Between Desire and the Sun-Gold Sea
by Fran Walker
“You only get one chance,” Aihe said.
I pretended to dither, but the choice was no choice at all. I couldn’t give up my body, my entire life, forever. I’d do it for today, though. Who could resist the chance to be a dolphin temporarily? Who would be mad enough to choose to be a dolphin forever?
Aihe must’ve read it on my face. “Once is better than never,” she said.
Naked, hand in hand, we walked into the surf. Blue-green water, cool and gentle as Aihe’s fingers, caressed my calves, lingered on my knees, brushed my thighs. The waves rocked against my groin as Aihe had rocked against me, pelvis to pelvis, a scant hour ago.
The sea smelled of Aihe’s salt, Aihe’s desire, Aihe’s pleasure, like the taste of her that lingered on my tongue. I curled my toes into the sandy bottom.
She ducked under the waves. Her long, dark hair curled into seaweed tendrils that streamed over her brown shoulders. Sunlight gilded her skin like some priceless treasure.
We waded deeper. I lifted my arms for balance, turning my head away from the waves that slapped at my mouth and nose.
Aihe pressed her forehead to mine and whispered something. I watched as her face and body changed, and felt my own changing in tandem. Nostrils and breasts and shoulders became a blowhole, mammary slits, a half-moon dorsal fin.
I no longer had to fight the water. I belonged.
Aihe was the dolphin beside me. She was the sea. She was my new body. She called to me, voice to voice, mind to mind, skin to skin.
The sea lifted me like a lover. I skimmed through the silken folds of the waves as easily as I had slipped my fingers inside Aihe. I thrust into the water, and it enveloped me in a sensual, pulsating rhythm.
Pleasure without guilt. Freedom without constraint. Untrammeled joy. The sea and Aihe and I shared our bursts of ecstasy in an unending cycle.
The water changed and darkened as the sun slanted lower. I followed Aihe into the shallows. In a burst of euphoria I leaped up, arcing toward the sky in a shower of jewelled prismatic droplets.
The light sharpened. I stood waist-deep in the sea, my feet pressing into the sandy bottom. For one timeless moment the sun sparkled on the waves, and a dolphin danced on its tail. I reached out to her.
A splash of water obscured my vision. Then Aihe’s perfect half-moon dorsal fin appeared, sliced through a wave, disappeared again. The sun sank towards the horizon, its slanting rays turning the sea to a pool of molten gold.
I now understood the Maori concept of taonga. Treasure need not be gold or jewels or something that you could hold in your hand. To Aihe, the sea itself was taonga, a treasure, a sacred gift. The chance she offered me had been taonga.
Alone, I lifted a handful of Aihe’s sun-gold sea. Jewelled drops of water fell from my fingers. Like tears, like regrets, the droplets disappeared into the sea, leaving no mark.
Fran lives in New Zealand with her wife and three cats. Her short fiction has appeared in “Women of the Bite” (Ravenous Romance) and “Girl Crazy” (Cleis Press). She’s the author of “Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling Lesbian Fiction” (Bedazzled Ink).
Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.