Monster

I stopped writing SOS messages in the sand. The waves just take them. Now I write poems. I imagine the ocean keeps them when they are taken, hides them deep in dark places. They become secrets, buried by the water and the filth we pour into it.

I wrote a poem to the monster, watched as the words floated away. It wasn’t very good, too on the nose. More begging than poetry. Pleading to be free. I knew it wouldn’t work but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have my hopes up.

The monster stayed and watched on. It circles the island, only black spines in black hide visible, like spears stuck into some hunted beast. The ridge of its back takes up half the horizon, the other half an open window to nothing but the ocean.

The island is slightly larger than my old house. Half sand half rocks. There is enough space under one of the rocks to get out of the wind. There is no wood for a fire. Food comes at night when the monster speaks.

It raises its head when the moon is highest, water cascading down its wedge-shaped skull, roaring like Niagra. Its black hide is hard to make out in the dark, I can only see the edges where the water reflects the moon. It opens its mouth slowly. I can’t gauge how big it is or how far away.

Its voice is a yawn. One note that grows loud enough to split the rocks and bring tears to my eyes. Fish throw themselves onto the island to escape it. Writhing in fear and suffocating in front of me. I can’t make myself feel grateful.

I can’t keep track of the days I have been here. The only thing to write on is the sand and my slate is wiped clean with each tide. One day then another. The passage of time is marked by the increasing glow on the horizon. Perpetual red sunset and a growing unnatural warmth.

I heard sonic booms this morning. Two and then too many to count. Not as loud as the monster but more violent and immediate. Enough to have me curled under my bed-rock in the foetal position. The roaring died down but not completely. Rolling over the island like waves. I gave up after that, stayed under my rock shivering until I heard the chopper.

It was a newer helicopter. American. Right after they stopped going for aerodynamics in favour of armour and firepower. After they stopped using infantry. The noise of its rotors wasn’t audible over the roaring until it was close. The monster was gone.

I didn’t wave it down. No real point I guess; there wasn’t enough room on the island to land and I was pretty sure it was all over anyway. Better to die well fed on my own. Get some thinking done, do some last minute working out for the human race. I sat on the highest rock and waved the chopper past, shaking my head, saying that I will be just fine.

The chopper flew on, followed by whirlpools in the water. The vortexes grew larger and deeper. The monster erupted from the ocean. Water ran down its length like a second skin, turning into spray, glistening red in the glowing sky.

It filled my vision and then impacted back into the water. Spray stung me and the ocean rose in front of me, washed over the island. I was taken by the water and smashed against the rocks. The rocks split my cheek open to the teeth. I grabbed on. My legs flailed out behind me in the pull. The rocks cut my fingers and I let go. I was dragged out. Flung around in every direction then pulled deeper down. The red behind my eyelids turned black. I felt something in my head pop. The ocean took me and hid me. A secret to be kept deep in dark places.

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