Rubber “Ducky” Duck may have been yellow, but he was no coward.
He was a naval man and proud of it, just like his father and grandfather before him. A veteran of tub warfare, he’d fought countless battles against the evil empires of Sponge and Submarine. Alone, he’d emerged victorious; his home and the Pink Island successfully defended.
But now, a storm was coming. He could feel it in his tail and he always trusted his tail.
It’d been quiet recently, too quiet. The tub water had remained calm. Even the tumultuous Pink Island lay dormant.
Ducky rode the currents from the Porcelain Cliff to the twin waterfalls and back, bobbing gently on the surface. His black eyes fixed on the Pink Island, watching for any sign of activity.
The sky darkened. Ducky couldn’t see the cause.
He swallowed hard.
He was under the water before he knew what was happening, swirling and crashing through the surf. There’d been no time to take in air.
The world spun.
He was disorientated, couldn’t tell up from down. If he didn’t figure it out soon, he knew he’d be done.
A heavy pink object, moving too fast to see, tore through the water and bubbles, scarring a wake into the surface. The thing missed him on the first pass, but only just. He spun again in the currents.
Darkness crept into the edges of his vision. His plastic lungs burned; He needed to breathe.
The pink thing was back. It slammed into his flank with force, ripping him from the surf. He burst from the surface and into the harsh orange sun, higher and higher into the white-coloured sky.
And then the pink thing was gone; no longer supporting him. All his life a naval man and now he was flying. Despite himself, he smiled at the irony.
Spilling over and over, he watching sky turn to Tub and turn back again to sky.
Then Tub vanished.
A world he’d never seen before rushed up to meet him. It looked soft, welcoming. He knew that this was what the old ones called “The World Beyond The World”: the world of Floor.
He could see now that Floor wasn’t like Tub. The soft-looking ground had no give, unlike the water.
He landed hard.
Ducky lay on the floor, eyes closed. He’d fought long and hard. Now it was time to rest.