Mr. and Mrs. White are laying side by side in their bedcave discussing the shocking turn of events at the Brambles this evening. Due to the urgency of the Brambles’ situation, Monique’s brother was able to pull some fishing lines and find a captain who had room for a few more stowaways.
Passage on these underwater operations have become much more difficult to secure in recent months due to a surge in local triad activity causing a near state of panic amongst the sharks. There are just not enough boats to service the refugees. Some families have even spent their life’s savings only to board a vessel that was a front for the Taiwanese finning industry.
They never made it out of the bay.
The community still has not recovered from the gruesome images splashed all over the sonar displays the next day. That’s why the pickup locations have moved to the south side of Nantucket Island in the hope that proximity to the wildlife refuge would keep would-be poachers away.
Joey will never get his fin back and the bullying will only intensify. Mr. White knows that Charlene and Skip’s decision to move to Fiji is a sound one, but he still worries about their safety during the 7,000 nautical mile journey in mostly open seas.
The law can’t protect them out there. And even if it could, it could only punish the perpetrators not prevent the crime. Punitive damages do not bring back loved ones. Mr. White sees this time and time again in court.
Their little Lisa is still too young to make the journey, otherwise he and Monique would pack tonight and join their puphood friends. They just need to stay off the radar for 6 more months and then they’ll risk the transfer. In the meantime, Mr. White will continue to push for legislation to take back their native rights as First Ocean Nations.
Monique rolls over to her husband and tries to still his racing mind with a nibble on his snout. “Get some sleep, Alan. The Brambles are resourceful. They’ll make it to the island safely.”
Alan White takes a voluminous draw and relaxes.
The diving gannet announces the break of dawn.
The Brambles haven’t slept all night. They’ve been inside and out of every nook in their shipwreck looking for Katie’s sea grass allergy medication and now they are swimming behind schedule.
Because of Joey’s mangled fin they will have to take the shorter but more treacherous route due south in open waters to Nantucket Island where the escape ship is moored. It would take too long to follow the coastline and approach from the bay.
Mr. and Mrs. Bramble tie the final loop in their travel net and wave to their pups to jump in. They swim back and forth along the side of the hull a few times to test the drag, make a few quick adjustments, and they’re good to go.
Charlene takes one last look at their Cape Cod home which has been in their family for 5 generations and suffers a moment of indecision. Her grandmother’s grandmother took her first swims on that very deck. Now she must abandon all that history and her own fond memories of first Joey then Katie flopping around clumsily as they developed their sea fins.
Skip senses his partner’s anguish, slips over, and puts a fin to her heart. “The memories are in here, Minnow, and they’re coming to Fiji with us.”
Charlene dances around her lover and best friend, the father of her two beautiful pups, and the most honourable shark in the eastern coastal waters, and rubs her underbelly against his. “That’s why you’re my Angelfish.” And they kiss.
Joey and Katie groan in unison.
The Brambles pick up the travel net with their mouths and turn their front halves towards their pups. “Ready for a ride?”
“Hold tight. Here we go!”
Within 10 minutes, they have cleared the peninsula and are heading to freedom. They’re not waiting for Tang Lee to have another go a their son.
…to be continued in Onwards to Fiji.