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John Nippolt
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Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from John Nippolt's forthcoming book titled "Surf Fu".

Legendary surfing monks of the Shallow Temple are a society of water environmentalists who have sworn to keep the water planets in this quadrant of the universe alive. These monks build a temple on Earth to protect the Earth's oceans from being stolen. The monks are sure that their enemy, the destroyer of Mars, will champion a bid to become leader on the planet Earth. They want to set in place, a water protectorate system and hopefully they will ensnare and capture the evil, Ontez Neuron.
          A whisper of a vibration flowed through the reef and a deep cave. The monster awoke with a start, sensing the motion in the water. The end of her hibernation was near and the timing couldnít have been better. She was ready to give birth and the baby would be ravenous. Sea dragons grew at an alarming rate and had to be fed continuously. Soon enough, the young beast would be lord of this ancient underwater cavern and the surrounding stretch of ocean above it.
          The excited movement of the beings in the water caused her lateral triangular fins to stiffen. Now she was in attack mode and instinctively began to slither out past the entrance of her lair. Not even an eagle has better eyesight than a sea dragon and she was no exception. She came spiraling up from out of the deep, surfacing a mile beyond the farthest outside reef. Incredibly, she spotted the couple playing in the surf close to shore. That they were young, created an unfortunate situation. Normally she would not devour young and strong living organisms of any group; sea serpents took only the old, weak or dying. Although this was a bad omen for her, her newborn came first. She couldnít afford to pass up the nourishment fresh meat offered her baby. She was most vulnerable after giving birth; her skin would be penetrable three days before delivery and up to five days afterwards. She could not risk going ashore in search of food during this period
          A child was lying on a blanket, in the shade of the umbrella, daydreaming. He shut his left eye, blotting out the sky and horizon of the ocean while keeping his right eye open to see off the edge of the blanket, the heat waves shimmering up off the sand and the white foam of the crashing waves. He would switch eyes, closing the right eye to eclipse the sand and foam, opening his left eye again for the view of the oceanís horizon and the cloudless blue sky. Blink, the sky and ocean appeared; blink, sand and ocean, alternating each eye until he understood how his vision worked.
          Every so often his parents would come into view, emerging out of the foam that rushed toward the shore. They rolled playfully with the recessing water and together they would disappear into the shallows. They were members of the Shoal clan and both were of royal lineage. The Shoals were a beautiful people, similar to those tribes of ancient Polynesians on planet Earth. They were a striking young couple who complemented each other in every way. Born with gills, raised in and about the ocean, Shoals also had photographic memories that made them a formidable sea people and the finest navigators on the planet Nalu.
          While he watched them at play in the surf, the little boy wondered why his parents didnít take him into the water that day. He couldnít walk yet, but he was almost able to crawl and he could swim like a fish. He dozed off for awhile and when he woke he saw something that puzzled him. Zooming in on his parents at great speed, a single row of triangles swirled in swift semi-circles just above the surface of the water; coming faster and closer. His parents were too far away and could not hear his high pitched screams which were lost in the sound of the pounding surf. What could he do? He lifted his little form up off the blanket and for the first time in his life, stood erect on his own two feet. He tried to make his way towards the waterís edge.
          Suddenly, the sea serpent raised her head out of the water directly behind his mother and father. She roared so loud that it shocked all of them into a moment of disbelief. Paralyzed with fear, the young parents could not force themselves to exit the water; they knew it was of no use. They stood there frozen, until terrible razor-sharp teeth bit them into halves and the enormous mouth gulped them down. The beast heard the child before she turned her gaze on him. His look was not crazed, but determined. The little warrior was coming for her. How brave he is, she thought. She decided she could not take him. Her only resort was to hypnotize him; she was aware of the memories of these amphibians: They could not forget. Although it was too late to wipe out that sequence recorded in his mindís eye, he would not remember how he got to the Shallow Temple doorstep where he would awaken.
Nalu