Chapter 1 - He Needs a Companion
"Coral! Get inside the house, Coral!"
Marlin's wife didn't listen, and she saw her quickly glance down to see their eggs.
"No, Coral! They'll be fine! Just get inside the house, you, right now!"
Again, Coral acted before thinking, and she suddenly darted down for her children, and her wrong move caused the giant barracuda fish to bare its huge fangs and charge.
Marlin woke with a gasp, and he inhaled and exhaled deeply. It was the same nightmare ever since that horrible true event in his life; it's been haunting him every night in his sleep, and even in his waking hours. It just wouldn't leave him alone.
To catch his breath, Marlin immediately swam out of his sea anemone home and into the clear water, as the morning sunrays seeped through and danced on the colorful reef.
Lucky for Marlin, he had his son Nemo to reflect his wife's soul, and the said young, gimpy-finned Clownfish swam up to his worrisome father.
"You ok?" Nemo asked with concern, and just the sound of his voice was able to perk Marlin up enough to smile.
"I'm fine, Nemo…just a little bad dream, is all," Marlin replied while trying to avoid the subject of his nightmare.
"Was it the one with Mom again?"
That question alone was enough to immediately wipe Marlin's smile away, and his eyes drifted from his son's in sorrow.
"I know it's probably rude of me to listen when you talk in your sleep, but how can I help it when you always cry?" Nemo asked sadly and used his good fin to grab hold of Marlin's, "I really wish Mom were here, too, Dad."
"Oh, Nemo, she is," Marlin sighed and smiled again, "Whenever I look at you, or even Dory—I can always feel her there."
"Not to be rude, but you tell me that, like, a lot," Nemo chuckled.
"That's because it's true," Marlin couldn't help but laugh a little himself, and he playfully rubbed his son's head, "Now, c'mon, we've gotta get you to school."
With that, father and son ventured out of the coral reef to get Nemo to school on time, occasionally passing by many friends and neighbors and saying hello.
But it wasn't long until the friendliest neighbor of all came barreling through, "Marlin, Nemo, hi!"
"Morning, Dory," Nemo greeted kindly.
"You excited for today?" the Blue Tang asked Nemo with a smile.
"You bet—even though Mr. Ray takes on a field trip, like, every day."
"Well, beggars can't be choosers. Right, Marlin?" It was silent for a moment when Marlin never answered, causing an awkward silence. "Marlin?"
The said older Clownfish couldn't wake up in time before he bumped into a coral tree, "Ow…uh, yeah! I'm listening now!"
Nemo and Dory exchanged nervous glances, "You sure?"
"Yes," Marlin denied and rubbed his head to sooth the pain.
"I don't know, Dad. Maybe you should come on the field trip with us," Nemo suggested.
"Yeah, like a vacation!" Dory added.
"And travel again? I don't think so. I've already had two heart attack-inducing vacations, and I'm not looking forward to anymore any time soon—or ever, for that matter."
The grim tone in Marlin's voice was rather powerful, and it took Nemo and Dory by surprise considering his usual timid and gentle nature; not that they had the right to argue against that. An old fish like Marlin has probably had enough adventuring for one lifetime.
But that was when Dory realized they weren't his type of adventures, and her eyes widened in realization, "I've got it! Your dad needs a companion—and I know just where to get one."
"Dory, Nemo, we're going to be late! Come on!" Marlin called from a distance, failing to notice until now that he had swum so far ahead.
The Blue Tang and gimp-finned Clownfish quickly caught up with Marlin, as they headed to the coral reef where Mr. Ray or Hank came to meet them.
"So, how are we going to find a new friend for Dad?" Nemo whispered to Dory.
"There's always new fish to meet on one of your field trips. We're bound to find a Clownfish for Marlin to talk to," Dory replied with excitement under her breath.
"Alright, we're going on another very important fieldtrip, Kids, so let's do a quick head count!" Mr. Ray announced and started calling out his class' names one by one.
"Stay close to my classmates, don't wander off, and listen to Mr. Ray. I'll be fine, Dad," Nemo ranted on playfully when Marlin tried to go on with another one of his lectures.
"That's my boy," Marlin commented with an appeased smile before turning to head home, "Have fun."
"Good, now that we know everyone's here, prepare to head out for the East Australian Current!" Mr. Ray informed just before Marlin was out of earshot, and he was instantly alert.
"I-I'm sorry. Where?" Marlin asked and quickly swam back.
"We're going to learn about the EAC today. It's a long trip, but it'll be totally safe and worth it."
"In that case, I better come, too. It's better to have someone with experience tag along," Dory added while raising her fin.
"I'm going, too!" Marlin suddenly exclaimed.
"Really?" Mr. Ray and Dory asked in unison, one being more enthusiastic than the other.
"Yes. My son is not going out on that vortex of terror without me."
"I guess there's no arguing with that. The more, the merrier," Mr. Ray chuckled.
Marlin knew that the journey to the EAC was going to be long, as this was now the third time he has had to ride it, but he didn't expect to be so tired when they arrived. Luckily, the part of the current that they entered was rather gentle so that Mr. Ray could safely teach his class.
"So, Marlin, how's it goin'?" Dory began nonchalantly.
"What do you mean? We're neighbors," Marlin pointed out in suspicion.
"Oh, phbt! Right, my bad! Short-term memory loss again," the Blue Tang scoffed, "But we're also friends, and I'm just, ya know, concerned."
"Well—I hear you mutter in your sleep at night sometimes, and-." Dory paused when Marlin sighed heavily. "I-I don't mean to intrude, Marlin. I'm just worried, Nemo and I both."
Marlin rubbed his temples in frustration, "There's nothing to be worried about, ok? So just, please, mind your own business."
Dory held her tongue at that, feeling guilty for pushing Marlin too far. The said Clownfish didn't want to be a part of the awkward silence anymore, and didn't hesitate to swim away and cool off. But in the heat of his annoyance, he failed to notice where he was going again.
"Marlin!" Dory shouted when she saw that Marlin was headed right for another fish.
"Leave it be, Dory," Marlin warned, glaring back at her with clenched teeth.
"I said leave it!" As soon as Marlin whipped all the way around to show his anger, he bumped right into the unsuspecting fish; both of them yelped out in pain and turned to look at each other, but Marlin gasped when he saw the beautiful, green-eyed female Clownfish. Unfortunately, she wasn't as amused to see him.
"Watch where you're going next time!" she exclaimed, a heavy yet charming Australian accent rolling off her tongue.
"I-I am so sorry, Ma'am! I just wasn't paying attention," Marlin apologized sheepishly, as a faint red blush crept upon his cheeks.
"Clearly," the female hissed and swam away, but not before slapping Marlin's face with her tail.
"Wow. Great first impression," Dory jokingly broke the silence after staying quiet to witness the awkward meeting. Marlin only responded with a deadpanned look.
"Ok, be careful, Kids! That, right there, will yank ya right outta the current, and launch you into who knows what part of the ocean," Mr. Ray explained while pointing out a powerful exit out of the EAC. It looked similar to the vortex that Marlin and Dory used way back when, but it stretched out far longer and disappeared into the blurry ocean blue.
Everyone was instantly alert of the cry for help, but no one was more scared than Marlin because he recognized the voice. It was the Clownfish he ran into; he even darted off in search of her without a word.
"Oh, wait for me!" Dory called and chased after him.
When they did find the female Clownfish, she was grasping onto a larger fish for dear life, as the exit that Mr. Ray referred to earlier was sucking her out. But the bigger fish wasn't fairing so well either, and was running out of time.
"Hold on!" Marlin exclaimed and was the first to swim out to her rescue.
"What does it look like I'm doing, you idiot?!" the female scolded as one of her fins suddenly slipped. Marlin soon grabbed the bigger fish as well and began inching closer to her, but the added weight pulled the bigger fish out even more.
And when Marlin reached out to grab her loose fin, things took a turn for the worst. His other fin lost its grip and he was now the one holding onto her for dear life, but she felt like her fins were going to be ripped off. In the blink of an eye, the fin holding onto the bigger fish finally lost its grip, and the two Clownfish were effortlessly tossed out of the current.
"DAD!" Nemo cried at the top of his lungs, as his father was swept into a spiral and out into the unknown.
I'm fairly certain some of you have already started writing your own stories called "Finding Marlin" because it's a cool and easy title. But I assure you, I don't have any intentions on copying anyone.
Until the next chapter, I'm TRikiD, bye-bye!