Penticton, British Columbia is a beautiful place and the best place that Jade has ever known. She is born and raised here. Luckily, she gets to come back a
s often as possible when she has some downtime in the Aquarium. Her best friend Miles is still here and that is reason enough to come back. Right now, they are sitting in their favorite pub called, “The Barking Parrot.” A place where the wall-paper is odd, the pictures capture your imagination, and fun is always on the menu along with some very tasty food. But the real reason why they keep going there is because it has a breath-taking view of the Okanagan Lake. Together, they order the taco bowl along with a couple of giant drinks called “the parrot punch.” Both delicious and good for the soul.
Clinking their glasses together, Miles toasts. “To you Jade. Only you can talk to some hard-nosed business men and get exactly what you want.”
“Aren’t you one of those hard-nosed business men Miles?” Jade jokingly asks.
“Oh yes! You’re lucky that I believe in what you do.” He says taking a big swig of his cocktail. “So, what is your plan?”
“Tomorrow. I’ll be diving into the lake and exploring it extensively.” Jade begins after she finishes sipping her cocktail. “I’ve rented a speed boat so I will be able to go anywhere on the lake. I’ll get my scuba gear going and hopefully yield some results.”
“You’re not doing this alone are you?” Miles inquires as he takes a bite of the taco bowl.
“Well, I was hoping that my closest friend is coming with me.” She declares impishly lifting her eyebrow and eats a bite of the taco bowl.
“Of course! I won’t let you go alone; its dangerous!” He speaks seriously but his tone quickly changes to playful as he lifts his drink to her again. “Besides, I’m not letting you have all the fun.”
For the next couple of hours, Jade and Miles enjoy each other’s company and catch up as the night goes on. They don’t stick around for the dancing since they have to be up early in the morning if the two of them are going to explore the lake.
At 5:30 AM, Jade and Miles speed out to the middle of Okanagan Lake on their rented speed boat. In no more than five minutes, they reach the center of the lake. Jade steps out at the end of the boat and looks at the sight around her. The sun has yet to rise but the mountains are still so glorious. The water dancing below them, reflecting the mountains and sky before her. It reminds her what it truly feels like to be home.
She takes a happy breath in and turns to look at Miles, who is getting the scuba gear out. “Ready for our first adventure of the day, Miles?”
He looks up and smiles at her. “You know it. Gonna give me a hand?”
“You know it.” She says archly and sits on the bench as she pulls out the scuba suit.
The two of them are brimming with excitement to get down there. Sure, it’s risky with a possible shark down there that has been injuring people but the thought of this beast being in British Columbia of all places is a marine biologist’s dream. No shark should ever be there whether it is fresh-water or not. It’s an anomaly. She and her best friend are about to find it. With their suits on, Jade grabs the air tanks.
“Are the green lights ready?” She asks as she passes Miles his oxygen tank.
“They sure are!” Miles answers as he passes the large flashlight to her. “Why green lights anyway? What does that do?”
“Well, it’s green because it will not disturb the marine life under the water.” She explains. “Just a bit better for the ecosystem. You get it.”
“Yeah, I get it.” Miles utters getting the rest of his gear on. “Now let’s get down there! We got a shark to find.”
“Yes sir, Mister Banks.” She states as she puts her face mask on.
The two of them fall backwards into the water and with a big splash, they begin their mission. Jade looks around at the underwater scene around her. It is not clear but something about it is so beautiful. In this cool water she swims down to the sand with the green light pointing forward. Traveling through a forest of seaweed, Jade finds herself swimming with a few northern pikeminnows. To see the sliver shine on their scales helps Jade see magic in all of this. Suddenly she hears static come into the radio that tells her Miles is trying to contact her.
“Jade!” I think you might want to check this out.” She hears him say and she floats over to his direction.
When she gets there, Jade finds Miles at a familiar place. She could not help but smile at that.
“Remember the old Ogopogo submarine?” Miles says happily in the radio feed. “From our first dive.”
“You being sentimental on me?” Jade can’t help but shake her head at him. “Come on Miles, stay focused. We got a shark to find.”
Before they can swim off, a large shadow looms over them. Jade and Miles look at the large shape and see that it is what they have been looking for. Not only is it a shark but it is…
“A Bull Shark.” Jade says in a near whisper while Miles watches the creature in awe.
“They aren’t that big! How is it so huge?” Miles asks but Jade can’t answer.
All she can do is watch as this shark circle them over and over while getting closer and closer. It is at least 20 feet long as well as being large and stout. This creature is light grey on the top of its body and white on the bottom. It’s long scar-like gills give a menacing look as it breathes. It’s circular eyes that are watching them look cold and dead. No emotion, no logic just hunting. This shark is looking for prey and it has found it. Jade knows that when a shark circles like this it plans to attack. She can also see that there are no other fish around so it is obvious that she and Miles are the prey.
Special Thanks to:
The Barking Parrot: For good food and fabulous decor. 21 Lakeshore Dr W, Penticton, BC V2A 7M5 http://www.barkingparrot.com/