Friday, 2 October 2015

October Frights Blog Hop: Ghosts Beneath the Sea

Welcome to the October Frights Blog Hop!

For today’s post on October Frights, we embark on a deadly sea voyage…

Ghosts Beneath the Sea

“Have you ever seen the phenomenon called fairy lights? I’ve heard tell it’s a luminescence glow floating just below the waves.” The pale, frail-looking woman smiled at the grizzled sailor, and waited patiently for an answer.
“No, miss, though I’ve heard stories. That’s what I expect they are, just stories.”
“Yes. I’ve heard them as well. Water sprites, mermaids, sea monsters, and the like. I’ve heard the scientific explanations, too. Phosphorus seaweed, bio-luminescent crustaceans, fish waste.” She shook her head. “It’s all quite erroneous.”
She looked at the sailor, staring with such an intensity that he shivered.
“Would you like to know what they truly are, sir?
“So you know, do you?” He smiled, all unease gone in a wave of condescension. “A little thing like you knows the secret to some mysterious sea phenomenon?”
“I know many secrets, sir. But this one most of all.”
She laughed, a cackle born deep in her belly spilling out across deck, and raising to the height of the ship. The old sailor trembled, this time the shiver travelled far into his bones and froze his very marrow. He took a step back from the woman, fright sketched over his salted washed face.
The woman tilted her head, seemingly amused by the man’s discomfort.  “It’s ghosts, you see. Poor men gone down in shipwrecks. Lost souls forever taken by the sea.”
The sailor made the sign of the cross. “You shouldn’t talk like that, miss. ‘Tis bad luck. You’ll curse this ship with talk like that.”
She smiled. “Oh, you poor dear. This ship was cursed the moment I stepped on board.”
She opened her mouth, but it was not a laugh that issued forth, but a roar. A elemental challenge that shook the ship from bow to stern.
The sailor answered it with a cry of his own, a scream born of primal terror.
For no demure, delicate lady faced him now. Her face no longer reflected anything human. Hollow eyes burned black and sunken, peering from ridged sockets, and her flesh dissolved into a death mask of bone and scales. Her torso grew and bulged, while limbs stretched and transformed into scaly, grasping tentacles.
The sailor shouted, “Kraken!” before a tentacle swept forward to knock the old man overboard. Another scream followed him into the sea.
“Rise my children! Rise and greet your new brothers!”
From the waves ascended light, a thousand pinpricks of radiance that swirled and danced, and surrounded the ship. They hovered, waiting to bear witness. They did not wait long. Inhuman tentacles wrapped themselves around the ship’s mast, around its rudder, snaking past its shrieking crew. The Kraken pulled, heaving against wood as it cracked and fractured. She shredded the ship with ease, and tore it all apart.
As the poor ship died, the lights keened—their sound pure and mournful. As the ship sank, as men submerged beneath the waves, the lights enveloped them. Slowly, one by one, they sucked the dying souls from their drowning bodies, and welcomed all the doomed crew into their undead ranks.
Her  task finished, the Kraken descended into the sea, taking her children—new and old—with her. Above her, and her brood, floated the flotsam of another tragic shipwreck.

© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved

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