The Accident

Fiction by Isabel Jobin-Davis

The year is 2300 and Alec Richardson is on his way to becoming a professional surfer.  He knows all the good surfing beaches, but his favorite is Zulgesh Beach because of the small waves at one end of the beach, which gradually increase in size, to the other end, even though Zulgesh Beach is also known for occasional shark sightings.

Today is Alec’s birthday and he decides to go out with a bunch of friends to Zulgesh Beach for some surfing. As Alec’s car passes by the parking lot booth, one of the guides mentions that there have been several shark sightings earlier that day. Alec and his friends decide,  because they’re experienced, and want to celebrate Alec’s birthday in the best way possible, to ignore the warning and surf anyway.

As Alec and his friends suit up, they look out onto the ocean and don’t see any sign of sharks. They’re excited and run right in to the large waves. Then, Alec sees the most perfect wave and goes for it. As he stands up on his board, he sees the fin of a shark and starts to freak out. This causes him to fall over, into the water. The shark attacks. Luckily, it only bites off his right arm instead of what his friends thought would be his inevitable death.

The next day at the hospital, Alec is told he will never be able to surf the same again. Alec is devastated. He can’t imagine his life without surfing. All he can think of is that his career is over. But that won’t stop him. He will try again and again, but without something drastic he will never be able to compete at a professional level again.

Two Years Later

Alec hears of a new invention of a prosthetic arm that might allow him to surf normally.  Since his encounter with the shark, Alec has gone to hundreds of doctors and psychiatrists to help him overcome his problem, with no success. This is Alec’s last hope. He feels, after two years of trying, that there is nothing else he can do to surf the same again.

Alec goes to see Dr. Vonderhuevel at the Vonderhuevel Institute of Science so he can learn more about this prosthetic. He learns that with this prosthetic, he will be able to hold on to and feel the surfboard, heal his phantom pain and give him better balance than he’s had since his accident. The arm will do this by having pressure sensors all over the arm and it will send electrical signals from these sensors to the intact nerves in what remains of his arm. His brain will interpret these signals to mean that he is touching something. Alec is ecstatic. He believes that this will allow him to become a professional surfer once again, so he signs up right away to participate in the first experimental trial.

For the first year of the trial, Alec undergoes hundreds of hours of testing and therapy to acclimate his body to the new arm. Dr. Vonderhuevel attempts to adjust the settings to fit his body perfectly. He achieves this goal with success.

Alec decides to walk around with his arm in public. He starts to acclimate himself to everyday usage of it. This takes him about another six months, then he finally decides he is ready to try surfing again with his new arm.

Alec and his friends return to Zulgesh Beach to try out his new arm on the smaller waves.  As they pass through the booth, the guide reports that there have been no shark sightings ever since Alec was bit two and a half years ago. This makes all of Alec’s reluctance to now vanish. So, they park their car, grab all their equipment, and take the long walk to the other side of the beach to find the smaller waves.

When they get to the other end Alec puts on his prosthetic and walks gingerly into the ocean. He then waits a long while to find the perfect wave. Finally he sees it, and says its now or never. As his friends cheer him on Alec takes his first wave. It works perfectly! This gives Alec a swell of confidence and he stays out surfing the small waves until just before sunset. As it nears sunset Alec is exhausted and decides to have one final ride of the day. He waits for a short while to find a nice wave that will bring him into shore and takes it. As Alec stands up on his board he sees something in the water moving towards him. He starts to hyperventilate and scream for help remembering his horrific accident, but manages to stay on his board. As Alec nears the unidentified object he realizes it was only some seaweed and driftwood, and immediately calms down. The wave then brings him to shore where his friends are worriedly waiting, and Alec explains his confusion.

This leads to a night of celebration for Alec because of his new arm and hard work during the off season. All of this might just allow Alec to pursue his dream and become a professional surfer once again.

Three years of incredibly hard work later Alec attends his first professional competition. Alec now wears his prosthetic all the time, and has absolutely nothing holding him back. He has become almost a legend in town and is very happy. He also teaches children with disabilities to surf in his free time. Nowadays, Alec tells his story to anyone who wants to listen and encourages others to work hard, because he believes if you put enough time into something you love, and never give up, you can achieve anything.

About Isabel Jobin-Davis 265 Articles

Isabel Jobin-Davis is a freshman at Clayton A> Bouton High School.