“Deep beneath the sea lives a creature long forgotten. It’s size once told in legends to be larger than even a sailing vessel. Now it’s all but forgotten. As our boats became more resolute, the Kraken retreated further into the sea. Never to be seen, until one day when it returns.”  Grampa would talk dramatically like that for hours on our family fishing trips.

Every epic anecdote would fill their boat with several wide-eyed, slack-jawed children, on the verge of tears. It was a sure sign of an incredible tale.

Despite his incredible skill, Maddie would never get scared. She just listened intently, with a massive smile in awe of the incredible creatures. She loved grampa’s monsters evenColossus, although she knew he stole it from a grown-up movie. Even Maddie’s parents, aunts, and uncles would have keen ears on grampas words. The whole family resembled a crowd watching a car wreck, like it or not, none of them could look away.That’s why Maddie noticed the smell before she saw anything.It reeked like sewage she was forced to cover her nose with her sweater to stop herself from vomiting. Her aunt Penny didn’t have the instinct and was hurling over the side already. It was pretty funny until Maddie heard her shriek with enough force to shatter a window. That sounded serious. As soon as the scream had come, the boat engine thudded to a stop, that seemed even worse.With her mouth still covered, and her breathing stressed, she forced herself to look. It was huge and as dark as obsidian with coral all along its gleaming surface.”That’s a dead whale” She mumbled through her shirt. “The guck in the water must’ve broken the engine.”Her aunt Penny nearly fainted at the news. Her grampas skin turned pearly white. His face seemed to fill with sand. In a way that Maddie imagined was like rapid aging.”Not again… not again… not again” He cried fearfully.

“Grampa what’s wrong?” Maddie asked genuinely

“The Kraken, this is how it starts,” He wailed “This is what they hunger for.” He looked completely deranged. Maybe, that’s why Maddie believed him. The fear in his eyes seemed so real. The rest of the family didn’t agree. They were dreadfully serious giving cross stares from across the ship. Each pair of eyes was as sharp as a razor. “Storytime is over.” Aunt Penny scolded. “We could die out here.”Maddie quickly took her grampa and helped him downstairs into the boat, electing not to give every member of her family a piece of her mind instead.How could they scold an old possibly insane man just for scaring them? It felt so treacherous this dead whale was bringing out the worse in them. Worse than that, not one member of her family could get them out of this mess. Maddie didn’t know how to fix an engine, that was for sure. She just tucked her grandfather in the bedroom downstairs and turned off the lights, hoping it would stop him from freaking out. She went to all the emergency supplies and grabbed the satellite phone. She then dialed the number for the coast guard in a panic. Hoping they’d give them a ride home.Before she could even finish dialing, her ship began turning aggressively. Like she was inside of a high powered washing machine. In moments she was flailing within the living quarters, she was a doll in a shaking dollhouse. She had no control of the chaos around her. In moments, her head cracked against a hard surface, and her vision became dark. The last thing she thought before she passed out, where’s grampa.

to be continued…

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