Oh no, I knew I shouldn’t have tried to jump that far. Double-dogfish dare, my flipper. Mama always warned me about beaching and peer pressure! I never thought it would happen to me.

Guess I started floating with a bad pod…I should have seen it coming when they tried to get me to do cocaine last spring. They’re killing me! If I ever get off this beach, I’m going to find new friends. They can be such Moby Dickheads sometimes. I bet they’re still back there laughing at me. Wish I could turn around to see. Hmm, maybe I can wiggle back into the water. Ahhh! One more try…Oww! Son of a fish! I’m stuck.

Oh no, those beachgoers are looking at me. This is so embarrassing. Look at all the muscled, tan people with their beach bodies. I’m not ready for this! I’ve still got my baby blubber! Maybe I can suck it in. Thank God I’m not one of those obese blue whales. Blue whales…why don’t they go get a job? So lazy!  No, no, it’s not ’cause they’re blue…it’s cause they’re always loitering about…

Oh no,… is that my lady whale friend? Fracking oil rig! I can’t let her see me like this! Okay, don’t panic. Look casual. Turn sideways a little… there. Perfect. And I’ll wave my tail nonchalantly. She waved back! Whew. Okay, I think I came off as suave and adventurous. She definitely didn’t even notice that I’m stuck on a beach. She probably thinks I’m cool for hanging out with humans. Maybe I’ll tell her a story about how I was saving some baby jellyfish when I got jumped by a gang of vicious dolphins. Yeah, that’s good! I’ll just have to wait out the tide. She’ll think I’m so cool.

—N. Warren