The Monster by Jon Mayhew – May 2013 author story

1 May

Dakkar plunged deeper than he’d ever dived before. The weeds swayed in the ebb and flow of the tide. Craggy rocks formed caves and hiding places for darting silver fish.

I love the sea, Dakkar thought. Here, I’m free from scheming adults, from betrayal and strife. There’s just the tide and the fish.

Something moved, coiling up on itself like a snake.

Dakkar nearly let out his breath. Beneath him a long, tentacle curled up and round his ankle. Pain stabbed through his leg as the creature began to crush. Dakkar gritted his teeth and pulled the dagger from his belt.

The giant octopus unfolded itself from the tiny hole it had hidden in. It was the size of a small carriage. Its skin boiled with colour, pulsing red and green as more arms surged up towards Dakkar.

Silently screaming, Dakkar kicked and lashed with his knife. The octopus pulled him deeper until his chest felt as if it would burst. It’s strange eyes stared. Under the body, within the writhing mass was a sharp, snapping beak.

Dakkar kicked towards the creature. Suddenly, they were on a collision course. The Octopus tried to slide more tentacles around Dakkar but he plunged the knife into the monster’s eye. Black mist filled the water. Dakkar felt the creature’s grip tighten. He stabbed again, blindly. His lungs burned but the octopus’s hold loosened.

Dakkar kicked his way to freedom. The surface glimmered above him.

And then he saw the shark.

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