Steppin’ Out

The sun was high in the sky as it drew toward midday, the heat turning the air into a veritable sauna. Giant ferns and palm trees dotted the landscape, plants best suited to the harsh environment and conditions. A nearby volcano issued forth a continuous breath of steam as it lay momentarily dormant. Waves from the ocean lapped gently onto the sand before receding back to the body from which they came. The landscape was silent but for the occasional buzz of a small insect population.

A flurry of splashing marked the emergence of a creature from the water. It stood there on the sand, lidless eyes bulging from its head in a continual look of mock surprise, sunlight glinting off its scales, legs trembling as it struggled to support its own weight. Its mouth gaped open and shut repeatedly, for the first time inhaling the foreign air for its primary supply of oxygen. It stood poised momentarily, as though unsure of what to do. It had simply leaped from the water to snag an insect flying just above the water’s surface and found itself propped on the harsh, course sand. Now the insect was gone, forgotten, as the creature oriented itself to its new
surroundings. The sun ultimately settled the creature’s indecisiveness for it, the harsh rays stinging its eyes and nearly blinding it. A blur of motion, a splash of water, and the creature was gone, back to its native habitat.

Shortly after nightfall the creature re-emerged from the water. This time it took a few uncertain steps before awkwardly shambling further away from the waterline, his tailfin leaving erratic trails in the sand. It took some time for him to familiarize himself with using his limbs in such a fashion. He had always had them, but in the water he had never really had reason to use them. Chasing down his food required little more than exercising the strength of his tail and navigation of his forward fins. Occasionally, he had used his legs to flip himself around a submerged rock, but far and away his legs had only served as impediments to movement by creating drag
and slowing him down. He had often surrendered his prey to another of his species simply because the other had no such inhibiting limbs, making him sleeker and faster. Now, though, he was alone in his environment, and he found that he could move much more quickly as he became familiar with the mechanics of using his limbs on dry ground.

He chased insects for a time, filling his belly and sating his hunger, never straying too far from the waterline, keeping it always within view. He was not yet quite ready to abandon his native habitat, and the lightening of the sky indicated that dawn was not far away and with it the sun against which his eyes had no defenses. He also felt his body becoming dehydrated and stiff the longer away from the water he remained, so he gently slipped back into the breaking waves
and swam into the depths. He would return to the land again at nightfall, but for now the cycle had run its course and mating season was upon him. Instinct drove him into the deeper water.

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There is at least one fundamental, theoretical, and logical flaw in this story. What is it (or what are they)?

5 thoughts on “Steppin’ Out”

  1. There are a lot of places to go with this. First, it is written like the opening of a good novel. Unfortunately the “science” is of b-rate quality. It seems to be promoting evolution which is bogus. Second, even if one believes in the premise of evolution, it supposes this creature had grown mutated appendages for living on dry land before it had even encounted dry land. This doesn’t go along with evolution theory which is based on the premise of counter-entropy where adaptation toward a more highly ordered condition takes place. You adapt to something after you encounter it, not before. Next, it indicated the creature had some sort of drive to come out the water, but its mating was the stronger drive. While mating probably would be a stronger drive, how would a creature such as this think again to come back to dry land if that was to take it away from where it would mate naturally? Food? There is probably more, but that was what I saw.

  2. well… i am not exactly sure if i found a real flaw… but what i got from it was something along the lines of:
    it’s hard to actually leave an environment you are built for…it still calls you back. it can be applied in several ways… to God…to our sins… to home… etc… What calls us, our deepest instinct and callings and yearnings… I can’t really express what ideas are in my head at the moment, but that’s what I got from it.   I am not quite sure I can figure out a flaw.. I guess I like to use my sci-fi imagination too much. LOL.  :-D
    And glad you have one more idea to ponder about…

  3. Where did the insects come from that this fish creature thing was jumping from the water to get? How did it know to try to eat them? And how was it able to accurately judge the leap due to the refraction of the water? How did it know that there would be a nicer environment when the sun went down? How did its lungs adapt so quickly to breathing an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere instead of breathing water? (and since this seems to be going that way… where did it find a mate with similar mutations to create mutated children to continue life? :-p)Inquiring minds want to know….

  4. Good thoughts and questions, all. I have a follow-up post to go with this little story; I just have to find time to write it up.

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