The SeaWorld dolphin enclosure always had a smell of semen to it. A combination of the stinking fish fed to the dolphins and the cutting bleach from the janitor’s custom-cleaning-detergent created the horrible scent. Joseph found himself breathing through his mouth every time his patrol route made its way east, past the manta-ray hut and into the domain of the dolphin. Somewhere behind the glass walls, in the velvety blue, the dolphins were floating. Did they sleep? Joseph didn’t know, he saw very little of the animals here, most assumed the mundane quality of work scenery. He presumed that the dolphins could sense his presence as he walked by and retreated into the darkness, to hide and lurk and chatter amongst each other in frequencies he wouldn’t ever hear. As he exited the long murky dolphin tunnel, the stench of semen worsened to a height as he stood above the hot air vent which blew a moist bayamo up the legs of his nylon pants. There was a sticky, clawing quality to the scent that lingered on Joseph long after work was over. It was a combination of the smell of his uncle who worked at a fish market and his other uncle who worked at a strip-club. It was the strip-club uncle, who worked as a bouncer, who got Joseph the job at SeaWorld. His other uncle, the fishmonger, hated the fact Joseph worked at an aquarium. All fish were to be eaten, not to be looked at, that was the fishmonger uncle’s principle. Joseph recalled going to SeaWorld when he was a child, a family trip that included the two uncles. The fishmonger stared at the Orca’s with steely contempt and pulled Joseph aside to say, “Those are mankillers, kid. You may think Flipper out there is your friend but never forget, those are man killers.”
Before working night-time security at SeaWorld, Joseph worked at a donut shop, and before that he was in prison and before that he worked at the community pool and before that he was too young to have a job. Strip-club uncle had pulled some strings to have Joseph’s criminal record overlooked so he could work for the security company. It didn’t matter too much, most of the people Joseph worked with couldn’t even speak English and the ones that did speak English might as well have had criminal records. Joseph’s manager, Matt, was a veteran who got addicted to opioids, too many fentanyl lollipops while fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan. He had subsequently dropped out of society stateside before finding sobriety. The veteran’s role as a manager at a local security company represented a high point in his life. Matt held a strong belief in second chances. Most of the job was spent in boredom, strolling through the aquarium in silence and counting the minutes till his shift was over. When Joseph spoke to his co-workers, they would express their desire to quit and speak about how much the job sucked and that they couldn’t be working something like this anymore and everyone would nod sagely and agree and then continue to do their job for the next seven hours and continue to show up everyday for the next week and call in ahead of time when they were sick.
Six months into working at SeaWorld, Matt took Joseph aside to speak with him.
“How’d you like to make some cash on the side?”
“How much cash?” Joseph asked.
“Well, it depends on how much work you want to do.”
“What do I have to do?”
“You’ll have to meet someone first, who will let you know more about the job. It’s a confidential kind of affair, real high-profile clients,” Matt explained.
“Great. I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning. I’ll get your uncle to give me your address.”
When Joseph was young, a little older than the trip to SeaWorld but still young, his two uncles watched this Japanese dolphin killing movie with him. It was never clear to Joseph whether the movie had been put on intentionally or was just playing on the TV. Regardless, they all watched it. Joseph remembered a scene from the end where the fishermen were standing in their slick ponchos, stabbing down into the black boiling cove with spears like long shards of white light cutting down into the shadowy beneath. You could see the dolphins in the nets being pulled up out of the water, their bodies stuck on the javelins and then plunged back down into the water, plumes of red-pink blood spurting around them. It was almost quiet when the fishermen were killing, just a soft buzz of dolphins clicking and squealing, no louder than the hum of Joseph’s phone charger beside his bed. And then the fishermen, clad in orange and neon green and royal blue waterproof suits gathered up the bodies of the dolphins, on the bloody shore of the cove, and slit the throats of the ones that were still alive. Joseph looked at his uncles and they both were smiling.
The next morning after their talk, Matt picked Joseph up and they drove to a motel. Matt brought him to room 202 where he met the occupant, a midget who called himself Dives. Dives lived in a state of filth, clothes and towels and VHS tapes stacked around in. There were a few cameras on stands around the room at odd angles. Dives was listening to the sound of squeaking dolphins off the bedside radio. Dives introduced himself as a director of films, he made movies about “inter-species connections, insights into the primordial animal nature found both in humans and beasts”. He asked Joseph if he would like to see one of these films to which Joseph agreed. Matt and Joseph sat down on the end of the single king bed, positioned directly in front of the television, and watched.
The movie opened with a man walking POV towards an open aquarium pool. He began to speak. I’ve been coming here everyday for the past four months, visiting the dolphins, feeding them fish and gaining their trust. If my calculations are right, the dolphins should be in peak breeding capacity this very moment. The man then began whistling and chirping as if communicating with the dolphins. He stood by the shallow pool beside the larger aquarium. Two sleek forms emerged from the pool, two dolphins coming towards him, he began to caress their heads and stroke their bodies. Oh, you’re excited aren’t you, yeah you look so fucking sexy. The dolphins then began to nuzzle towards his crotch. You’re horny, aren’t you? He then began to whistle at them again, undressing in a hurry to enter the pool with the dolphins.
Matt looked over at Joseph, “Cool, right?”
Dives then began to narrate, standing beside the television as if giving a presentation, “What you are about to see is the first ever bisexual dolphin and human threesome captured on film. None have come after. See that one right there? That one is Star. She’s a huge slut, will fuck almost everyone that comes, doesn’t even like to be cuddled after, hell she’ll hop from one dick to the next. The male there, that’s Clicker, he has a smaller cock than most of our dolphins, but he’ll still beat any man. Don’t want em to be too big, otherwise our actor here will get hurt.”
Back on screen the man had begun having sex with the female dolphin while the male dolphin fucked him in the ass.
“Ain’t that the most beautiful pussy you’ve ever seen?” Matt asked Joseph.
Joseph nodded. It did look pretty good.
“It ain’t just good-looking boys. That thing is self-lubricating on the drop of a dime and has its own autonomous suction powers, yessir, that thing is like a vacuum,” Dives offered up.
The movie went on for another twenty minutes culminating with the throuple achieving simultaneous orgasm. Matt and Dives both nodded their heads and sighed heavily, evidently moved by the cinematic vision.
“So, what do I have to do with this exactly?” Joseph asked.
“Simple, all you have to do is guide our high-profile clients to the dolphin enclosure and make sure that no one walks in while the deed is being done. On special occasions you might have to take more of a helper role when I’m filming but nothing major,” Dives explained.
“How much money will I be making?”
And they told Joseph an amount that wasn’t particularly good, but he wasn’t going to say no to extra money, so he agreed to help.
Joseph’s father had died while he was in prison. One of the last things he had told Joseph was that he was disappointed in him. His father and mother had taken a cruise around the Gulf of Mexico, during which a stop at Roatan had taken a turn for the worse when, what would later be deemed a “freak accident,” occurred on a swimming with the dolphins experience. Supposedly, the scuba equipment had been defective, causing Joseph’s father to drown. The uncles thought otherwise. “No,” they said, “it was the dolphins that drowned him.” Watching the dolphin porno, the thought couldn’t leave Joseph’s mind. The thought that those sleek grey torpedoes had killed his father. That he had been living and breathing beside them while working here and had never done anything, never thought to take revenge. More disturbing than this, was the revelation that were people out there who would side with dolphins over humanity. Could they have children together? Were there dolphin human hybrids out there? When Joseph slept, he dreamt of grey smooth skinned humanoids with holes on the top of their heads, grabbing onto his father and dragging him down into the silty waters of a foreign ocean.
A week later, Joseph escorted a middle-aged man to the dolphin enclosure in the dead of night. The man had a weird look. A specimen of strength, his body resembled a Greek statue, but his eyes were bulbous and wide open, conveying a constant state of shock. Dives would be waiting in the dolphin enclosure, ensuring everything was set up for a night of fun. What to say to a man who was about to copulate with a dolphin? Joseph did not know and so did not say anything. The man seemed excited and walked with an eager pace and when the moment came for him to enter the enclosure, he gave Joseph a congenial slap on the back and a hearty handshake. Then Joseph waited. Thoughts of his drowning father entered his mind. Thoughts of his uncles, looking like two pigs, slurping down beer on the couch. Thoughts of the robbery. Thoughts of dolphin pussy, and swimming as a lifeguard, and tanned skin, and the smell of industrial cleaning products and bodily excretions. Joseph ended up putting his earbuds in and listening to his MMA podcast. He really didn’t want to hear the sex.
After an hour and a half Joseph began to worry. Dives hadn’t come out to visit him and Dives had assured him that no man could last longer than fifteen minutes having sex with a dolphin. Maybe they went for round two? Even still, surely it wouldn’t take this long. Perhaps the man was having trouble getting it up. Joseph waited another half hour. By now it was becoming evident that something was up, and that Joseph would probably have to go inside the closure and check things out. Hesitantly, he called out for Dives and was met by silence. Joseph went inside the enclosure.
The man was lying face down in the bathing pool that was used to mate with the dolphins. The water was billowing with blood and white gobs of cum that danced like little jellyfish. Dives was strewn out across the deck, as if thrown with great force from a great height. Dolphins were nowhere to be seen. It was silent except for the soft lapping of the water. Panic began to rise within Joseph. Both Dives and the man were evidently dead. Menacingly, a camera on a stand stood beside the pool, the ring light attached to it still on and shining. Joseph didn’t know what to do. Call the cops and be implicated in a dolphin fucking ring or do nothing and have the cops come and investigate and try to lie your way out of it. Matt wouldn’t want to talk, and he was the only other person who knew about Joseph’s involvement. What had happened here? Out of fatal curiosity Joseph moved towards the camera, keeping one eye on the eerily still dolphin tank. It was still recording. He put on his gloves before stopping the camera and then selected to view the two-hour long video. Scrubbing through the recording, Joseph saw Dive shaking hands with the man and then the man undressing and entering the pool. A single dolphin then emerged to join the man and the two of them fucked for about five minutes. Dolphin and man then embraced in post-coital bliss; Dives clapped in jubilation somewhere off screen. While the man whispered sweet nothings to the dolphin dark forms began to emerge from the water. They began to bite and mangle and tear through the man’s skin and he’s screaming the whole time “no I love you no stop I love you guys no stop get away no.” Dives runs up to the pool to help but some of the dolphins (and at this part Joseph couldn’t believe what he was seeing and took a minute to look around for hidden cameras) some of the dolphins exited the pool, waddling on their two tail flippers as they slaughtered Dive off camera. There came a splash from behind Joseph. And slowly, with dread, he turned around to see a dolphin head peeking out from the deep-water tank. It wore that weird dolphin smile and then opened its mouth to speak.
“You will bring us more people. You will tell no one of what you saw today. You will clean up what happened here.”
Joseph stared at the dolphin. It spoke perfect English with no accent.
“You will bring us more people.”
And then it submerged underneath the water and Joseph was left with the semen smell of the dolphin enclosure traveling deep into his nostrils. The water filter gurgled, and the dead man bobbed and the camera beeped–it was on low battery.