A Day in my New Life

By Wolphin.

I know that is a strange name, but that is what this story was originally. It was an entry in a contest on the TSA. I didn't win, but it was well received (I think - see feedback, at bottom)

My alarm started that annoying beeping at just the wrong point in 
time, rousting me in the middle of a beautiful dream.  I was about 
to roll over and thump the clock, when mercifully, the noise 
stopped.  I just lay there for a while grumbling about forgetting 
to turn of the alarm, after all, it was Saturday and I was looking 
forward to sleeping in.  I tried getting back to sleep, but I just 
couldn't get comfortable.  Finally I decided to cut my losses and 
get up.  That was when the fun started.

I was lying on my stomach and tried to roll over onto my back, but 
I just couldn't do it.  No matter how I moved, I just couldn't 
turn over.  This dissipated remains of my slumber pretty quickly 
and I opened both eyes.

Whoa!  Something was seriously wrong!  I was seeing two sides of 
my room at once, and there was this big grey thing in front of me.  
I quickly closed my eyes again and completed a mental checklist.  
Yes, I was awake.  No, I was not drunk.  No, I was not on any 
'medication'.  I contemplated this, then slowly opened my left eye 
and looked around. 

Yep, it was the left side of my room.  There was the door, desk 
and mess on the floor, but there was something strange sticking 
out from where my nose should be.  I closed my left eye and opened 
my right.  It was the other side of my room, mainly a wall, with a 
window and a few posters.  Again there was this strange thing 
sticking out of my head.  I opened my left eye again and had a 
look around.  I was definitely looking at two separate images of 
my room, with just a small overlap of binocular vision.  I calmly 
closed my eyes and contemplated this.

Experimenting, I moved my right arm.  Something moved, but it 
didn't feel right for an arm.  It was more like just moving a hand 
which was attached to your shoulder, except your fingers didn't 
move either.  In fact, it wasn't like an arm, it was closer to 
what I'd always imagined having a flipper would be like.  It was 
the same with my left arm.  

By now, something was starting to click.  I tried to move just one 
legs, but they both had to move in unison.  It was as if I didn't 
have two legs, rather there was only one... sort of like a tail.  
I took in this piece of information and slowly processed it.  My 
brain protested at thinking this early in the morning, but it 
finally spat out an answer.  It was something like :

2 x fin + 1 x tail + 1 x grey nose thingee + funny eyes = dolphin.

Strangely enough, it seemed to fit.  I had always wanted to be a 
dolphin, so today I just happened to wake up as one.  No problem.  
I lay there contemplating my new situation.  After a while, I 
accepted the fact and progressed to finding out about my new body.  
If I concentrated, I could feel the bed sheets on my dorsal fin 
and my tail.  With a start, I realised I was breathing through a 
hole on the back of my neck, but it seemed natural.  I wondered 
about sonar and somehow a wave of sound shot from my melon, I 
waited for an echo, there was one, but too faint to be useful.  

"Needs to be in water," thought some previously unknown part of my 

Water.  I needed water.  With a slight panic, I called for my 
parents.  I know I yelled out "Mum, Dad!" but it didn't seem right 
when it came out.

Luckily, they were both nearby and burst into the room.  I could 
tell something was wrong from the way they stopped and stared.

Mum just went "Oh."

While Dad responded with a better "Bugger me!"

I tried calling to them again, "water, I need some water."  

To their credit they sprang into action.  Dad ran to the laundry 
and filled a bucket with water which he poured all over me.  It 
saturated the bed, flooded the room and shorted out the power, but 
made me feel a lot better.

Mum then started a single human bucket brigade, and Dad jumped on 
the phone.  While Mum poured water over me, I listened into parts 
of Dad's conversation.  They were all along the lines of : "I want 
to report a stranded dolphin."  

"Um, bottlenose I think," pause.

"In Darlington," longer pause.

"Yes, I know that its over 30km from the ocean, you tell that to 
the dolphin!"  This was usually followed by the sound of the phone 
being slammed down and muttering about the questionable linage of 
various people.

Eventually, my father appeared at the doorway.  

"It's no good," he said.  "They don't believe me, we'll have to 
take it ourselves." 

I wanted to tell him that it was ok, not to worry, his son was 
fine - just looking a little different - all that deep and 
meaningful stuff, but I couldn't.  After trying to communicate 
with my mother, I had established, while I could understand them, 
they couldn't understand me.

Anyway, their next task was to get me to the back of the ute.  
Considering, that by my estimation I weighed about 180kg and there 
was only two of them, they did a pretty good job.  Lucky for me, 
the good old pulleys still work perfectly.  Then they filled 
almost every container we had with water and packed it in around 
me.  Dad jumped in the front, Mum got in the tray with me and we 
took off like the clappers.

On a good run, it usually takes about 40-50 minutes to reach the 
coast.  Dad did it in under 25.  He took the most direct route, 
which happens to come out at our one and only marine park - 
Underwater World.  He drove up to the side gate and pressed on the 
horn.  After a while a security guard wandered out to see what the 
noise was about.  Dad motioned to be in the back.  

"Jesus!" the guard exclaimed, jumping back and grabbing his 

In moments we were ushered into the park.  A team of people sprang 
into action.  I was shovelled into a proper sling, which had holes 
for my flippers and had salt water sprayed over me.  Other people 
ran around taking measurements, photos and talking to each other.  
A vet came and gave me a complete examination, taking tissue 
samples, blood samples, god-knows-what-else samples.  Finally, I 
was lowered into a small salt water pool.

It was my first time in the water.  I luxuriated in the feeling of 
its touch.  Subconscious processes clicked in, telling me how to 
swim, when to breathe, how to use my sonar.  I'm not sure how long 
I swam in circles in that pool.  It was too small to do anything 
else, but was one of the best feelings.  

Eventually, I sensed someone new approach the pool.  It was the 
veterinarian.  I stuck my head up and listened to what he said.

"Well, he's a normal, healthy, male bottlenose dolphin, aged 
between 9-11.  From the looks of him, I'd say he's grown up near 
here.  The couple which brought him in say he just appeared in 
their spare room, but the police are looking into it.  We'll put 
him in with the others and try to re-hab him.  I'd say he's got a 
good chance of going back..."

I stuck my head underwater again and continued swimming.  Then I 
felt the water level falling again.  Let me tell you, experiencing 
falling water is pretty traumatic for a dolphin.  You try to swim, 
but end up beached on hard concrete, but after all I had 
experienced today, I handled it pretty well.

Once they top of my head was out of the water yet another team 
sprang into action.  The sling was lowered and I was manhandled 
into it.  Then I was hoisted out and taken to another pen.  As I 
was lowered into the water, I could sense something was different.  
For one, this was the natural ocean, I was in a sea pen.  
Secondly, I could hear other dolphins nearby.

Before they released the sling I heard someone say "Got a new 
friend for you girls!"

"Girls?" I thought.  "What do they mean girls?"

The sling opened and I was free.  I powered my flukes and broke 
free of the group surrounding me.  My sonar told me I was in a 
large open area, rough bottomed but surrounded by a fine mesh.  I 
sensed someone else's sonar.  Another dolphin!

I turned to the direction from which the noise had come from and 
found myself staring at another dolphin's face.  

"G'day," I managed to stutter in my funny dolphin speak.

"Hi," she replied.  "So you're the strange one are you?"  I could 
understand her!

"Um, I guess so."

"Well, it looks as if you'll be here a while," she said.  "May as 
well meet the gang."

She turned and headed of to a corner of the pen, with me trailing 
behind her.  In the corner were two other dolphins.  I found 
myself probing them with my sonar.  All three were females, two 
about my age and one a few years younger.

"I'm Mila," said the first female.

"They call me Kilo," added the second.

"And I'm Echo," put in the youngest.

"Umm, hi.  I'm called..." I paused, thinking.  "...Wolphin."

I told them about my previous life and they nodded sagely.

"Happens, you know," one remarked thoughtfully.

They told me about their lives, then we played for the remainder 
of the day.  As night fell, I reminisced about my previous life, 
and now, here I was.  The only male dolphin, surrounded by three 
amorous females.  Well, they say re-hab can take a long time, a 
very long time...

This is the comment from the judges, (thanks Phaedrus)

Wolphin's A Day in My New Life

        This is probably my favorite "bystander reaction" of the lot, 
though I couldn't help but feel sorry for the parents--try explaining 
that to the police. :-)  The descriptiveness of the change is very 
good, and so's the dialogue.  Again, it's hard to spot a flaw in 
this one, other than some spelling and grammar nitpicks.

I'll agree with the grammer comment, but I think the spelling was my Australian spelling vs the American misuse of the English language :)