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The Hemlock Sea

Solstice, Scallop, & Sea

By Acacia Lynn StonehockerPublished about a year ago 4 min read
The Hemlock Sea
Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

Little remained from the night before as the waves crashed onto the shore, carrying my once precious cargo. Now lifeless and shredded upon the rocks protecting the beach of the vultures. My favored one, your blood-staining the once bright and illustrious stones, now nothing more than rust-covered anchors with an ox-blood crimson stain saturated within its very core.

I have watched you from the deep, protected by the sea’s depths and her brilliant superiority. Now, I watched as the vultures investigated your corpse. My dearest, how little your strength carried you past the surf and into the flooding tide, washing your once-enamored flesh with a crimson tint that would never suit you.

Not in a thousand years. Red is undoubtedly not your color.

I watched as the vultures pulled at your flesh, or what little remained intact. Chirping amongst themselves, how I wish I could speak their language and understand what they intended to do with you after meeting your demise. Their rapid movements on the shore were almost as unnerving as when I noticed you scuffling along the beach the day we met. You were brilliant to behold, even as a vulture.

An uncommon variant, some could even say a mutation within your genome. I could smell it, and you were unlike the other vultures. You had me curious about your actions, nothing like a typical vulture; you were not of the same vermin you shared your home with; you were unique.

You were my dearest and most prized pet.

I would have kept you if given the opportunity, but only for myself. A prize of admiration that my kind often did not receive willingly. You heard my song, yet you did not follow my call. You always appeared to have a fearful expression, as if my desires were not enough to satisfy your own. You always returned yearning to hear my voice, yet you never followed.

I waited patiently. My hunger never satiated.

But an expression I have heard from those same vultures suits you… “Curiosity killed the cat.”

And now, I watch as those damn vultures snatched your corpse away. As if I had not earned the right to see to your final moments as I saw fit. I wasn’t envious; I was angry. It would be best if you had listened to my call and followed my song.

I see now that your mutation was nothing more than stubbornness. Any other vulture would have followed my call. But no, not you. You excited me; you made my call worthless. It was even more fruitful of advances that I had you as my pet.

Out of reach, yet so close to catching a single piece of you.

The moon had ascended to her highest point on the eve of the Solstice, a bittersweet moment as soon the vultures would venture to the beach with their baskets, wading them into the sea past the jagged rocks that protected their cliffs.

I remembered it fondly. Every year, you vultures would descend the cliffs and bring a singular vulture shackled in toe, only to shackle them to the pillar that stood mere feet away from the sea’s drastic drop-off—a strange custom if you ask me, but one that would typically satiate my desires and appetite. But I won’t have my most prized and favored pet this year.

“The one I had been waiting patiently for.”

I knew I'd never see you again once they carried your corpse away. I could not allow it.

So, I waited. And I waited.

Until I noticed those very same vultures descending the cliffs once more, trembling as they placed their Hemlock-filled baskets near the receding tide. Baskets laced with Hemlock and various other plants and herbs that vultures were fond of.

I was not.

Crimson flesh, now that I was fond of. It’s a tender yet juicy interior, maximized by the smell of iron engulfing your senses as one bites into it with carnivorous intent.

It was enough to drive any of my senses to madness.

I watched patiently, only my eyes exposed to the sting of the sea’s breeze. I watched as they brought me an unknown vulture and tied them exposed to the pillar, abandoning them there. Oh, how I wish you were on the post, my beloved. I would have calmed your fears and welcomed you with an open embrace.

But instead, I am offered this wretch.

I will take them willingly, but those vultures will not get away with taking you away from me with such maliciousness intent. In exchange, a bountiful harvest of the sea’s finest Scallops shall be left on the shore for them to collect in your honor.

A bargain of sorts.

So, I watched those same vultures collect the scallops over a week. Their greed immediately took them over as they cracked the delicate shells open and slurped out the innards like the beasts they were. None were none the wiser, as one by one, they dropped along the shoreline, fodder for my kin.

Unannounced to them, I offered a gift to the scallops before offering them up to the vultures.

A small amount of Water Hemlock Paste goes a long way.

“Vultures will do anything greedily, even die.”

MysteryShort StoryLoveHorrorFantasyFable

About the Creator

Acacia Lynn Stonehocker

An avid author who loves to explore horror, and macabre, with a hint of humor in combination with painting scenes that almost anyone can enjoy! Most of my stories are horror in nature with elements that entice and allow a vivid picture!

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Comments (3)

  • Stephanie Downardabout a year ago

    Knocking them out of the park! I loved this on so many levels! ❤️ The last line was excellent.

  • AHSANabout a year ago

    Read my stories

  • AHSANabout a year ago

    It’s great

Acacia Lynn StonehockerWritten by Acacia Lynn Stonehocker

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