as Max had said. Then the other submarine started to surface and they did the same. Once they were above the water, Sharkboy opened the hatch and the person inhabiting the other submarine did the same. They got out and stood there looking at each other. A minute passed and everyone remained silent and unmoving.
Then the man from the other submarine said, "Sharkboy." and put his arms around him.
Sharkboy did the same, "Dad."
Max's mom took Max and Lavagirl back into the submarine and gave them some privacy.
A while later, they came back down into the submarine.
"This is my dad." Sharkboy told them.
"Hi, I'm Max's mom. He's best friends with your son and Lavagirl." Max's mom introduces herself, shaking his hand. (Sorry. I couldn't remember her name.)
"Hello. My name is Rico." Sharkboy's dad replies, "Nice to meet you all."
"I'm Lavagirl." Lavagirl smiles at him, "I'm glad we found you."
"It was Sharkboy's idea to look in the Caribbean Sea." Max tells him, "I'm Max."
"So, you're actually part shark now?" Rico asked his son, "I didn't think that was possible."
"Well, I am." Sharkboy explained, "I kind of just grew a fin and stuff after a while of living with the great whites. They taught me how to survive. I have gills, but I don't use them though. I still breathe like a human."
"Fascinating. Wait, you live with sharks!? How did this happen?" Rico questioned.
"I'll explain it later." Sharkboy told him, "…I missed you Dad…"
Sharkboy hugged his father and Rico returned his son's embrace, both of them beginning to cry, "I missed you too Sharkboy."
Everyone was overjoyed. Sharkboy had finally found his dad.