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SLASH!

The Great White Shark

by

G. Saintiny

Chapter One

Slash swam alone all day, all night.

He was always hungry.

And he never went to sleep.

“So you are Slash,

the great white shark?” Jester said.

Jester was a pilot fish.

Pilot fish are smaller than dolphins

or great white sharks.

“Do not talk to me, pilot fish,” Slash said.

“I swim alone, and my hunt is never over.


G. Saintiny, SLASH 2

Jester smiled. “I will not bother you too much,”

he said. “You are a big hunter.

You big sharks never finish a meal properly.

I will follow you for scraps.”

“Nobody swims with Slash!” the great white said.

The pilot fish swam closer

to Slash’s big black eye.

“You will get used to my company,” Jester said.

“Fish like you taste bad to sharks,”

Slash remarked. “But if you annoy me,

I will eat you anyway, pilot fish.”


G. Saintiny, SLASH 3

Chapter Two

Three dolphin sisters played

in a deep ocean valley.

Lickitty was the fastest.

Grace was her twin.

And Sing-Song was the youngest.

“I want to race around the valley,” Sing-Song sang.

“No,” Lickitty said. “Your tail is still hurt.”

A swordfish had hurt Sing-Song that morning.

“Then I will be the judge,

and you twins will race,” Sing-Song insisted.

Lickitty and Grace got on their marks.

“Get set,” Sing-Song said. “Go!”

Lickitty snapped her tail and raced forward.

Grace did her best to keep up.

Lickitty leaped out of the water


G. Saintiny, SLASH 4

for a breath of air.

Grace took that moment

to swim ahead of her twin.

Grace was almost at the yellow coral cliff.

Grace let out a rattle of excited clicks

as she raced back from the cliff.

With a splash, Lickitty broke the water’s surface.

Lickitty squeaked and snapped her tail.

Lickitty zoomed to the coral reef

and gained on her sister.

“This time you will not win,” Grace teased.

Grace was only a nose ahead of her twin.

Lickitty laughed.

She stopped laughing

when she looked Sing-Song’s way.

Just behind little Sing-Song


G. Saintiny, SLASH 5

opened a giant toothy mouth.

“Shark!” Lickitty warned.

She bypassed Grace.

“Sing-Song!” Lickitty shouted. “Swim fast!”

Sing-Song snapped away just as the shark’s mouth

closed behind her.

Grace felt her blood freeze in fear.

She had held her breath to win the race.

All three dolphins headed

for the yellow coral reef.

The great white shark was catching up.

Sing-Song was farthest behind.

Grace had an idea.

She headed for the surface, squeaking loudly.

The shark did not follow.

She leaped high into the air for a breath.


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SPLASH!

Grace now had the shark’s attention.

She swam away from the coral reef.

“Do not follow me!” Grace shouted to her sisters.

“We will save you!” Sing-Song shouted.

Sing-Song snapped her little hurt tail.

“Follow me!” Sing-Song told the shark. “Do you

smell the blood from my cut?”

The great white shark looked confused.

It slowed down.

Lickitty said, “Run away, Sing-Song.

You are not fast enough.”

It was too late!

The great white shark was swimming toward Sing-Song.

Sing-Song raced to the coral cliff.

The shark opened its jaws.


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Sing-Song wedged herself

deep into a tiny coral nook.

SNAP! Went the shark’s jaws.

SNAP! SNAP!

But it was no use. The large fish

could not follow little Sing-Song

into the tiny nook.

The big shark paced in the water.

Lickitty raced forward and hit the shark

with her hard beak.

BANG!

Panic appeared in the shark’s great black eyes.

It swam ahead a little.

BANG! Grace hit the shark from above.


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The shark snapped up to bite,

but Grace was gone.

BANG! Lickitty hit from below.

The shark was deep in the coral reef now.

The great white ducked down.

It was surrounded by yellow coral.

A pit.

Its head snapped left.

Then right.

It did not seem to care

About its dolphin meal anymore.

It spotted an arch near the bottom of the pit

and raced away quickly.

Grace swam up for a breath of air.

CRUNCH!

In one bite, the evil white shark had killed her.

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Chapter Three

Slash swam with his meal in jaw.

He bit it in half and swallowed.

He turned to pick up the rest of his meal.

Jester the pilot fish was nibbling already.

Slash ripped the food away and swallowed it.

“I saw you with those dolphins,” Jester said.

“I never thought I would see Slash get scared.”

Slash jumped at Jester, but was not fast enough.

“You are usually much faster, Slash,” Jester teased.

“I am tired,” Slash said, pacing slowly.

“What happened in the coral pit?” Jester

wanted to know.

“Pilot fish,” Slash began, “you do not know

what it is like to be a great shark.

It is a hard life.”
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Slash swam away.

Jester followed.

Slash swam into a cold current.

“You small fish can breathe without swimming,”

Slash said.

“It is no great talent,” Jester said.

“I can not do that,” the shark said.

“If I stop swimming, I stop breathing.”

Jester thought back. “Is that why you panicked

in the coral pit?” he asked.

“I thought the dolphins had found a way

to trap me,” Slash said.

Slash swam in the cool dark current.

“If I stop swimming, I will die,”

said Slash the great white shark.


G. Saintiny, SLASH 11

Chapter Four

The mother dolphin

and her two surviving children

huddled for warmth.

“It is my fault,” Sing-Song said sadly.

“Slash smelled my wound.”

Mother patted Sing-Song with a flipper.

“You could not help being hurt,” Mother said.

“No one is safe,” Lickitty said. “Grace was so fast

she almost outraced me today.”

Sing-Song broke away, yelling.

“No one is safe?” she clicked and buzzed. “All

you think of is yourself, Lickitty!”

“That is not true,” Lickitty said.

She felt her heart break.


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“I loved Grace too, Sing-Song.”

Sing-Song pressed close to her sister again.

“I am sorry,” Sing-Song said.

“We must do something, Mother,” Lickitty said.

“You are very special, my daughter.

I am sure you will think of a plan.”

“But how, Mother?” Lickitty asked.

“Feel your love for Grace,” Mother whispered.

“Your twin is gone,” Mother explained. “But her love

is in your heart.”

Sing-Song swam a bit out of reach.

She sadly rubbed her belly against the sand.

“Mother?” she asked. “Is Grace’s love

in my heart too?”
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“In every heart that ever loved her,”

Mother answered Sing-Song.

Lickitty was confused. “How will love

help us fight?” she wanted to know.

“Love is the strength of the dolphins,”

Mother explained.

“Love is what makes us strong.”

Lickitty thought about what Mother had said.

She tried to feel the love in her heart.

But she found waves of hurt mixed in.

And she found hatred for Slash.

She understood that Slash was always hungry.

But she hated him all the same.


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She wanted to kill him.

And the love in her heart

did not go away as she thought this.

And the hurt did not go away either.

But she felt something else too.

She felt fear.

And an image came back into her memory.

Slash’s panicking eyes in the coral pit.

But a warm current spread across Lickitty’s body.

And a voice just like Graces’ calmed her fear.

The voice came from Lickitty’s heart.

The voice said, “Slash too is afraid.”

Now Lickitty understood what Mother had meant.

“Love is the strength of the dolphins,”

Mother had said.

“Love is what makes us strong.”


G. Saintiny, SLASH 15

Chapter Five

All the dolphins gathered

in a sunny field of seaweed.

The coral cliff was not too far away.

“Are all the families here?” Lickitty asked.

“Every one,” Yearly answered.

Yearly was the oldest of the dolphins.

“What if Slash comes?” cried a tiny voice.

It was Kip, the smallest

and youngest of the dolphins.

Yearly smiled. “Slash does not fight us

when we are together,” Yearly said.

“He comes for those who straggle behind.”

Everyone listened

as the elder and the calf spoke.


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Kip thought hard.

Then he said,

“Then we should always be together.”

“We try,” Yearly explained. “But the young must play.

And the sick can not move so quickly.”

Kip clucked sadly. “Then we will die,”

the dolphin calf said.

“No!” Lickitty shouted. “Slash is spending

too much time here. We stop him

or we die one by one.”

The other dolphins trembled and murmured.

“Is Slash coming?” one murmured.


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“We can not stop Slash,” another whispered.

“Slash is very big,” little Kip said.

And Yearly shouted out, “Why, Slash is almost

as fast as Lickitty!

Maybe even faster!”

Hearing that made Lickitty angry.

It made her want to get to work now!

“We must trick Slash,” Lickitty said.

The dolphins let out confused clicks.

“Slash is not like a dolphin,” Lickitty explained.

“And Slash is not like other fish.

Normal fish and dolphins can float.

Slash can not float.

Regular fish can breathe without swimming.

Slash can not breathe without swimming.”


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The eyes of each dolphin lit up.

Lickitty continued. “If Slash gets tired,

Slash will sink.

If Slash stops swimming,

Slash will die.”

The dolphins squeaked with excitement.

“Yes!” the dolphins said. “We must trick Slash!”


G. Saintiny, SLASH 19

Chapter Six

Jester rushed away from the seaweed field.

He swam into the coral pit.

He swam out through the low arch.

“Slash will be glad to see me this time,”

Jester told himself.

“At last he will see that I am his friend.”

Jester felt a cold current.

All at once, Slash was beside him.

“Slash,” Jester said. “The dolphins have a plan.”

“You annoy me, pilot fish,” Slash growled.

“But they will hurt you,” Jester said.

“It does not concern you,” Slash said.

Slash began swimming faster.

Jester snapped his body fast to catch up.


G. Saintiny, SLASH 20

“Slash,” he said. “If you die,

whose scraps will I eat?”

“There are other hunters in the sea,” Slash said.

“Slash, I am your friend,” Jester pleaded.

“I have no friends, pilot fish!” Slash raged.

“I was the youngest of a large litter,

pilot fish.

I did not leave my mother’s side in time.

Do you know what she did to me,

pilot fish?”

Jester could not guess.

“She tried to eat me!” Slash said.

“That is the way of the hunter.

We cut a piece of the ocean

And eat what is ready to be eaten.”


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“We can go somewhere else,” Jester said. “You can

cut a new piece of the sea.”

“No, little pilot fish. I can not change,”

Slash said. Slash sounded tired.

“It does not matter,” Jester said.

“Your rage is strong, Slash.

You will win.”

“I hope so,” said the great white shark.


G. Saintiny, SLASH 22

Chapter Seven

Jester swam in place all alone.

He wondered, “Is it true that a shark

can not change?”

Jester had been told that sharks are stupid.

Perhaps it was true.

Well, Jester could change.

“I will become a hunter, myself,”

he said. “I am smarter,

so maybe I will be a better hunter than Slash.”

A small fish swam nearby.

Jester swam to it.

“Stop!” Jester ordered.

The tiny fish laughed and swam away.

“Hmm,” a voice said. “What are you doing?”


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Jester turned around.

It was another pilot fish.

“I am hunting,” Jester said.

“Oh, you are a hunter,” the new fish said.

This new fish sounded sad. “I was hoping

you were a pilot fish,” she said.

“I am a pilot fish.

My name is Jester.

Jester, the hunting pilot fish.”

“My name is Picky.

Most of my school has been eaten,” Picky said.

“Well, this is my piece of the sea,”

Jester boasted. “I am not sharing it

with anyone!”
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“Too bad,” Picky said. “I am going

to the warm waters.

I hear there is a killer whale

if you swim far enough.”

“Can I come? Please? Please?” Jester begged.

“But you will lose your piece of the sea,”

Picky said.

“Oh, I am not really a hunter,” Jester admitted.

“I was just seeing what it feels like.”

“What did you learn?” Picky asked.

“That I am a bone picker like you.

And I do not want to change.”

So the two pilot fish left Slash’s

piece of the ocean.

The great white shark was alone once more.


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Chapter Eight

SPLASH! SPLASH! SPLASH!

It was the sound a desperate dolphin makes.

Perhaps a harpoon had hit it.

Perhaps it was trapped in a net.

Slash even smelled blood.

He charged past a field of rubble.

A young dolphin struggled in the seaweed field.

“Swim fast!” Lickitty shouted.

Sing-Song raced for the coral cliff.

Lickitty hit the shark with her beak.

Slash turned to fight.

Another dolphin struck him from behind.

Slash chased after this dolphin.

BANG!
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Slash slowed down, confused.

Where were the dolphins coming from?

How many were there?

BANG! Went another dolphin.

Slash snapped his jaws shut.

But his teeth bit nothing but water.

They would not let him rest.

He could still smell the blood

from Sing-Song’s wound.

He was still hungry.

“I will eat you all!” he shouted.

Slash raced after a distant dolphin.

The dolphin dove into the seaweed.

Slash swam higher to look down

and track the sneaky dolphin.


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A dolphin’s beak struck the back of his head.

Slash looked up.

A dolphin leaped out of the water.

Slash tried to swim faster.

Too late!

The dolphin’s beak

ripped a hole in Slash’s skin.

Slash could not see.

His blood made the water cloudy.

Dolphins appeared from the red cloud.

They struck him hard over and over.

Slash was snapping without thinking now.

His mouth was filled

with useless seaweed.

The yellow cliff drew near.


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Dolphins appeared from nooks in the cliff.

Slash swam up, up!

He flew high into the air.

His blood dripped into the sea.

He dove in behind it.

They were ready for him.

Two struck his head.

One hit his belly.

Somehow, one got hold of his top fin.

It bit him.

He was bleeding in many places now.

Slash’s head crashed against a rock.

His tail scraped against hard coral.

He would escape by heading down.

Slash groped for an opening in the cliff.


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There was some sort of cavern.

He entered its mouth.

The dolphins forced him against the rough coral.

He swam down a dip in the tunnel.

Slash felt against a wall with the side

of his head.

He felt around.

He scraped his rough skin

on rough coral and stone.

There was no opening.

He turned to escape.

The dolphins forced the other side

of his face against the sharp stones.

Slash slowed down.

Slash stopped.
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The dolphins stopped pushing him.

Lickitty looked at Slash.

Something was not right.

Slash slowly turned to face Lickitty.

The other dolphins moved out of the way.

Slash let out a cold evil laugh.

But Lickitty was not listening to the laugh.

A warm current rushed into the cavern.

Lickitty was listening to her heart.

“Slash will not die so easily,” a voice

like Grace’s said. “His hatred is too strong.”

Trembling, Lickitty asked, “What will I do?”

The voice answered, “Slash will fight

until he can no longer see.”


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All at once, it was cold again.

Slash was lying still.

He wiggled.

The dolphins began to click in fear.

“He is supposed to be dead,” a dolphin said.

“Lickitty was wrong,” another said.

The dolphins swam away from Lickitty and Slash.

Slash shook his fins and wiggled his tail.

Lickitty backed up in the cold.

Slash opened his great jaws.

Lickitty all at once snapped her tail.

Lickitty swam right toward Slash.

Lickitty burst Slash’s black eye with her beak.

Lickitty forced herself up with her flippers.

She hit Slash on the back.


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As soon as Slash turned,

Lickitty tore his other eye.

Slash did not even close his mouth.

Slash’s body sank.

It lay on its side against a big stone.

A cold current turned it onto its back.

The great white shark was dead now.

Lickitty swam out of the cavern.

The dolphins all waited outside the cavern’s mouth.

“Is he dead?” Yearly asked for them all.

Lickitty gave a tired nod.

All the dolphins cheered squeakily.

Lickitty swam to her mother.

“Mother, please hold me,” she said.

“I will always hold you,” she answered.

The End