Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)
TITLE: An Encounter at the Edge
By Val Clark
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‘Yeeha!’ Mimi squealed in delight as she soured through the early morning air and sliced back into the water.
‘Well done! That’s the highest jump I’ve ever seen.’
The Master! Mimi swam closer. He laughed, widening the distance. She loved playing ‘Chase the Master.’
‘Jump with me?’
‘Later, beloved. I’ve a task for you.’
Mimi contented herself with frequent small jumps as she broke the surface to breath. A sonar signal warned her that the Master was bringing them perilously close to the Edge.
She turned to nuzzle him with her beak.
‘Fear not, Mimi.’
Usually it was easy to regulate her breathing as she spy-hopped along the surface. Not today. Fear and excitement jostled for victory. She and the Master were going on a mission! Oh, but he was leading her into such danger. At last he slowed and eased her parallel to the Edge. A Two Leg stood staring out to sea.
‘Victoria is hurting, Mimi. It’s her birthday. She loves to celebrate but today her heart is heavy. Her mate, Thomas, has been spurned by the very ones who should love and nurture him.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘Swim along the Edge.’
Mimi watched the Two Leg follow.
‘Who reveals to you the mysteries of my love?’
The answer was so obvious Mimi wondered if it was a trick question. But, in serious discussions like this, that was not the Master’s habit.
‘Indeed. Thomas was also a spiritual leader of his herd. One among many. They didn’t like what he said and the way his family lived. It didn’t fit in with their ideas so they
‘He is a bad Two Legs?’
‘No. Thomas’ heart is true. I don’t expect you to understand, beloved, but in their eyes his sin was caring more for the poor and hurting than for the rich and powerful. He wouldn’t play their political games and he suffered.’
‘Why are we here?’
‘Because, Mimi, she is trying to bear the burden of this alone. She grieves for her beloved and fears for her calves. Her loyalties are torn. Who can she talk to in her herd when the very leaders she trusted have cast her family aside? Even her pod brothers would pour scorn on her and the rest of my children for they don’t believe I exist.’
Mimi felt as if the tides had stopped turning. She even ignored the small school of fish that teased her.
‘How can they not see you in every anemone that blooms? Every dawning day? Every step they take on the Edge? Oh, Master, how that must break your heart. Can’t you make the herd take them back? And her brothers believe? And why is she afraid for her calves?’
The Master laughed gently. ‘Slow down, Mimi. One question at a time. When I created the Two Legs I gave them free will. I can’t even force the ones who believe to obey me.’
‘But you are the Master!’
‘And you are very perceptive, Mimi. Let me rephrase that. I choose not to force my will on the Two Legs, although as individuals I do pursue them until they find me!’
It was Mimi’s turn to laugh. And then she wanted to cry, remembering what had happened when the Master had become a Two Leg.
‘Peace, Mimi, peace my beloved.’
Mimi shot air out of her blow hole. If she went any slower they would be going backwards.
‘She fears they will reject me because of the wrong done to their father.’
‘But why bring me here?’
‘Your presence has been lifting her broken spirit and turning her thoughts towards me from the moment she saw you in the water. Listen.’
‘I was so angry with you, Jesus, for upsetting my life. I really thought that we’d at last found our spiritual home and you took it away! Thank you for sending the dolphin to walk by me in my hour of need, for showing me that you haven’t abandoned us. That you love us. That you love me.’
The Master sped out into the Deep.
‘Come, Mimi. Now we’ll jump together.’
A dolphin broke the surface.
‘Yeeha! Happy birthday, Victoria, my beloved. Happy birthday!’
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