When Whales Breach

My nephew recently visited Hawaii and sent me this glorious photo. It’s the perfect accompaniment to my story “Breach.

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“And then, off to the right, an enormous whale surged out of sea, all the way, the ocean pouring off its body, its great fins and belly white against the blue sky. In the instant that it hung in their world, this magnificent, improbable beast, Amy threw her arms up and whooped, as they all did—they could not help themselves, as if whatever ecstasy that sent this creature out of sea had rushed into them, and when the whale fell back, in a tremendous splash, they felt in their own bodies the sound of its weight.

…It must have felt wonderful, that instant of dominion, that pause between the rising and the falling. There was no other way to account for the effort.”

Published by

Jean Ryan

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in Napa, California. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel, LOST SISTER. Her short story collections, SURVIVAL SKILLS and LOVERS AND LONERS, are available online. STRANGE COMPANY, a collection of short nature essays, is available in paperback as well as digital and audio editions.

2 thoughts on “When Whales Breach

  1. Beautifully written, I could actually feel the whale rise & fall. It reminded me of a past trip to Hawaii where I witnessed this for myself.

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