My Favorite Turtle

If you live in Buena Vista, Colorado or the Arkansas River Valley, you’ve most likely seen work by the very talented and delightful Brynn Ronning. Well, here’s a little secret. A small collaboration inspired by this turtle might be in the works.

BTW – I totally and completely fell in love with this image and am sure you will, too!

Here’s a snippet for you to enjoy.

He leans against the boat’s edge and calls into the water. His voice is a symphony of brass, a blend of notes impossible for a person to make. I can’t focus on how strange it all is because the sound hypnotizes me until I no longer feel the waves, the cold, or the pain.

I find my balance and peer over his shoulder. Large, log-like masses move in a slow and fluid dance in the water. A fluke rises into the air, and I gasp.

“Whales,” I whisper.

Even as I speak the word aloud, I hardly believe it. The closest I’ve come to a whale is watching them migrate from the shore. Even then, all I’ve seen are small humps rising and falling on the horizon. If I was lucky, a whale exhaled, causing a stream of mist to shoot into the air. Never have I seen whales this close. Their presence leaves me speechless.

The boy juts his chin in the direction of the pod. “Sperm whales. The smartest ones out there.”

He oozes arrogance, speaking as though he’s trained them himself, which confuses me more.

The boat stills as the waves change direction to push the whales away, who barrel through the ocean unaffected. I can’t take my eyes off these magnificent beasts. They’re larger than I’ve ever imagined, and when they swim together, it’s like an island rising from the sea.

They surround the boat as the boy speaks to them. The whales’ sonar moves through my skull, my sternum, and my legs—click, click, click. The volume pains my ears, and I cover them with my hands. Are they talking back?

The boat jolts and lifts from the water, causing me to fall again. I bump my hip on the center thwart and pain shoots up my side. I wince and massage it, momentarily forgetting the insanity happening around me. All I see is the inside of the wet boat.

When I force myself to stand and have regained my balance, I glance over the edge of the boat, which hovers several feet from the ocean’s surface. My eyes widen in disbelief. We’re no longer in the water but perched on a pod of whales carrying us toward the moon.

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