Maggie looked up at the sun through the water. It was broken into a dozen shimmering, waving patches. Leaves floated darkly on the surface like the hulls of tourist fishing boats in the Florida keys. She was a shark, laying in wait on the bottom, placid, for unwary, amateur scubaistas to plunk over the side, little meals drifting down, like the grainy, smelly fish food she gave the guppies at school. Little meals.
Air escaped her lungs. It formed many roiling silver spheres that raced upward--ephemeral gems. Maggie was entranced. She opened her mouth more, and more air escaped. More gems.
Multiple umbraculient figures blocked out the shifting helioplakia. An arm plunged down, fingers fishing towards her. Maggie sidled back, regretting her decision to be a shark, and wish she could be a cuttlefish and could change her skin color to match the pavonine pool bottom, but perhaps even a cuttlefish couldn't render itself that hallucinogenic. The hand retreated.
A dark form arced into the pool, haloed with a trail of sun-sparked gems. It looped around. A whale? A seal? A predator. Maggie swam back kicking her legs toward the form violently--then bumped against the wall, trapped. Arms came out, reached towards her. She ducked low and tried to crawl under the beast but her hair was caught. She was pulled upward. The sun grew larger and the boats transformed back to leaves. An arm wrapped around her chest. She struggled, but then she breached the surface--cold air hit her face. She coughed up water. She was pushed onto hard gritty surface. The sun was blinding. Many hands turned her over on her stomach and she was thumped hard on her back. She coughed more. Then she was pulled up, her face inspected by an adult she didn't know, then was swaddled in a towel that smelled strongly of laundry detergent.
"You almost drowned!" said someone.
"No I didn't," said Maggie.
"Where are your parents?"
"In the ocean," said Maggie, looking longingly towards the deep end of the pool.
"They're somewhere over there," said Maggie, pointing vaguely off into the direction of a smoke expelling barbecue.
"I think I see them. You wait here." The person marched off intently, circumnavigating the rim of the pool. The other people started talking to themselves. Maggie slipped off the towel, and inched toward the pool's edge. Then she slipped in, head first into the azure warmth. She was shark again.