The Baptism of the Walrus

The Traveler fell through the swirling void. Suddenly, his heels hit something solid. Reality then took shape around him.

It was dark and cold. People were there. Some sat curled up on the floor, heads between their knees and arms crossed over their heads. Some held onto rails or poles, sobbing uncontrollably. Here and there a man comforted a crying woman or child. Some people had lost their senses. These ran about screaming and tearing at their hair or clothing and even jumped overboard.

There were a few who remained calm. The Traveler tried to speak with them. With no sign of seeing or hearing him, they just kept walking.

The music of a band filled the air.

The Traveler looked down and saw that he was enveloped by a green glow.

Walking about, The Traveler found a great walrus sitting very still on the uppermost deck. The walrus gave off the same dim green glow.

The Traveler addressed the beast, “What are you doing?”

Without moving, the walrus replied, “I’m praying for these people.”

The ship began to tilt. People screamed. Horrendous sounds of heavy objects falling, breaking machinery, steam, and explosions.

A dark vortex began to spin around The Traveler, lifting him up.

The walrus did not move until water covered his back. Then, the beast calmly swam away. Some distance from the sinking ship, the great walrus arced and dove below the water.

Watching the walrus swim off, The Traveler thought, “The dark and the cold water doesn’t bother him at all.”

The Traveler rose up through the night sky with the scene below shrinking and finally disappearing.

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About Anthony Olszewski

Anthony Olszewski has written on a wide variety of topics: cage birds, tropical fish, popular culture, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and a chapter on genetics for a veterinary text book, as a small sample. He worked as an editor at a magazine produced by TFH, the world's largest publisher of pet books. Anthony Olszewski is the author of a booklet on Hudson County history, Hudson County Facts, and a book of short stories, Second Thief, Best Thief, that are sold on Amazon. Anthony Olszewski established PETCRAFT.com in 1996. A pioneer on the Web, the Site continues to provide unique information on a range of companion animals, focusing on birds and fish. As a community service, he operates Jersey City Free Books. Anthony Olszewski was born in Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital, 1956) and is a member of Mensa.
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