Diving Lessons

By Daphne

She shielded her eyes from the relentless glaring sun as she squinted into the sky, watching the plane fly away. If she had arrived 5 minutes earlier, she would not be too late. The plane would still be floating in the shallows of the coast. There would have been time to sneak aboard and steal the data stick. Much more than five minutes had been eaten up by her struggle through jungle, leading her to the water plane and its secret take off cove. Anyone would have had trouble navigating the uncharted riot of foliage, but do so in a skirt suit, nylons, and heels? It was madness.

Dawn Meadows sat, defeated on her bottom in the scorching sand of the beach, flinching from the sun and the way it yelled at her for dressing so foolishly under its scorching eye. The sweat started from atop her lovely blonde head, sliding in snaking rivers down her made up face, around the drying tongue that licked around her cracking lips trying to catching even one drop of sweat, anything for moisture. But the sweat beads dodged her begging tongue, curled around her delicate jaw line and chin, slipping quickly down her long slender neck, beneath the wide collar of her suit jacket, and over the generous cleavage of her breasts, pooling beneath her bra. The rest of her moisture was greedily gathered around her hips and thighs, beneath the short but confining skirt, and oven like sheer pantyhose. They drew all her precious moisture out of her weakening body trapping it in the sopping gossamer garment that covered her every inch of her lower half from the tips of her toes, to her belly button, reminding her discomfortingly with each fiery degree of the sun. The high heels were on her feet, but it was pointless, because there would be no way that she could walk in the sand while wearing the foolish things. If not for feeling sorry for the poor young woman, she was laughable. What could she possibly be thinking? Dressed for a board meeting… at the edge of a tropical jungle.

The irony was not lost on the poor girl’s red, panting face. As she watched the retreating plane with her shielded eyes, a crackle and squawk grabbed her attention in the sand beside her. It was a call coming in on the satellite phone she had been lugging around with her in the jungle. Lifting it up, she shook the gathered grains of beach sand that covered it and put it up to her ear.

“Hello?” she croaked.

“Meadows? Is that you?” came a barking voice over the scratchy connection.

“Yeah, it’s me, chief,” she sighed in reply to her gruff overpowering editor, Mr. O’Neil.

“Geez, Meadows, you sound awful!” he commented.

“Well, chief, it could have something to do with these pantyhose in the,”

“What? Save your feminine garment talk for your sewing circles and bridal showers. That’s no topic for your editor in chief!” barked O’Neil cutting her off. She rolled her eyes, realizing he that it really was a topic for her editor in chief, if he didn’t want to be retrieving her bones at the extraction point. This strict female dress code for reporters of the Rose Tribune was going to be the death of her someday. And someday was beginning to feel a lot sooner than later!

“Meadows, are you listening to me? Quick flipping through that Victoria’s Secret catalog, shopping for underwear and answer my question!” The sun had been causing Dawn’s drooping attention to waver. His angry growling was enough to bring her back long enough to realize that her editor was a complete idiot.

“Did you get the data stick?” he plowed on.

“No… I was too late,” admitted Dawn, ashamed of herself. She braced herself for the tongue-lashing.

“No matter. I’ve been in contact with the general of the local military on the island. They’ve got the plane on tracking as we speak. Any minute now, they’re going to attempt a strategic take down,” explained Mr. O’Neil.

“A what?” inquired Dawn, feeling rather dizzy.

“They’re going to shoot the damn plane down, without blowing it up. Render it unable to fly, force it to crash into the ocean,”

“Ok,” replied Dawn, still not seeing where this was going.

“Geez Meadow, are your pantyhose on too tight?” (as a matter of fact they most certainly were) “Then you’re going to swim out and retrieve the data stick from the crash,” finished O’Neil matter of factly.

“Fetch the data drive? Me? Chief, do you think that’s wise? I mean, I’m not exactly dressed for diving. What about sharks?” the questions tumbled out of Dawn’s mouth as she pondered everything wrong that this seemed to indicate.

“Then I suggest you improvise and get dressed for a dive, because you are going to retrieve that data drive or you can start picking out your new address on the island, because that’s where you’ll be left!” barked O’Neil in a threatening tone. “Oh, and according to the General, the area is a high concentration of predatory marine animals. So I suggest you find the plane crash, acquire the missing data stick and high tail it back to shore before serving yourself up as seafood. O’Neil out!” he said with finality.

The crackle of a dead signal was all that Dawn received from her end of the satellite phone. “Seafood?” she echoed, not liking the sound of that one bit. After spending a few moments pouting about the unfortunate circumstances she found herself facing, she soon realized, thanks to a reminder from the angry sun that it was not getting any cooler in the sky, nor was the temperature of the scorching sand lighting up her bottom! And if she knew O’Neil, he was serious. If she didn’t make it back with the data stick before the extraction plane, she would indeed be searching for real estate in the jungle.

Not finding her survival chances in the jungle particularly favorable given her less than practical attire, Dawn eased off the heels that were pinching her damp stocking feet. Rising to one knee, she slowly unbuttoned her tailored suit jacket, sliding it gingerly back off her delicate bare shoulders, slick with sweat. Beneath, she only wore a black lace bra. That would be staying she decided. No reason to humiliate my modesty more than necessary thought the practical young lady. Her skirt unzipped at the back, and formed a puddle in the sand at her trim ankles. Stepping out of it, she pondered removing her pantyhose, then paused and decided against it. O’Neil said something about these waters being dense with predators. If I run into a jellyfish, my nylons might provide just enough support, she reasoned in her near delusional dehydrated state.

A nearly naked Dawn Meadows waded into the lapping sea water, gathering at her ankles before diving into the gentle rolling waves. With graceful strokes, and generous aid of the tide, she was pulled out to sea, slender arms and legs, working to move her along. As she got far enough out, she took a moment to dip beneath the surface. While it was nothing that her desperate body could drink, the water felt marvelous against her body. It invigorated her and was surprisingly clear. As her eyes adjusted, she was able to peer through the mysterious depths with surprising clarity. How wonderful, she thought, managing a cheerful smile. Her long and angular body navigated the undersea while her long blonde hair floated magnificently behind the arch in her smooth back.

Keeping her green eyes peeled for the plane wreck, she surveyed the ocean floor for clues as to its location. As she glided along, Dawn couldn’t help the girlish fantasy in her that she was like Ariel in the Little Mermaid. The silly idea made her blush. As she swam gracefully through the waters pretending her slender body was that of a Disney princess, Dawn stopped short, letting out a brief gasp of air bubbles. Floating still, her arms and legs gently moving, she peered something at the fringe of the light shafts that pierced the surface. It was something large, but the details were lost in the murk at first, then a small golden fish passed through the shaft of light and Dawn’s tension relaxed momentarily. She waved her arms and legs to keep her position stable, and chided herself for her imagination getting away from her. Then something behind the small golden fish passed into the light shafts from the surface, and it most certainly was big.

The General told O’Neil that these waters were dense with aquatic predators. Dawn got the nervous feeling that this was what he was talking about. It was a giant squid if Dawn’s imagination had any say in the matter. The giant red monster was magnificent, and majestic in all the wrong ways. It looked like a wicked killing machine. Eight long tentacles navigated the waters around the bulbous head of the squid as it lazily followed the comparatively tiny yellow fish. Great, thought Dawn. One tentacle to crush each of my stick thin limbs, and four more to do goodness know what! She finished the horrid though, placing a hand protectively at her slender neck, imagining having it crushed by the giant’s monstrous tentacles.

The squid was immediately in the way of the direction that the plane went down. If she wanted to retrieve the data stick, she would have to get past the giant squid. The young reporter did not have to think long to realize that to go up against the giant squid would merely be offering it a one page seafood menu with a picture of her on it, and lines indicating all of her tastiest parts. No way thought Dawn. I’m going to live long enough to get home, peel these pantyhose off and triumphantly toss them in the bathroom garbage can. It’s the tiny victories a working girl lives for. With that decided, Dawn, swirled around in the water, and began kicking wildly away from the squid, heading back the way she came.

Congratulating herself in her good common sense, Dawn failed to notice that her wild movements in the water had a rippling effect. The wicked eyes of the giant squid caught sight of the long and lean body of the young woman and her flowing blonde hair. As it began to move toward her, one its tentacles snatched up the small golden fish who foolishly thought he was safe after the decidedly more tasty looking girl showed up to offer herself up as alternative cuisine. Guess not, thought the fish, glumly as the tentacle shoved him into the squid’s hungry beak. With that out of the way, the squid pumped with all eight of its powerful tentacles, closing the distance between it and the next tasty morsel.

Dawn kicked with good form through the water when she felt a sudden and violent tug on both her calves. Turning in shock, she saw just how big the giant squid was up close. It was right behind her! Two of its muscular tentacles were coiling around her slender stocking clad legs with deadly efficiency. It was too late even before she noticed it. With a violent tug, it pulled her up close next to it, eyeing her carefully, and allowing a generous portion of its tentacles to coil multiple loops around her knees, waist, elbows, and shoulders. The squeeze was gradual at first, then like a quick intake of breath, she felt herself being crushed. The groaning scream escaped her open mouth in a riot of bubbles and a considerable loss of what little precious air was stored in her burning lungs.

The terrified young reporter was too scared to imagine how many of her fragile bones were about to break, or had already begun to snap. She could not get herself to stop screaming as all her precious air escaped her open mouth, fleeing to the safety of the surface without her. A grim thought occurred to her in her hysteria; that she might not need the precious air she was screaming about where she was headed. This brought to mind the vision of herself on the one page dinner menu again, highlighting her tastiest parts. With a gulp, and sideways glance at the angry eyes of the giant squid, she realized that she would not be making it to her favorite part of the day. At the end, when she stripped off her restrictive skirt suit, and peeled off her evil pantyhose, tossing them triumphantly in the bathroom trash. It was the tiny victories that kept the working girl sane.

Alas, Mr. O’Neil did tell me when I started at the Rose Tribune, “all good female reporters die with their hose on.” With that, the squid opened its hungry beak, and began to steer Dawn’s blonde head for its darkened gape. This she felt was as good a time as any to expend every last inch of air in her lungs, screaming her pretty little head off. As much to be expected, it did very little to thwart the squid’s plans to turn her from world-class reporter to world-class seafood special! With only her long stocking clad legs sticking out of the hungry squid’s beak, she kicked for all they were worth. If they had been on a street corner in the City, traffic would have stopped, and every man as far as the eye could see would stop to sigh and admire the majesty of the legs of Dawn Meadows and the way they could rock a pair of nylons. Only at the bottom of the ocean, there were no onlookers to see that it was just Dawn’s last desperate attempt to save herself. Her legs bucking wildly as if to say “I’m here!”

The bucking became more difficult when she was up to her knees, and as the tentacles stuffed its beak with its hysterical meal, soon just the stocking feet with their reinforced toes were left wriggling in the water. A final stuffing of the tentacles forced the weakly fighting toes into the depths of the giant squid. Dawn’s final thought about herself on the menu was “I guess he wasn’t picky”

A few minutes passed, and the squid reached into its peak and gingerly pulled and tugged until a stretchy, filmy garment came out with a snap, gently floating in a wrinkled mass. “Not true,” thought the giant squid. “I’ve never found pantyhose to digest too well,” With what passed as a contented smile, the squid lazily swam away.

A few days later…

A fisherman felt something on his hook. Excitement filled his veins after a decidedly dull afternoon of a whole lot of nothing. He reeled the line in faster than you could say 3-foot catfish. With a final struggle of friction against the surface of the water, his catch broke free and pulled up over the side of boat. Tipping back his hat in confusion the fisherman raised an eyebrow at his catch.

There, dangling on the end of his hook was a bare of sopping wet barely black pantyhose. “Now what in the world?” he wondered, circling the catch over the boat, and detaching it from the hook. Scratching his chin, he spent a moment trying to figure it out when a shadow under the boat caught his eye. Not wanting to miss the potential catch of the day, the fisherman dropped the drenched nylons into the bucket and swung his hook back into the water, hoping he wasn’t too late. “Well, my wife is always complaining I never bring her home anything special. Let THIS be a lesson to her!” he chuckled.

-The End

Illustrations by MadmoiselleClau

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