Reading time: 1 1/2 minutes
He stood in the shadow of daybreak. Sand gave way to surf. Ocean inched closer with the tide as minutes ticked by. Gentle waves lapped over his bare feet. A sense of home tingled through his skin.
At the edge of the horizon, the sun crept above the waterline. He turned, one final look at the skyscrapers, before tiptoeing into the civilization before him. So quiet, all sound trapped under the waves. One step. Then another. And he was waist deep. Surrounded by his true world.
He cupped his hands, released his webbed feet from their hold in the sand, and splashed forward. A butterfly from its cocoon. Smooth, powerful strokes thrust him onward. A surge of energy commanded his mighty muscles. The water took him in. Caressed him like a mother. At last, a terrific distance now from shore, he slipped his head ‘neath the surface and swam downward into the sea where he touched the hand of God.
It marked the last opportunity to catch a glimpse of Michael Phelps. Residents of an archipelago miles east of Brazil claim they spot him occasionally. Always smiling. Ever at peace.
Usual instructions: Enjoy the story, and determine what today’s tale has to do with today’s date: 23. We’ll be back with the solution in a day or two. If you can’t wait for another one next week, you can catch up on a previous mystery of the week.