Great Barrier Reef, Australia
By the thirteenth day, the ancient face of the sea turtle seemed like a friend. She’d been following his capsized vessel for the better part of a week. She’d surface, her cloissone cheeks gleaming in this sun, her almond eyes seeming almost human. She’d blink wisely, then vanish into the depths for hours. Then, just as he’d give up all hope to see her, she’d reappear at the edge of his craft, like a cheerful neighbor bearing a gift.
When she was gone, he’d stare hard at all horizons, searching for land. Was he too far east? he wondered. Or perhaps west. Impossible to say.
Just then she appeared, her head breaking the calm. An instant later—gone, but back again further east next time. Then further still. As if she was trying to tell him something. As if she knew. He reached for his oar and began to paddle.
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