Something Out of the Water
On still waters...
Alan James sat up in bed, startled by the loud noise.
"What the hell was that?"
Alan had finally been able to get away from work for a week to spend time on his sailboat on the lake. No deadlines, no nagging, insufferable bosses, no traffic. It had been far too long since he had been able to relax like this.
All was going swimmingly until last night. Alan had dropped anchor in an isolated cove, ready to turn in when a sudden storm hit. Lightning streaked across the sky, followed by booming thunder, with winds so great that he wondered whether he would capsize, yet strangley no rain. Luckily the sail was down, which would have been the end. After a couple of panicky hours, the winds subsided, and the thunder and lightning were replaced by a calming thick fog. The action being over, Alan laid down for a deep sleep.
He stumbled out of bed, grabbed his coat, and went above deck. It was still foggy, so thick he could not see the shore, which was less than a hundred yards away. He searched around the boat trying to find the source of the loud noise which awakened him. Then it happened again.
This time he felt it, coming from the starboard side. It looked like the boat was banging against something, though he could not see anything. He went over and tried to look over the side to see if perhaps a log was hitting it when his head hit the true cause.
"God damn it, that hurt!"
After determining he was going to live, Alan reached out and felt what seemed to be glass. He stood up to see how high it went. Still glass. He grabbed a pole to see if he could feel around or over the impediment. Again, still glass.
"Who the hell put this shit here? Did it get washed here during the storm? It’s damn sure dangerous. What the fuck could it be?"
Alan stood perplexed, unsure of his next move.
"At the very least, I need to get away from this thing before it causes damage."
The wind was completely still, so Alan started the motor. After a few false starts, the motor reluctantly came to, and Alan went off in the direction of the shore to wait for the fog to clear so he could better see what the situation was. Except the shore was not where it was supposed to be.
"Christ, I got massively turned around in that storm."
He tried to boot up the GPS, but it would not respond. His compass kept spinning, unable to get a lock on the north. His cellphone, dead. Radio, dead.
"That storm was worse than I thought."
He decided he could either sit there and hope for the best or attempt to go somewhere to get some answers. He chose to keep moving, the logic being he would eventually reach land.
The yell came from off the fore. Alan looked over, and ten yards away he saw a man in SCUBA gear bobbing in the water.
“Please, can I come aboard?”
Not quite believing what he was seeing, Alan grabbed a rope and tossed it to the man.
“Grab hold, I’ll pull you up.”
After some struggle, the mystery diver was finally on deck.
“Thanks, man, I don’t know how long I could have lasted.”
“What the hell are you doing out here? This lake isn’t exactly known for being SCUBA friendly…”
The diver slumped down on the deck. “Lake, huh? Well, I guess that part makes sense, the fresh water and all…”
Alan looked at him quizzically. “Uh, yeah, lakes are generally known for their fresh water- “
The dive jumped up, wide-eyed. “But that’s the thing, I was swimming off Bermuda when a storm hit. Couldn’t even get back to my boat. My tank was still about half full, but I thought I was going to die. Then everything stopped; just fog.”
“You mean to tell me you were scooped up by a storm in Bermuda and dropped in a lake a thousand miles away by a storm?” Alan eyed the diver and questioned his sanity.
“I have no idea where I am; all I know is I should be in Bermuda.”
Both men jumped, startled by the sudden collision.
“Again? How big is this thing?” Alan wondered.
“What do you mean?”
“The boat hit the same kind of thing behind us, so I just went off in the opposite direction. Then I found you, now another glass wall. At least I think it’s glass…”
The diver went over to feel the obstruction and knocked on it. “If it’s glass, it’s super thick. I’ve never felt anything like it.”
They both stood silently, unsure what to do or say when a sudden updraft brought them to their senses. The fog lifted for a moment, revealing open waters on one side and a clear partition on the other. As they were processing their revealed surroundings, chunks dropped from the sky. Many landed at the boat, and Alan picked one up to examine it.
“It looks and feels like meat; can’t tell what type…”
The meat continued to rain down until the surface of the water was blanketed in bobbing chunks.
“Reminds me of chum, only bigger, “remarked the diver.
“But why is it falling from the sky?”
Before they could further ponder that question, the waters around the boat churned. They noticed some of the meat chunks were disappearing under the water. Suddenly, out of the water, a ten-foot wall of teeth attached to an enormous, roughly scaled worm like creature fed upon a large amount of the apparent feed. The creature appeared to turn and looked at the befuddled and terrified men, but they could not entirely tell because it didn’t seem to have eyes.
Knock!! Knock!!! Knock!!
Their terror paralysis was broken by the new sound, and they turned toward its direction. They could see on the other side of the “glass” an impossibly enormous mass of tentacles and eyes looking at them and knocking the structure. A large tentacle grasping a large cylinder rose up overhead; the creature shook the cylinder causing more meat to fall. It was feeding time.
It remains to be seen if the new accessories to the aquarium will work out; if not, there is always much more to hunt and collect. It’s just so peaceful to watch the little creatures swim around.
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