I’ve already talked about how the ocean is big and scary and packed full of terrifying creatures. Even so, I like it. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, poking at random animals in tide pools and imagining all the things that might live out beneath the waves.
If there’s one kind of monster I’m willing to believe in, it’s sea monsters. Look at the things we know for certain live in the ocean–angler fish, goblin sharks, giant squid–it’s not exactly a friendly place down there, whatever The Little Mermaid would have us believe.
This isn’t a hundred-word story. It started out as a hundred-word poem in ballad meter, but it’s not that anymore either. It’s a sea shanty, because, in my humble opinion, there just aren’t enough sea shanties anymore. It’s also available in the Tides issue of AU, so you should check that out and support my old speculative fiction magazine. There are some very, very talented writers in there. And me.
Anyway, here’s a poem.
A half human, half octopus creature.
A man came to the sea one day
covered in dust from town.
He saw a woman floating there,
upon her head, a crown.
Concerned, he called, with trembling words,
“Are you quite safe, young miss?”
She blushed and tossed her ink-dark hair,
and blew to him a kiss.
Bewitched, the man stripped off his suit
and waded to his knees.
The maiden fair, she crooked her hand
and thus his heart was seized.
His arms stretched forth for an embrace,
she bobbed beneath the spray.
“Come back,” he cried, and followed her
beneath the stormy bay.
Two arms wrapped tight around his waist
and one more seized his neck,
but with her lips, to his fair cheek,
she pressed a sensuous peck.
He closed his eyes – he could not bear
such painful ecstasy.
She touched his face, his chest, his knee,
but how, he could not see.
Her hands clasped tight to his fair hair,
her lips were soft on his,
and yet, he’d swear a thousand times,
’twas not her only kiss.
His mind went dark, he felt relaxed,
there in the maiden’s arms.
He did not mind, not in the end,
falling to her charms.