The Sweet Escape

The water ran over Frederick as he lie face up in the sand with his arms and legs spread apart.  The breeze caught his rosy, moist skin and the hidden gems boldly groped in his hands.  They were only ashes of a far away sand dune he had taken captive, but to Freddie they may as well have been gold.

A child only understands one thing, play.  And play is all Freddie wanted. But before he could get back on his feet the enemy was holding him, engrossing him tightly and they began to lift his body upward in preparation of a drowned victory.  They were to thrust Freddie into the ocean.  His brothers, both older, knew he couldn’t swim and lying on the ground so pleased with himself and so vulnerable, they couldn’t resist.  The excitement was mounting.  Such a stupendous victory after Freddie’s triumphant defeat over them earlier.  What a way to end it all, they thought howling uproariously like wolves under the full moon.  Freddie opened his mouth to let out a call of distress.  His vocals echoed the beachy dunes and thundered inside his body.  He began to imagine them ripping apart, tearing at the seams until he could no longer speak.  He felt far away and tried to bring himself back but couldn’t.

His brothers were no longer holding him up, but had dropped Freddie to the ground and were gaping downward.  They saw a boy changing, morphing in front of their very eyes.  No one could speak, least of all Freddie, though he wanted to the most.  His shouts could now only produce tiny bubbles.  His vocal cords were now replaced with gills and the most he could do was pucker his mouth into a kiss and blow.  His body flailed on the wet sand.  Freddie was a dying fish.  His brothers stared, still petrified.  Unable to move much Freddie only had his thoughts now.  And he imagined himself slowly being devoured by these Humans.  Would he be fried, baked or cooked in a stew?  The wet sand and lack of water strangled him and before he realized it, his body was slowly flapping it’s way into the ocean in a sweet escape.

If he ever felt caught or trapped again he was now aware of this tremendous gift and the truth behind his identity.   Freddie could shape shift.


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