Me & Sharkzilla
A storypoem about a shark-monster on vacation.
A story about a boy, the beach, and a shark-monster that just wanted a dryskin friend. And then things get really weird.
Poetry: the best words in the best order.
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“If you are a dreamer come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer.
If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire
for we have some flax golden tales to spin.
― Shel Silverstein
For a fairly young kid I've seen a lot of strange things,
like a calf with three heads and the creepy that brings.
I once saw a UFO land in the middle of the road
and spit out two aliens, four-fingered, three-toed.
I've seen an abominable snowman trying to strum a guitar,
but he was an abysmal showman – the album never went far.
Yep, that's all strange stuff, not your nice normal vanilla,
but nothing compared to the thing named Sharkzilla.
I remember it well, my family lived at the shore,
middle of the summer, I couldn't ask for more,
except that my folks were in another marital fight,
so you bet your butt I went to the beach alright.
With people everywhere the beach was jammed,
and I really, truly don’t know how they crammed
so many umbrellas stretching pier to pier
with barely room to even walk here.
Yet there I was with my triple ice cream cone,
gnawing the stuff like a dog with a bone.
I had to finish it fast before the sun melted my treat,
so I was thinking about that and following my feet
and cheerfully ignoring growing gripes and confusion
as I gobbled my maraschino cherry infusion.
I suppose the screams started first, followed by the whistles
from lifeguards launching at the water like missiles.
This big hairy guy nearly bowled me over,
hitting me hard like a hefty land rover.
My triple scoop slopped to the sand,
but the dude didn't stop or lend me a hand
but kept running away, fear clear on his face,
and I still didn't see what had caused him to race.
“Hey, thanks man!” I yelled, pretty annoyed.
Seemed disrespectful; I was easy to avoid.
A shadow from the ocean stretched across my position
while I collected my ice cream despite its condition,
until I gazed back up into the glare of the sun
and saw looming there what had made everyone run,
abandoning the beach in sixty seconds flat,
and I dropped it again...my cone just went SPLAT.
Before me stood an upright shark
wading ashore on some carefree lark
to check out all the tasty people in the hot noon blaze
filling the beach under those sunny rays.
He had two lean legs that let him roam,
and a fish tail slapping behind in the foam.
He stood about as tall as a pro basketball player,
rather impressive for a sea-bound slayer.
I trembled, I twitched, I stammered and stuttered.
“Is – is this some kind of joke?” I sputtered.
“Uh, hello!” he said, “sorry for the intrusion.
My name is Sharkzilla, to avoid further confusion.
I was, uh, passing by and couldn't resist the temptation.
I guess you could say – in a way – I'm here on vacation.
Now, don't you worry, I'm not going to eat you.
My plans are transparent! Completely see through!”
Sharkzilla flashed a super-toothy grin,
spreading side to side and down his chin.
“Oh, ice cream!” he said. “I’ve always wanted to try it.
Down in the Deeps you just can’t swim out and buy it.”
“Uh...want a bite?” I said slowly, grabbing the sand-covered cone,
and handed it to the shark thing on his vacay from home.
“Don't mind if I do!” he chortled and took the cone in a fin,
threw his head back and tossed it right in,
crunching and munching and then he swallowed with a smile.
“By Poseidon's trident, that’s the best thing I've had in a while!”
“Well...there's more where that came from,” I said, pointing back
toward the boardwalk's shops and the slanted snack shack.
“Oh, am I wasting your time? It’s really my fault.
But I’m tired of everything tasting like salt.
I taste briny salt in the morning, noon, and night,
There’s endless salt in every fishbone I bite.
Salt cakes my gums and sticks in my teeth.
There’s always that taste while swimming beneath.”
I shook my head no; I never had to consider
the dietary concerns of an ocean-bound critter.
“Oh, but up here,” he continued with a twinkle in his gaze,
I could try endless new flavors for endless days!”
That was true, for we had sugary sodas and hot apple pies.
We had cheddar cheeseburgers and side orders of fries.
We had plates of barbecue stacked a foot thick
and mounds of potatoes, the butter runny and slick.
We had at our disposal a world of low-quality cuisine,
and Sharkzilla seemed eager to explore that whole culinary scene.
“Um, well over there is where I eat a whole bunch.
They serve plenty of greasy grub for lunch.
I mean, we can go if you want, I guess I don't care.
But, uh, just so you know...well, people will stare.”
A talking shark, he must have known that was weird.
What else around town could be more possibly feared?
Sharkzilla shrugged as if he'd seen it before.
Maybe to him we beachers were a bore.
But now I know he didn’t mind them terrified.
A touch uncomfortable. Just a pinch petrified.
“What's your name anyway kid, I don't think I asked.
Sorry – so rude – I left my manners half-mast!"
“Brody Quint,” I answered. “Yeah, I live here in town.
And you're definitely the weirdest dude around.”
“Well, Brody, it's nice to make your acquaintance.
And I'd love to tackle your tiny beach town quaintness!
And yes, I know I look strange and fairly freaky
but you’ll find out I’m rather fun and geeky.”
Well, I was geeky too, and he had a nice grin,
so I considered his pitch and the politely raised fin.
I didn't really have anything better to do,
and if nothing else this was something new.
My parents probably wouldn’t even notice I was gone.
unless I were to wander in sometime before dawn.
“Well, OK, why not,” I said and offered my hand.
We heartily shook and hiked through the sand
and crossed the dunes to the local Pavilion
where a thousand eyes watched, maybe a million!
But I have to admit it was rather a thrill
walking with a guy who could kill
anyone who caught him in the wrong mood,
but I knew better – he was just hunting fried food!
“It's good, he's fine,” I said to gawking spectators
who sprang away like scared geese from gators.
The pimply kid working the Sea Breeze shack
wasn’t glad we had picked him for a snack.
“C-can I help you?” he asked, sweat beading his face,
probably wishing he worked about any other place.
“A chocolate milkshake,” I said, “chili dog and hushpuppies.
Hey, Zilla, they’re way, way better than your shrimp and guppies.”
“I hope so!” he crowed with anticipation,
scooting up to the sagging snack station.
The food arrived on a round paper plate,
but Zilla couldn’t be bothered to wait
and upended the whole thing and gobbled it one go,
thrashing and gnashing like on Shark Week show,
discarded the plate and then massively sighed,
said, “That was so good, I think I just died.”
Well, since I'd already lost my cone on the beach
I bought us two more, one chocolate, one peach.
I still had pockets full of my allowance money
and thought, How often do you meet a shark so chummy?
By then we were attracting quite a crowd,
gawkers and stalkers, camera-clicking and loud.
Squealing children were kept at bay by a parent,
their concern for the shark thing fairly apparent.
Sharkzilla poised and posed and postured for the people,
flexing big muscles and a dorsal fin like a steeple.
Well, avoiding attention was easier said than done,
but after a while I said, “Hey, wanna have some fun?
There's a carnival at the other end of the block
and even cotton candy at the end of a dock.
And rides too, but really nothing to fear.
The Pirate Boat mishaps all happened last year.”
“Sounds delightful,” said Zilla, smacking his lips,
probably more excited about food than riding fake ships.
So off we went, hand in fin,
ready for the real fun to begin.
The carnival crackled with arcade sounds,
kids crammed into the tents by mounds.
A rollercoaster roared in an endless whirl.
A merry-go-round begged us both for a twirl.
But first we made a stop for a chocolate egg,
followed by him ordering a deep-fried turkey leg,
and then a corndog crowned with ketchup and mustard
and finished that off with a cup of creamy cold custard.
He inhaled a bowl of tater tots and popcorn shrimp,
followed by a plate of bacon and said, “Don't you dare skimp!”
I'd never seen anyone eat so much, so fast,
chomping through chow, his appetite was vast.
But this wasn't exactly all one big game,
because eventually the nosy carny cops came,
opaque black shades shielding their eyes,
hands to holsters slung at their thighs,
their voices low-talking,
and one of them asked, “Mister, you from around these parts?”
interrupting us in the middle of our new game of darts.
Sharkzilla finished the cheese pizza he’d been eating,
burped, bowed, flapped his front fins in greeting,
and said, “In a way, yes, I live right off the coast.
Gorgeous place, but I really shouldn’t boast.
I'm a guest here today of this fine Mr. Quint,
with his full support, one hundred percent!”
“Well, we've had a couple complaints about a local shark beast.
We assume they meant you, some fellow…on a feast.”
“He's fine!” I said, standing up for my friend.
No way was I letting our fun reach an end,
not when we were just getting started,
not to be so easily parted.
“I hope,” said Sharkzilla, “we've not broken any laws.
Surely it's not illegal to have just great big JAWS?”
The cops looked at each other as if seeking the truth.
They weren't trained with suspects so long of tooth.
“Ok, Sir, I guess you're alright,
Go about your business. Have a good night.”
The cops nodded goodbye and let us on our way,
and for Sharkzilla that meant stopping to pay
a visit for double cheeseburgers, hotdogs, curly fries,
and yes I suppose he was the most glutinous of guys.
But it wasn't all about eating, we played more games,
for during his day of vacay he had all kinds of aims.
Sharkzilla was an ace at the air rifle gallery.
If done professionally he could have earned a salary
He won stuffed animals there and then the basketball shoot,
so many in fact that we were overburdened by loot.
At the balloon dart throw he had an eagle-eye.
At the ring toss game, he barely seemed to try.
And the rides themselves – oh so glorious!
The ferris wheel was just uproarious,
for Sharkzilla had never been so high in the air,
and if scared of heights he didn't seem to care.
Eventually the moon rose and nighttime had come.
This had been great, this day with my chum.
I was out of money, I'd spent my last dime,
but it had truly been a marvelous time.
But Zilla, eyes closed, had a fin to his brow.
I had to ask, “Is something wrong now?”
“No, no,” he said, “just sending a message.
Out beyond all the lost wreckage.
An odd gift I have, a little psychic perk.
Let’s see in a bit if it will actually work.”
We later went to the shore, stuffed toys in tow
but I hated to see my new shark friend go.
“Brody,” he said, “I really have to say
you were so incredibly generous today.
I owe you one, kid. Let me show you something neat.
So hop on my back and I'll take you out for a treat.”
WELL… that idea immediately made me nervous
and I started to second guess this service.
I didn't want to drown under a choppy black wave
to be washed ashore later, dead but brave.
But I agreed anyway, I trusted my companion,
my new pal, a winner, a carnival champion!
I straddled his back and we slipped into the surf,
coasting through breakers toward his home turf.
“Brody, you shared your world so I’ll return the favor.
Now do hear me out before you waver.
I contacted a friend who's on his way now.
He's going to meet us any moment and –”
The humped back of a whale surfaced nearby
circled round once and then stopped to say, “HI.”
“Brody, this is one of my good buds from the Deep,
just one of several I’ve managed to keep.
And yes, yes, I know he's rather spacious.
This fine guy here, this is Whalacious.”
Whalacious jetted water through a big blowhole
and spied me with an eye black as charcoal.
“Hey, Brody. We don't often see your kind from the coast.
Sharkzilla mentioned you in his telepathic post.
So a human, eh, Zilla, that's been your big secret all day?
And why I borrowed this from the Sisters on the way?”
Whalacious held out an object I'd seen only in books,
usually held by Poseidon or in museums on hooks,
a three-pronged trident made of pure bright gold,
and I could feel its power, truth be told.
“Poseidon’s Trident!” said Whale. “Ain’t she a beauty?”
Many a pirate would want that thing as some booty.”
“We'll give it back,” said Zilla, “before the Sisters complain.
Don’t worry old friend, we’ll make it all right as rain.”
“Best you do,” said Whale, “you know they get grumpy.
Mess with their treasure and they get all jealous and jumpy.”
“Now, Brody,” said Zilla, “do consider this with care,
by holding the trident you can breathe water like air.
You can even swim around like a slippery fish
and stay underwater as long as you wish.
So come take a quick dip with Whalacious and me.
Check out the Deep; we'd love your company.
There are sunken ships out there and a big coral reef
and giant clams with pearls beyond your belief.
There might even be golden Spanish doubloons
worth more than the prizes from popping balloons.
Besides, you so kindly bought me snacks all day long.
So please, it's my treat, I would do you no wrong.”
Well, this was huge, HUGE, quite the bizarre invitation,
even stranger than the snowman or alien visitation.
But how could I say no to the most amazing of offers?
Hasn't everyone wanted to explore sunken ship coffers?
I didn't think I'd be missed, and it wasn't overnight.
Would my folks even notice my temporary flight?
“Yes, I'll go!” I shouted, and hugged Zilla’s neck.
“Alright then, my friend, get ready for this trek!”
Whalacious handed me the golden trident
his laughter loud, but me, I was silent,
marveling at its magic when the item touched my skin,
buzzing down my arm like a jolt from a djinn,
and down we dove into a world I'd never seen,
water collapsing around us, cool and marine.
And can you imagine what I saw everywhere I look?
I'd love to tell you – but that’ll have to be the next book.
Brody Quint's adventures continue in:
Me & Sharkzilla 2: Graveyard of the Galleons, and
Me & Sharkzilla 3: Island of the Zombie Trees
Author's Note: Thank you for reading the story above! If you enjoyed it, check out some of my other work below! And please don't forget to hit the ❤ button below and subscribe!
About the Creator
I am a writer, artist and poet from North Carolina. I recently self published a children's/YA book called Harold and the Dreadful Dreams. You can learn more about it at my blog https://jmhauser.com, as well as other projects.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Original narrative & well developed characters
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
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Jason, this was so filled with mirth and an absolute pleasure to read! Your ability to endlessly rhyme is such a talent most don’t possess.Definitely a wonderful tale for parents and teachers to read to children. I feel this will also ignite an interest in reading. Looking forward to the subsequent adventures of Sharkzilla!