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Monday, February 02, 2004

I wrote a story in the summer of 2000 for my Compelling for Communication class (as if I needed to be compelled to communicate... people can't get me to shut up! ^_^).
I had to use the words: prince, brick, egg. I had to choose a theme: I chose coincidence.

I wrote this story because I am afraid of sharks and somehow I was trying to exorcise the fear... so I researched sharks and fishes and put a little bit of knowledge in this. So in the end this story became and educational fable about friendship and dreams.

I often write about dreams, pirates, angels and soldiers... but this lead me to write a whole other story the following fall.
For now... this is:

Brick and Remoura*

“I don’t want to be like them!” sighed Brick. “I don’t want be part of the flock, swimming around with my mouth open… looking for my prey all day long!”
“Brick… you are a shark!” Answered Remoura, the little shark sucker.
They sat at the bottom of the Ocean, together, speechless. Both lost in the quiet of the water, till a sound traveled four time faster to tell their ears that something was moving closer and closer. Splash after splash, the shark and his sucker could hear a victim, approaching. They looked up, at the surface, and spotted a seal.
“Yummie, dinner is served!” smiled Remoura. “I loooove seal!”
“It’s not a seal…” sighed Brick. “It’s a human.”
“Those are good…”
“Gross… sharks don’t eat humans!”
“But they bite them….”
“Yak, then run away because of the smell!” the shark shook his head. “I’m not that hungry.”
Remoura thought about it: humans were pretty bad smelling creatures. To bite them and then to inhale their stinking odor would have left any shark without appetite for days. He didn’t want his shark to starve for days… he lived on the fact that he fed and needed to be cleaned.
“You are so smart, Brick, how did you know it wasn’t a seal?”
“I happen to think…”
“Gosh, I had to hang out with a smart shark!” blubbered, disappointed, Remoura.
“Oh, shut up, you are such an egg!” said Brick.
The shark swam around, more or less in the same spot, for a couple of hours then stopped at the sight of a beautiful sea grass field. He was hypnotized by the movement of the marine prairie and the light of the sun was so iridescent and happy looking. He smiled with all his teeth, front, middle and bottom lane.
“Hey!” said Remoura. “Did you fall asleep? We are looking for food!”
“Asleep? What’s that?” asked the shark.
“You know when you stop and rest and dream…”
“Do I have to close my eyelids?”
“What eyelids?” frowned the sucker.
“You know the white things I use to cover my eyes with, when I bite…”
“I don’t know… I don’t have those…” Remoura was new at his job. Brick was very young, he was the son of the King of the Sharks and was alone, in the submerged world, for the first time… all by himself. So was him, Remoura.
His dad used to work on the King and said it was a family duty to go from a King to another one and it had been like this for generations in their family of shark suckers. So he took the job, not that he didn’t like it, but the King’s body was quite a big place to grow up on and Brick wasn’t even half his size. Cozy but average.
“How comes you don’t know how to sleep?” the sucker was curious.
“I guess sharks don’t sleep…”
“No wonder you are so aggressive… I would be a beast if I couldn’t sleep my fourteen hours at day!”
“It sounds fun!”
“Well it can be fun… if you have pleasant dreams!”
“Maybe you should teach me one day…”
Remoura was surprised at first, then pleased by the idea… of bossing around a prince. After all, nobody ever asked his opinion and this young shark was very much into the mood for a good conversation all the time.
“Do you think I can eat that?” Brick asked all of a sudden.
“What? The grass?” Remoura was astonished. “Why?”
“I feel like eating it.” He shrugged his shoulder. “Lately I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable with the taste of blood.”
“I don’t like the sound of that word… whatever it means.”
“It means it tastes funny!”
“Hey… you didn’t turn to be like one of those others… did you?” burst out the sucker.
“Others? What others? There’s others like me?”
Remoura didn’t answer.
“Well… I think it’s a legend… but my father said… that… there’s a whole bunch of grass eating sharks… and they live up North!”
“North!” Brick’s eyes shone of happiness.
“I wouldn’t go there, if I were you… it’s freezing cold up there!”
“But I must go, Remoura, I must go and find them… I thought I was the only one! I thought I was alone…” the shark lowered his head. “When you are one of a kind… it’s black loneliness and loneliness it’s like… not living at all.”
“Nonsense… Here’s another human… give it a shot… they might stinks but they are tender… there, white meat is the lightest!” the fish tried to put some sense back into his shark’s head.
“Remoura, we are going North!”
The shark sucker detached himself from his companion.
“Listen, pal, what makes you think I’m coming with you to freeze my fishy ass up there?"
“I thought we were friends!”
“I’m a parasite. I feed myself with your leftovers… you eat, I clean you. You protect me, I clean you… that’s the deal… you’ll never make it!”
Brick sighed.
“Life belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams… I shall go now… fare you well!” the shark left, in silence, following his instinct. He seemed to be sure that the whole universe would conspire to help him find his own way… in his own way. He bit the sea grass… chewed it and found it tasty. He cried for joy and didn’t turn back.
Life is funny, it turns the worst carnivore into a vegetarian in no time.
Remoura circled around for a while. He stared at the grass. He stared at the human swimming on the surface of the Ocean. Then he saw his friend getting farther and farther. He didn’t look like no prince, in that very moment. He didn’t look anything like a royalty. He just looked crazy.
All of a sudden he saw a big shark swimming over his head and smiled, his little fishy smile.
“Hello!” he said introducing himself. “My name is Remoura.”
“My name is Jade.” Said the other shark. “Say… are you unemployed at the moment?”
“I just happened to loose my shark.”
“Despicable accident… a fisherman?”
“No, sea grass…”
The other one didn’t understand.
“Jade… how do you feel about the taste of blood? Do you like it?”
“Sure.” He replied. “I can smell it from twelve miles away... if not more.”
“How about swimming with the mouth opened all the time, chasing your preys…”
“That’s what I do!” answered the vain shark.
“What about humans…”
“Stinky but tasty…” replied the other one. “Are you gonna take the job?”
“Do you sleep?” asked in the end the fish.
“Sleep? That stupid fishes’ activity? It’s such a waste of time!” he opened wide his eyes and looked very very scary. Remoura swimmed backward. Looked at the shark and frowned.
“Maybe he is right!” he thought out loud. “Maybe you all are insane… and he’s found the only reason to live.”
“Are you taking the job, or what?” asked again the shark.
“Sorry…” smiled the fish. “I’m going to be busy for the next fifty or forty years…”
The other one couldn’t understand, again.
“Doing what?”
“Teaching a friend how to dream in the sleep… and learning from him how to dream with my eyes opened!”
“You are a fish… your eyes are always opened…”
“For sure they are now!” he swam away.
The shark maybe thought that that was the weirdest shark sucker he had ever met. He looked at him disappearing into the sea grass, and leaving distorted bubbles behind him.
Life is strange, sometimes, it turns the fishiest parasite into the best of friends… in no time.

Ironically.... the theme of "coincidence" really struck this story... the moment Pixar created Bruce and the other vegetarian sharks. Myabe that's why I dare publish this tale here... I cannot use it ever again (for a commercial purpose at least) since the prettiest idea of it all was already used by someone else and it's not that new anymore.

* the name in Italian of this tale was : a shark without a remoura. In Italian the word remora is both the scientific name of the shark sucker and it means hesitation. Someone who can act without a remora, can do things without hesitations (and scruples too at times). So the title was a game of words.

Deborha Daniele (C) All Rights Reserved 2000.

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