Swim in the dolphin
"Huh. That's weird." Wally scratched his head. He'd been on the pier a dozen times and he'd swear that there was always a No Swimming sign on the post here. Now there was a different sign, and an odd one.
"Swim in the dolphin," he read. "Saturday A.M."
Wally glanced out at the water and say a flicker of gray in the blue-green waves. A sleek form moved easily through the sea and for a moment the dolphin rolled onto its side and looked at him out of one ink-dark eye.
Wally looked at the sign again. "That is a weird typo." Obviously it was supposed to be 'Swim with the dolphin' and he smiled. "Well, it's Saturday, so..."
He glanced around in case this was somehow still against the rules but there were just a few people at the far end of the pier and no one was looking this way. Wally checked the waistband tie of his trunks, stepped out of his Flip Flips and dove off the pier before he had chance to change his mind. He knew the cold ocean water would be a shock.
Cold water was the least of his problems. The dolphin lurked in the waves and watched him, staying in the shadows of the pier, and the first indication that things were horribly wrong was the dolphin's nose erupting from the water right in front of him as he dove. Wally was in midair with no way to prevent a collision when the wet dolphin beak yawned wide. There was a flash as dozens of sharp peg-like teeth caught the light and the glisten of slick purple gullet in the instant before everything went dark.
With a thump Wally disappeared to the waist in the dolphin's maw, his outstretched hands opening the way for his face. Peg teeth scraped over him as his dive sent his shoulders, upper arms and elbows into the slimy dolphin throat and he felt the sea mammal lurch as a hundred and eighty pounds of man rammed into its gaping maw, which expanded easily to let Wally in. Only the natural reluctance of the gullet to suddenly expand around such a huge morsel kept him from disappearing in one long slide.
"What the..." for a moment Wally lay stunned, his butt and legs still out in the warm beach air, held out of the water by the dolphin's jaws. The rest of him lay partly in long narrow jaws and mostly in a smooth muscular tube of gullet. The dolphin's streamlined body bulged oddly around this great lump of man but that didn't seem to bother it at all. Instead of spitting him up it showed that it had planned this from the start by tossing its bottle nose upward and yawning still wider. Wally's rump slipped into the gaping maw like a letter into a mailbox as the dolphin pointed its nose straight up.
Wally's eyes went wide in the slimy darkness as the dolphin steadied itself with its tail, staying bolt upright in the water with his kicking legs hanging out. All it had to do was yawn and gravity sent him sliding deeper. A thick later of mucus left the walls of the gullet as frictionless as wet ice and his kicking legs slipped into its jaws all the way to the knees. Down in the swollen dolphin's middle his outstretched hands pushed through a muscular valve into soft folds of flesh that expanded easily to accommodate his head and shoulders as well.. the stink of acid smote his nostrils as he sucked in a breath and Wally began to kick and squirm in a panicked effort to not end up in a dolphin's stomach.
The dolphin had other ideas and sank down into the water with little more than his ankles and feet hanging out of his jaws. Momentum and a slippery gullet had let it swallow him in seconds and with a wave of a flipper it moved deeper into the shadows of the pier to finish its meal. As its nose went almost horizontal, long narrow jaws wrapped around Wally's calves, the dolphin arched, straightened and swallowed. The movements of its body aided the gulp and Wally let out a muffled shriek as a great rolling contraction of its throat muscles gripped him and sent him sliding deeper. His toes scraped past sharp peg teeth and then struggling, kicking with all his might, he still helplessly into the dolphin's long stomach.
Ten seconds before Wally leapt happily from the pier, expecting a swim in brisk Pacific water and maybe, if the sign was right, even a dolphin or two to admire. Instead he was stretched out in a slimy pocket of flesh as the dolphin swam peacefully back to sea, its long body deformed by a new bulge. Blubber and muscle smoothed out the shape of a swallowed man and the dolphin was still streamlined, but now it tapered from bottle nose out to the widest part of the bulge and back down to tail and flukes. Anyone who saw the shape in the water would assume it was simply fat or pregnant.
A dolphin's long narrow jaws always meet in what looks like a smile and they parted out to let out bubbles and a long belch. A lot of air went down with Wally and most of came back up, leaving him squirming and confused in the slippery pocket of dolphin stomach. A dolphin's forestomach is large, able to hold a whole big salmon it swallowed whole, and this one's was huge even by dolphin standards. Wally lay neatly stretched out in its body cavity almost as though he wore a dolphin-shaped costume. He felt the muscular movements as it swam away from the pier and suddenly the sign made sense. He wasn't swimming with a dolphin. He was swimming in one.
His final desperate struggle began as the dolphin burped and coughed up his swim trunks, which had caught on its sharp peg teeth and stuck in its throat even as he slid deeper. The floating trunks were left in the dolphin's wake as it swam on. Along with the flip-flops left on the pier they were the only evidence he'd been there at all. People lose clothing at the beach all the time. By the end of the day someone would take the flip-flops for their own or shrug and throw them in the trash and no one would raise an eyebrow when his swim trunks washed up on shore. No one would ever know his spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach ended in a short trip through a dolphin's digestive tract.
"But I just wanted to swim," Wally gasped as the acids came flowing into the belly. It was miserably hot inside the dolphin, humid and slimy, but those were small problems compared to his imminent fate as sea mammal chow. Naked and afraid he squirmed and kicked, but the tight thick muscle and fat squeezed in on him like the coils of a constricting serpent.. The dolphin's long stomach was practically a coffin of flesh and the last thing he heard as the darkness pressed in was the growing gurgle as it began to digest its meal.
The swollen dolphin seemed to grin as its prey gave a last kick a and was still. It would take at least a whole day to digest and pass a meal this size but in just a few hours enough would soften to smooth out the already barely visible bulges of human skull, shoulder and hips. Then it could return to the pier, visit with its human friend and consider when to take another such meal. A whole man is a big meal but soon enough it'd be hungry again. Swimming burns a lot of calories, even when it's a lazy full-bellied jaunt while you waited for the human in your stomach to dissolve.
The homeless man smiled as a frantic barking came from the water below the pier. "Calm down, buddy," he called downward as he took down the homemade Swim In The Dolphin sign. Below it lay the NO SWIMMING sign Wally remembered. "I'll have your sign up in a minute."
Below the pier the sea lion waited, whiskers quivering with anticipation. His human friend up on the pier was so very nice about arranging wonderful meals that if the homeless man fell of the pier he might even let him swim back to shore.
But probably not. The sea lion braced himself against a mussel-covered pier piling with a foreflipper and yawned until his jaws creaked and popped. Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, a human would see the new sign and dive into the imagined cool of ocean waves. The sea lion might let one or two escape, but eventually he'd glance around, see no other humans were watching as he'd been taught, and yawn. There would be a thump and a gulp and once that would lead to discomfort, but these days his jaws and belly were well accustomed to the shape of a human swallowed whole. He'd let out a long burp, wait for the wriggling to stop, and find some quiet place to sleep off his meal, just like last time. There was a reason he was the fattest sea lion around. He had a friend to arrange his meals.
The sea lion's only complaint was occasionally needing to cough up or pass human-made indigestibles, but it was worth the occasional trip of a flip flop or deck shoe through his bowels to score such filling and easy to catch prey. Best of all, no matter how many he and the homeless man's other aquatic friends ate, they never seemed to run out of people.
Wally goes for a swim. He ends up someplace hotter and slimier than he expected.