Into the Mangroves

by Tony Martello 6 months ago in travel

I find myself

Into the Mangroves

As I step foot on the pancake battered sand, I sink deep into the powdery earth. Tiger tail shells scatter in the sand softly with their red-orange color, beaming brightly enough to compete with sunrise shells in Kauai. Their yellow ridges fan out, resembling a brilliant setting sunset. Each one having slightly different colors radiating from orange to fuchsia hues. My favorite shells have a spray effect with powdery rusty red paintbrush outlining the ridges of the Tiger tails.

Outside the shallow sandbar, bull sharks chase grouper fish into the fisherman’s nets where they bravely shuffle the sands at knee-high water level. Wonder why no one is swimming in the tiny waves of the shallows? After scanning the whole beach, I see maybe one or two walkers wading in the shoreline at ankle water level.

I gaze past the fisherman's cast and see waves of whitewash spraying out from the sides of the black Water Ninja. The winding sound of the engine quiets down and a bronze, tan woman scans the shores where I was beach-combing.

I am checking out this colorful hermit crab with a cool rainbow swirl around its spiral when I pop up and notice the tan beauty parking the Ninja right up on the sand next to me. What was she doing? She jumped off the black water beast and strolled over to me swinging her arms confidently. She swaggers, side to side, like a curvy model on a runway.

Her hazel gems radiate a beauty that penetrates light into my iris’ and up my optic nerve, shooting nerve signals straight to my parietal lobe where my brain feels like prey being hunted. I felt like a grouper in a Bull sharks’ mouth but kind of liked it.

I gladly jump up to engage and she blurts out, “Hey, I saw you on shore with those obviously obnoxious bright orange shorts and thought you could help me. Anyone who can wear those in public can't be afraid of a little adventure, haw?

"Have you been to the mangroves where the manatee swim and the eagles fly and nest?"

Hesitantly, I replied, "No, I didn't even know they were there."

She grabs my arm and pulls me over to the water ninja.

"I need your help, I lost something very valuable and need you to help me find it."

We both push the Ninja out into the water. She crawls up and straddles the machine like a cowgirl on a stallion and prompted me, "Jump on!"

So, I straddle her bodacious backside and cup up against this warm woman with cold, beaded water droplets on her curvy rump. I feel like a chick jumping on a man's Ninja road bike, silly… but this was exciting.

She hits the throttle and planes out smoothly at about 25 mph. We start gliding forward like a magic carpet ride. We are floating and gliding on the surface of the mysterious Gulf of Florida. As we pass the first bend in the groves, she points up to the eagle’s nest where dad is chilling in the nest and mom is completing her full circle to land with freshly caught grouper and mullet. She emphasizes that the father eagle is watching the eaglets while mom is finishing a hunt.

"What are we looking for?" I ask.

"Just wait, you'll see," she replies.

We motor around two more curves in the mangroves that open up into little coves surrounded by woody, twining roots the size of tree branches that have big lattice structures you would never want to get caught in.

I began to realize my doom… She probably wants me to jump into these crazy, woody maze-like weeds in the sea to find something.

‘How the hell am I going to do this, she is hot, and I don't want to let her down?’

She slows the beast down to about 10 mph and slides back into my groin where I feel a well of bells ring and walls of warm water shoot through my core.

Her hair is a smoky amber color with strands of gold and highlights of crimson streaking on the bangs. Her wet hair is beaded with twists and knots and salty strands peppering into dread-like clumps. We hit a bump in the water and her skin reverberates like set waves on a golden California evening surf session. Her skin waves boomerang back up through her abdomen as I watch them roll through her back section and then “Whoa” … I notice a sweet looking red Hawaiian hibiscus flower tattoo showing through her black lattice bathing suit. This is feeling very familiar to me now. I want to squeeze and caress her plump back-side, but wait patiently. My curiosity arouses, as I look closer through the diamond cut on her black silky suit. Red velvet with foamy, frothy espresso comes to mind. We hit a wake and I clench onto her sides. My desperate hands slip down her sides and slither through the Hawaiian Tropic sunblock glazed on her back. The coconut smell reminds me of the Sandwich Islands and makes me wonder if the palm trees on the shore here could have produced the coconuts in the sexy lotion on her body. We hit another bump and she reaches around with her left hand to see if I was still on. Her strongly exquisite hand feels like warm electricity through my left leg.

‘Will I get the prize? What was in store for me?’

She pulls the Water Machine up to a smaller outlet in the groves around three corners and pleads with me to help her find a gold coin that she lost near the outlet.

"While I was on an island near the 13 markers, I found a Spanish Reale sparkling in the shallow sand, and while I was returning to Marco beach, I hit a wake from an outside boat and the bump launched my gold coin somewhere over there by the groves...

If you retrieve it for me, I will take you to Treet Island, a place you will never forget!"

Excitement swirled in my loins and mind. The mystery took over and I became fearless. Maybe my dorky loud, bright orange board shorts will get me some love treasure after all.

She opens the hatch in between our legs and pulls out a mask. She throws it my way. What the hell, sharks don't like mangroves right, the groves are just too convoluted and woody, so the worst I could run into would be a manatee or barracuda right?

I strap on the diving mask and submerge my face in the water and see jade pastel-colored water. I have to grab onto something to get down lower. These groves must be about thirty feet deep… I weave down a woody grove a few more feet down and see just more and more lattices to the murky bottom. I come back up to grab a breath and then try again. I weave and swirl down the maze, slipping and sliding around these roots in the sea. Suddenly I feel a slap on my right thigh. I come up and see a manatee surfacing. I was just bitch-slapped by a mama manatee watching over her little whale. I wonder if she saw my awesome shorts and thought I was a threat? Ok, I'll try again… I dive down again and go another ten feet and see more sand and green leafy outgrowths on the roots. I have no idea how I’m supposed to make it to the bottom. I can't even see past ten feet or so.

As I surface up for air, a sharp vice-script bite slams me down on my side near my right gluteal. 'I hope that was a Barracuda.' My right side was exposed out to the side away from the groves, so I quickly jump deeper into the groves more toward the middle where all the thick bushes are. I wedge myself in between two trees so whatever it is won’t get me again. Then, the green jade color turns blood red. A shark or something must have hit me? But I still have my arms and legs intact, thank God!

I heard the Water Ninja start up again and see a small fin surface and swim out away from us back out to sea. It must have been a bull or a mangrove shark if they exist?

Wonder woman grabs me and pulls me up onto the deck of the black beast and gives me a rash guard and instructs me to put pressure on my wound and hold it there.

"I will get us out of here," she screams.

She hits the throttle and planes out in between the mangroves. I hold on tightly with my left arm around her waist and simultaneously pressing firmly with my rash guard onto my right side. I bravely lift the rash guard to gauge the severity of the cut and thank GOD it was about three to four shark teeth wide but not huge.

"I am so sorry,” she regretfully sighs… I saw the bull snag one of the mangrove trees and your side too. I think you will be fine because the cuts look small. I am so happy he only nicked you on your side. I am so sorry! I will take care of you.”

I held on to her for what seemed like for hours but was probably only fifteen minutes. She pulls up to this white sandy island with palm trees and a little shack. She rushes me over to the shack and opens up an emergency kit with these big clear adhesives strips and glues my lacerations together.

"They’re STERIS trips, you will be fine. You are so lucky he only got three teeth in or we'd be screwed."

She walks me over to a hammock between two palm trees and has me wait for her to return.

She brings me back some coconut water, an emergency kit and stitches me up. I wrap my hands around her curves that I gazed upon hours and ponder…

“Am I a sucker for this woman’s love?”

She commands me to chill in the hammock for a few and then goes down to the water next to the edge of the groves and brings back some blue crabs and more coconuts.

She cracks the coconut open with a rock and then peels the shell off the crab and gives me cracked crab and coconut sushi style. Maybe this was all worth the adventure.

“I am so sorry, but you are the only guy I figured would try and help me. I owe you my life," she proclaims.

"No worries,” I reassure her.

“I guess I am a sucker for danger. I was getting little-bored hunting sea shells anyway."

She laughed.

"Here, try some of this Treet Island Rum."

She pours some in a half coconut shell and I drink, and sooth, and drink more. My insides warm up and my teeth and gums get numb. She takes a swig too.

"I like drinking rum," she shares with me. “If you have a couple of these you will feel better and forget about what happened.”

"Do you want me to take you back to Marco Island beach after your drink? I feel horrible."

“No, I am okay. After all this, I think we should chill for a while.”

I felt comfortable with the Water Woman Ninja lady.

She agrees and then presses her soft salty lips against mine...

Coconut, watery, rum bliss fills my core from my teeth to my lips, to my stomach. I think to myself I would do this all again for a kiss from Water Ninja Woman. She puts her hands on my lower back and rubs my soft spot above my gluteus.

I am pretty sure the bright orange board shorts attracted both Wonder woman and the shark, but to tell you the truth, I would do this all over again. What an awesome day! Tomorrow I will wear my silver board shorts…

#shortstory #fantasy #fiction

Tony Martello
Tony Martello
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Tony Martello

Tony Martello writes to transform the reader in under five minutes. He creates allegorical stories and poems that are designed to brighten up your day. He is a family man and surfer who loves to tell stories. He appreciates your tips!

See all posts by Tony Martello