Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monster of the Deeps

It has been dead for a while.

But you may not think so. Under the ocean, the currents move at the whim of the moon, and the dead beast is pulled this way and that. The long tentacles sway, reaching farther down into the darkness of deep ocean than you can tell.

The main body - a bulbous, distended organ that resembles some poisonous fungal growth - is more static, hanging suspended in the eerie twilit blue. That is how you know it is dead. If it is living, why would it hold so still as fish chew away at its pale flesh?

It has a head, though you'll have to search to find it. The beast is large, many times larger than a ship - and even so, it is small, unimportant, in the infinite vastness of the sea - and you must move past miles, it seems, of gray-white flesh - skin, it must be, only skin does not usually look so rotted - to find a change.

Then, on the upward side of the body, you see something. If it were on the other side, you'd think it was a barnacle (and there are many, feeding off, living on the corpsemeat), but the dark thing is alone, a smudge on the top of the beast's body. The sunward side, it any sun reached this far deep.

You approach, carefully, coming up slowly to the dark shape. Finally you arrive, and there you see two slits above the thing you saw. A hole, you think, and then, glimpsing teeth, a mouth.

But something is wrong. Those teeth are, in fact, teeth - not the baleen of a whale, nor the serrated rows of sharks. These are human teeth. Human teeth.

And slowly, you notice something else from your peripheral vision, and look. The tentacles have drifted up around you, though the current would pull them down. And - you turn back to the head - there are bubbles streaming, sliver and sparkling, from the open, breathing, mouth.

The eyes open.

--

Written in English class. I love the ocean - and yet it is so vast, and we know so little about it. The scariest monsters, to me, are the ones that combine the human with the alien.

Illustration a classmate did based on the above description:

EAL's Monster, by E. D.

Not quite what I had in mind, but it will do.

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