Written for the Wattpad Weekend Write-In. Never ignore the advice of the locals when you’re out fishing.
Odd cracked open a beer bottle and sucked down half the contents in a single gulp. His line drifted with the tide, out beyond the shadow of the jetty, into the shallow water that lapped Radio Beach.
“Good day for snapper, huh?” His companion mocked.
Odd’s bait had remained stubbornly uneaten all morning and as the Bimini sun began its descent towards the horizon, the chances of a fish lunch were looking increasingly remote.
“Give it time.” Odd grumbled, running the cool beer bottle over his sweat pricked brow.
The man sitting next to him grunted but said nothing further. Jacob had been Odd’s best friend for what, forty years now? How the time had flown. From that first day, when Jacob’s arms, as thick and dark as trunks of teak, had hauled him spluttering and terrified from the swelling ocean, to this sun battered afternoon on the Radio Beach jetty, it felt like barely a single breath had passed Odd’s lips. He’d come from the far north to fish marlin like Hemingway, to conquer the sea. It should have been no surprise that the sea had fought back.
Jacob nudged his elbow.
“Company,” he announced.
Odd followed his old friend’s gaze, out past the azure blue of the reef to the inky darkness of deep water. A sleek white fishing boat had appeared from the direction of Porgy Bay, its lines trailing lazily behind it. Its elegant hull and gleaming antennae, bristling from the roof of the cabin, told Odd everything he needed to know about the polo-shirted figures visible on the little boat’s stern.
“Incomers?” He asked.
“Uh-huh,” Jacob confirmed. “Arrived in the bay this mornin’. Dotcom somethin’ or others from Miami.”
“You spoke to them?” A flicker of concern had entered Odd’s voice.
“Uh-huh,” Jacob was a man of few words.
“Did you tell them no-one trolls for marlin off Radio Beach?”
“That I did.”
“They obviously didn’t listen.”
“Nope.” Jacob cracked open his own beer. “They most certainly did not.”
Odd felt the sweat prickle his armpits. Maybe the dotcom whatevers would get lucky and the sea would give up some of her bounty without complaint. Then again, maybe not.
The answer came from beyond the horizon and the sight of it chilled Odd to the core. Part wave, part wake, a darkness within the darkness, it moved like a bullet. The afternoon sun glinted warmly off the placid ocean to either side of the on-rushing water, but even it’s light seemed to recoil in fear from the thing beneath the sea.
Odd considered shouting a warning, but the boat was too far away, and even if they heard him, the men in the polo shirts would have no time to avoid their fate.
The kraken broke the surface in a boiling mass of livid tentacles and mottled flesh. A single vengeful eye the size of a small car gloated for a moment over its prize and the terror of the men trapped in its embrace, before it retreated back beneath the sunless sea. Odd heard the crack, like a rifle shot, as the keel of the little boat was crushed by the Kraken’s beak. The sea boiled black, the shattered hull sank away. Of the dotcom fellas there was no further sign.
Odd shivered. There, but for the grace of God and Jacob, go I he thought.
His old friend, the man who had pulled him from the Kraken’s maw forty years ago, sucked on his beer. His eyes had returned to the horizon.
“Tourists,” he muttered.