Surf Session Lesson
Summer was upon the neighborhood of Summers End in Toonstone. Every one of the residents flocked to the beach to enjoy it. Runny the witch had brewed a delicious batch of lemonade in her cauldron and sat reading a book on a nearby lawn chair. Gummy the toothless werewolf stuck around the cauldron. There were snacks to be eaten there. The cat mayor, Wesley Richards, had curled up on his beach towel to enjoy a nap in the sun. He had tired himself out placing several picket signs around the beach since the local election was coming up. Melody the banshee lingered near Wesley, finding some musical quality to his purring. Dale the salesman had set up a snack stand, but with everyone having brought their own snacks, he wasn’t making a dime. Oscar the magician played a game of volleyball with Clyde Lamm the ghost. Because Clyde could fly, Oscar used his magical wand to level the playing field. It was quite the game. Oscar used magic to send the ball flying and Clyde zoomed up to knock it back down. The two of them played as well as a pair of full teams.
It was a day of laughter. In the moments not filled with the sound of laughter, there was a the calling of circling seagulls and the crashing of waves.
The sun was hot and cast deep shadows. A triangle shadow for the plump werewolf, a circle for the witch’s cauldron, and a rectangle for the door, for in the middle of the beach stood just that: a door. From the back side it looked like just an open door with a frame. Strange, but not nearly as strange as if viewing it from the other side. The other side wasn’t an open door frame. It was a door that lead to a closet. Felipe Femur’s closet. Inside Felipe Femur collected his rescue buoy, a towel, and an umbrella and set out to claim a spot on the beach. Also inside were Sunny the vampire, who was putting on his SPF 1,000 sunscreen, and Gilli Fishel the young lagoon creature, who shook as if with fear. Gilli looked to the view of water that the door opened up to.
“You know I can’t swim, Sunny,” Gilli spoke with chattering teeth.
“If you’re good at surfing, mate,” Sunny smiled, “there really isn’t much swimming involved. We’ll practice on the beach before we ever hit the water. All right?”
Gilli nodded and then grabbed his new surf board before following Sunny out of the closet. They walked past Felipe who had set up his lifeguard chair just beside his closet door. They walked all the way down to the shore. Wesley purred nearby and Melody had by then gone to cheer on Oscar and Clyde near the volleyball net. Gilli placed his blue board down next to Sunny’s red one, facing opposite so he could keep his eyes on his surf instructor.
Laying down on his board, stomach down, Sunny gestured for Gilli to do the same. He did. Sunny began to paddle in the sand and gestured for Gilli to do the same. He did. Sunny paddle harder and jumped into a standing position on his red surf board, then gestured for Gilli to do the same. He did, but in the process Gilli tossed some sand on Wesley Richards’ towel.
The mayor stirred from his nap, looked at the sand on his towel, then glared at Gilli. “This towel is Egyptian cotton” he then quickly mumbled, “paid for by the tax payers, but nevertheless,” he began again in an authoritative boom, “it’s worth more than you can afford. Watch what you’re doing!”
Gilli apologized and then begrudgingly followed Sunny further out, away from Wesley, but into the water that he feared. Stopping to make sure his favorite duck float, Tate, was wrapped securely around his waist, Gilli waded into the cool water. For about a half an hour Sunny taught Gilli to stand up and catch a wave. After half an hour, Gilli was feeling more and more comfortable. He was starting to have fun. There really was very little swimming involved.
Felipe gave him a bony thumbs up from his lifeguard chair when Gilli surfed his first wave. In fact, most everyone on shore cheer for him. Or perhaps they were cheering for the volleyball game. Yes, it seemed it was for the volleyball game, but Gilli felt proud still. It was shaping up to be one of the best days Gilli ever had, in fact.
“Be back in a minute,” Sunny said. He made his way out of the water and towards the snacks.
Gilli practiced some more. He was really having fun. That is until the undertow wrapped around his webbed foot. The undertow pulled, and pulled, and pulled until Gilli lost hold of his surf board and was dragged away from shore.
“Help! Help!” Gilli yelled.
Sunny had gone to get a drink of lemonade moment earlier and was chatting with Runny the witch and Gummy. Gilli called for help, but the only one to hear him was Wesley Richards.
“Help! Help!” Gilli said.
Wesley looked up, smirked, then pretended to sleep. The undertow pulled Gilli further and further from shore. Every once in a while Gilli would see Wesley poke his head up and laugh. He was being quite mean.
“Help! Help!” Gilli pleaded.
Finally Felipe Femur noticed Gilli was in trouble. The others all seemed to be watching the volleyball game, except for Sunny who began to run back towards Gilli and Felipe who was serving as the lifeguard. Felipe threw his rescue buoy but it didn’t even make it half way to Gilli. Felipe then jumped into his magical closet with Sunny the vampire and in an instant the door swirled round and round and disappeared. In another instant the door reappeared directly beside Gilli. “Up here,” Felipe called. Sunny and Felipe tried to grab Gilli, but ended up losing their balance and tumbling into the water. They made a great splash. Try as they might they could reach the door.
“We’re in trouble now, mate,” Sunny said, wading in the water.
It was then that Gilli saw his surf board floating towards him. All three of them, the vampire, the skeleton, and the lagoon creature climbed onto it. Still they floated further and further out. Paddling wasn’t enough to move the board towards shore. All the monsters on the shore became smaller and smaller. Soon they were just dots.
“This is all my fault,” said Felipe. “I should have noticed you needed help earlier.”
“Nonsense,” said Sunny. “It’s my fault for leaving Gilli alone so early in his lessons.”
“It’s all right,” said Gilli. He found he wasn’t all that afraid of the water in that moment. “It was an accident on my part. I didn’t mean to get caught by the undertow, but I did.”
“You’d think Wesley would have heard you yelling for help,” mused Felipe. “He was nearby.”
“He did,” confessed Gilli, “but he would not help.”
“How terribly mean of him,” said the others. At this they fell into silence. They heard seagulls calling and waves crashing. There was a deep rumble too. All three were about to give up hope of rescue. That is until Gilli saw a big wave coming. He had an idea. Sunny had taught him well and he waited for the wave to near.
“Get on your bellies,” Gilli said to Sunny and Felipe. They did. “Paddle,” Gilli said. They did. “Stand up!” Gilli commanded, and the three of them hopped up all at once. They caught the wave. Gilli directed the front of the surf board left and right, right and left, maintaining perfect balance. They fast approached the shore.
“Hold on,” said Felipe, taking control of the surf board. “I have an idea.”
Felipe steered the board towards the closet door that stood ajar, floating above the water. All three of them crouched as the board flew through the door frame. The large wave of water followed. It seemed they would crash into a rack of coats at the back of the closet, but Felipe shouted, “To Wesley,” and in an instant the room spun around and round and the door opened to the beach. The surf board landed on the golden sand of the beach. The vampire, skeleton, and lagoon creature hoped off and felt the heat of the sand on their respective pale, bony, and webbed feet.
Gilli still heard the rumble of the giant wave. Looking back, Gilli could see Wesley waking from a cat nap. A moment later and the giant wave they all rode in on came spilling through the magical doorway of Felipe’s closet.
Wesley was soaked in an instant.
“Curse you, Felipe,” the cat mayor shouted. He set immediately to cleaning himself with his tongue.
The three of them, Sunny, Felipe, and Gilli shared a laugh and then went to watch the volley ball game between Clyde the ghost and Oscar the magician. None of them felt much like surfing anymore that day, but Gilli knew he’d surf again soon.