Losing the Plot
I came to France to write, which seems ironic as all I’ve done is read. Devouring words of authors, I have come to envy them for having created such profound characters and mystical worlds. I, on the other hand am struggling to string a sentence together. Although, I think I may have a plot for a short story. It’s loosely based on my dolphin story.
Yes, I’ve a dolphin story and to be fair, it tends to be a crowd pleaser. It usually starts with a friend saying;
“Julianne, tell them your dolphin story.”
I can see the excitement in peoples’ eyes as they conjure up images of a dolphin rescuing me from treacherous waves, and it makes me uncomfortable knowing I am about to ruin this loving image they associate with dolphins. I take no joy in watching their jaws dropping as I tell them I was beaten black and blue by a dolphin.
The story briefly goes like this. We traveled to Mexico to fulfill my childhood dream of swimming with dolphins. The brochure painted a beautiful picture of one swimming with wild dolphins in the bay of the National Park. They omitted to tell you the dolphins were housed in a tiny swimming pool built into the bay.
I wasn’t happy with this, nor was I happy when they announced we would be doing tricks. A crowd of people started to stream into the ringside benches and I was bellowed at to lie face down in the water.
“Why?” I asked
“It’s fun! The dolphins will push you along in the water.”
Against my better judgment I obeyed. However, dolphins are strong creatures and when they ‘push’ you through the water they move at high speed and if you happen to be wearing a bikini it will inevitably fall down, as mine did.
My pride dented, I wanted out of the water. Indignant at how I and the lovely dolphins were being treated like circus animals I swam away from the group. The first whack across my head came as a surprise and when I finally resurfaced I thought it had just been an accident. It was not until the second and then third hit that I realized I was in my very own ‘When Animals Attack’ show. Once teh dolphin was done with me, he tossed me against the side of the pool and the trainers pulled me out.
I knew things were bad when the trainer screamed “Does she usually look like this?” to which my boyfriend barked “of course she f***** doesn’t.
My father reminds me, if I’d been in America I would now be a millionaire with my own talk show. However, as I was in Mexico, my only compensation was a goodie bag replete with dolphin pens, hats, books, photos and a video of ‘Your Dolphin Experience’. It was blank.
After telling this story the other night, I was inspired to combine my story with an Amazonian legend. Boto is a dolphin by day, but when the moon rises, he steps out of the water in a panama hat and cream suit and makes women fall in love with him. Thus, my protagonist, unaware of his true identity, falls in love with Boto. Following a series of unfortunate events, Boto ends up hitting her in the face whilst in his dolphin form. With a disfigured face, the girl is distraught that her lover will no longer want to be with her.
The villagers go in search of the killer dolphin, capture him and drag him onto the banks of the river where the girl awaits them with a spear. Behind, the moon rises as night descends upon the forest. Raising the spear, the girl plunges it into the heart of the struggling dolphin. The light of the moon touches on the shining skin of Boto, and he turns into a handsome man.
So I guess this is what they call writers’ block.