The sun beat down on their bronze bodies, as Annabelle and Dex floated on the turquoise water. “Look at that mountain,” Annabelle said, turning on her side and pointing into the sky. A huge rock spire pierced the blue sky, its jagged edge looking sharp as a knife, groves of coconut trees fringing the base. Dex followed Annabelle’s extended finger and smiled. “Check this out,” he said, grinning. He flipped over on to his stomach, then dove headfirst down into the cool salty water.
He was naked, as was Annabelle, and they didn’t have any other gear with them either. They didn’t need anything, since they had no need to breathe here, in this shared dream world they’d bought the week before. Neither of them were spontaneous shoppers, but they’d been unable to stop talking about the dream holiday package they’d seen offered at Marci’s Memory Mart and finally decided to splurge.
Dex swam downward effortlessly, looking back once to see Annabelle matching his pace. He swam a few strokes, then stopped and pointed over to his left. Annabelle swam up beside him and turned her head quizzically toward him. Through some mechanism Dex didn’t understand, he heard her say, “What? I don’t see anything.”
The water in which they swam was crystal clear, but distance made objects more obscure. “Just look,” Dex replied somehow. “Look for the white parts.” Annabelle focussed and made a gasping noise when she realized what she was looking at.
“It’s a whale,” she said, agog.
“Actually, it’s two whales,” Dex said, grinning. “A humpback and her baby.” Annabelle looked closer and saw the two giants, slowly gliding down in front of them. Their head knobs were clearly visible, along with white streaks along their jaws and flukes. They arced their bodies, unbelievably slowly and gracefully and almost effortlessly swam down into the depths, passing below Dex and Annabelle as they floated metres under the surface. They hung there in the warm water watching the mother and child for what seemed like an hour before the giants swam away.
“That was amazing,” Annabelle said, swimming a little closer to Dex and wrapping her arms and legs around him as they met. “But I think it’s time to get back to the real world.”
“You’re probably right,” Dex said and he held Annabelle closer. “See ya soon, kiddo,” he said and woke up.