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felicitousFolly

Surf, swim, and... smarm?

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DM

Saturday June 4th, 1300

Along the coast north of the Trainor Airport, due east of the Freedom City Ledgers Office, there is a patch of beach between North Bay and Skylar devoid of the suburbia that follows the shore elsewhere. It was warmer than usual on this fine Saturday afternoon, the ebb and flow of the tides producing a constant breeze and saturating the air with salt-water humidity. The sky was splashed with thin wisps of cirrus clouds, and the warmth exaggerated the tides and water movement, providing larger waves than usual.

There were a few businesses on Kingston-college before the slope down to the beach; a gas station, a pool hall, a bar and a run-down looking church were the only businesses before the road lead down a half-mile to a more active side of town and the Ledger's office. After the slope, is an isolated beach. There were footsteps high in the sand, where joggers had run up from the more crowded beaches to the south had been there that morning, and there were trails leading to the water where some of the local crab life had been washed ashore and returned to the depths. Also washed ashore and the only exception to the otherwise pristine beach was a mess of logs and planks tangled up in a net.

The nearest bus stop was almost a mile up the road, where Skylark ran into the office, but from Claremont; that was not much left at all.

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"Come on, mates! I can smell the salt from here!" yelled Darwin has he charged toward the beach. Polly flew alongside him, and he carried his pink surfboard and matching cooler. "Saturday. Saturday. Saturday. Sweet gods in the water, no school at last!"

Plowing through the sand, Darwin dropped his cooler near a shady patch of grass and charged headlong into the waves. "Bonzai!"

Polly sat on the cooler. The surfer disappeared into the murky Atlantic waters only to reappear a good 20 yards out. Lazing about on his belly, he hopped up as the first wave curled to life. The first wave often set the tone for the day's surfing. Thankfully, the first one turned into a whopper, and Darwin managed some considerable airtime before leaping high.

As he cannonballed, he yelled, "Righteous!"

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"DUDE!" Brian shouted as he paddled his surf board to the shore. "Darwin! How did you Do that!? You jumped off the board like it was a ... a Board!" Brian had gotten out there early, and had spent the past hour trying to get the hang of standing up on the board. He had met some success in standing up, but staying up was a different story altogether. Despite that, the warmth and the water promised a fantastic day, and Brian's cheer couldn't be dampened.

With that, a wave came up behind him, and he did a passable job standing up on the board, but as soon as he stood up his arms started wobbling, the board started shaking, and the board launched forward from under his feet like a banana peel in a cartoon. Laughing as he surfaces, he shouts to Darwin as he swims closer, "That is hard to do without cheating!"

With a conspiratorial whisper as he gets close, he asked Darwin: "Does your bird hold a grudge for pirate jokes? Cause I buried a box of crackers earlier, just in case."

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John carried the myriad other things the others had said that they would need for their "gnarly beach party" as Darwin put it to him. John frowned slightly at the thought of his exuberant roommate, and how he didn't understand half of the words out of his mouth. Shaking his head free of that thought, he made his way down to the beach whereupon he proceeded to set up the towels, coolers, and other items. Brian and Darwin will still frolicking in the surf, leaving him with the parrot as he put together a beach umbrella.

Once done, he had looked around and found a buoy anchored offshore, about a hundred or so meters out. Perfect. He went into the water, swimming towards it with broad overhead strokes.

As he made his way to the buoy, he noted with a bit of satisfaction that this was indeed a more rigorous exercise than his regular swimming in the pool at Claremont.

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"Oh, heck no, Brian. Bird loves pirate jokes and movies. You leave those things buried long enough, and you'll see Captain Pollyanna digging for buried treasure," laughed Darwin. Patting the young man on the arm, Darwin swam off to retrieve his board, and paddled back.

"You ever skate board or snow board, mate? Same difference really 'cept the ground is moving around under ya. Just imagine a balance pole runnin' down the middle of it. Think about keeping your balance right along that axis. Like this," he began before paddling out to a slowly gathering wave.

Darwin caught a small wave and rode it in without fanfare. He did however wave to Brian and point at the positioning of his feet: wide enough for balance but close enough to the longitudinal axis of the board to steer. Then he deliberately shifted his feet out too far and BAM! flipped comically into the surf.

He surfaced by Brian and said, "Try riding it on your knees or stomach. Get the hang of talking to God before trying to stand up."

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At Darwin's question, Brian simply shook his head 'no,' "Naw dude, the closest I've been to boarding is in watchin the movies. But now I'm learnin how to Surf!" Simple statement of fact, but Brian could not keep the enthusiasm out of his voice.

Brian paid rapt attention to the brief instruction, and nodded as he made a mental note of the main points. With a fierce kick in the water, Brian pulled himself and slid back up on his board. Taking the time to watch specifically where Darwin's feet are on the board and how he's standing, Brian starts to get that he doesn't need to move his feet quite so much.

Once John was close and passing them towards the Buoy, Brian hollered at him, and waved "Hey John! Glad you could make it!"

Laughing, Brian nods excessively at Darwin. "That's it exactly, that's what keeps happening!"

As John keeps swimming past them, Brian shouted to him. "Where are you going?!" Not sure if he could be heard, he laid down on the board and tried to get a feel for the balance of it, that horizontal bar that Darwin mentioned, but having a hard time because he kept looking at John, curious where he was going.

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John thought he had heard someone calling to him so he stopped swimming and started treading water looking around for the source. "What? Oh." He said, easily staying afloat in the swell. "I usually do laps in the pool at Claremont on the weekend, and I do not want to miss my regimen. This is a bit more of a workout." He nodded toward the buoy. "I am planning on doing a few laps between the shore and that weather buoy."

"Please do not mind me. I do not wish to interrupt Mister Darwins' instruction, Mister Brian. If you need anything just holler like before." With that, he continued back to swimming out to the bouy and back to the shore.

He mentally decided that 5 laps would be enough for today as he reached the buoy, grasping onto it fort a few seconds before starting to head back to the beach.

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Darwin swam back to Brian and treaded water, "My mate loves his exercise. Don't mind him. After about 30 minutes he'll finish up, and we can see him on the board!"

He watched Brian for a few moments and nodded his encouragement. Darwin may not have been the most disciplined of people, but what he knew he knew well. Which meant that teaching the basics of surfing was a no brainer to the young Aussie. He stabilized Brian's board a couple of times when he nearly fell, but the most part let the water controller learn from his mistakes.

Once Brian felt ready for a wave, Darwin tapped the mako tattoo on his left forearm and dove underwater. He swam up stealthily, and quickly, below and behind John. Nearing the surface, he flipped belly up and stuck one hand out of the water like a shark fin. Then he closed in for the 'kill'. All he did, really, was tug on John's left leg. Just enough to get his attention, and then Darwin sank deeper into the dark water.

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Surfing without cheating was surprisingly difficult for Brian, not because not using his power was difficult, nor because of the water swaying under him. Having been on a ship most of his life, Brian was accustomed to those, but what he was having the hardest time was the careful minutiae of movement for balance. With his natural agility and some insightful tips, Brian soon felt ready to try again.

Brian gave them both a thumb's up, acknowledging their words as he paddles to get some momentum for the incoming wave. With the advice Darwin gave him, Brian stood up, centered his balance on the board, and... Surfed.

There were no words for how exhilarating it was, like riding a motorcycle with the finesse of a skateboarder, or a jet ski with all the contact on ones feet. Brian had thought Boogie boarding was great, but it was nothing compared to the achievement of riding a wave.

With a joyous shout of success, "YEAH!" Brian turned to look for Darwin... and fell into the water.

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Darwin had recently shown John this television programmed called 'Shark Week' and promised him it would be right up his alley. Which led to his said reaction of stopping, making sure he was not bleeding, and looking for the aquatic predator...with a underwater rifle ready to go. He ducked his head below water, searching for the sign of the creature. He spotted something...pink. Realizing that the only things colored neon pink out here was in Darwins' possession he frowned at the object and clearly mouthed the words underwater. "Very amusing Mr. Darwin."

He liked his roommate, but he would prefer that the practical jokes would be reduced. He gave a deep sigh as he treaded water, then continued back on his course all the while mentally grumbling to himself about interfering with his routine.

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Darwin sank deeper and deeper. He waved to John and disappeared into the murk. Few things in the States proved as enjoyable as getting John's goat. The guy was all routines and serious assessments. Depending on the food, John even chewed a specific number of times! If anyone needed to loosen up, it was Myrmidon. That he summoned an underwater rifle only strengthened his case.

Still, if his routine was disrupted too much, the duplicator would never finish, and therefore, reach the more interesting elements of the day. Thus Darwin sped away from the swimmer, and leaped out of the water over Brian's head.

"Oi, mate, how did your wave roll? Did you talk to God?" Floating on his back, Darwin paddled slowly around Brian.

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