Savior of The Sea
by "Splatter" Joe Solmo
Hannah dove behind the stainless steel cart in the hotel kitchen. The hissing sound continued in the hallway. She could see the shadow of the thing under the door where the hall light invaded the room. Revulsion rose inside her and he placed her hand over her mouth fearing an imminent vomit. How did this day turn into this? She asked herself. How does something like this happen?
Two days ago she arrived in Portland for a dental convention. The hotel staff had been all friendly with her, the doorman, the desk clerk, even the maids wore a smile on their faces that first day. She went to the convention and sat through boring seminars all day and only wanted to return to her room for a long soak in the tub, but something had gone seriously wrong.
The lobby was dark when she arrived. She used her cellphone to light her way towards the stairs. About halfway across the green carpet she almost fell when she stepped in something wet. The carpet sloshed under her feet.
She heard a groan behind the desk and made her way there by LED torchlight. There she found the clerk laying behind the mahogany counter, clutching his stomach. She could see the red stains spreading on his white shirt.
“I’ll call for help,” she whispered, but the clerk tugged on her leg with a bloody hand.
“Run,” he said, and the look in his eyes sent shivers down Hannah’s spine. She turned back towards the door and that was when she first caught a glimpse of it.
The body was slick with moisture, translucent and almost amorphous in design, but her eyes didn’t fixate on its body. It had long appendages, two on each side where arms should be, but these looked more like tentacles. They had to be at least ten feet long, and flopped across the wet carpet like an unmanned firehose.
Its face reminded her of a squid. With a beak located centrally, it had no eyes on its slick face. She caught glimpses of sharp yellowish teeth when it opened its maw. Two thick squat legs held the atrocity upright, ending in clawed feet with three toes. It screeched at her sounding like a movie version of a pterodactyl. It was blocking the door, there was nowhere to escape.
She ran towards the back, behind the counter, passing the dying clerk on the way. He still clutched his stomach. She passed through the doorway into a hall leading to some banquet rooms the hotel used from time to time. She saw the sign for the kitchen at the end of the hall and ran towards it.
Now that creature had followed her. She whispered a prayer that it wouldn’t come in the kitchen where she was hiding, but she saw its tentacles slide across the floor and push against the double swinging door.
With a push the door swung open and the creature probed the dark room with its tentacles. A nauseating smell reached Hannah as she tried not to freak out. She glances behind her looking for a way out. She carefully backed around the counter looking over her shoulder as the tentacles grew closer and closer to her, probing for its prey.
Her feet struck something solid and she turned to find a counter behind her. Hanging on the edge was a magnetic strip with knives. She grabbed the biggest one she could find. Her eyes darted along the wall and she saw the exit sign above a side door. She started to make her way along the tiled floor.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when the tentacles of the monster struck the cart she had his behind earlier, sending it into the wall. She had to consciously keep herself from screaming. As she approached the door she saw through the center island the creature in the isle next to hers. Its beak snapping at air as its ten foot tentacles grasped anything it could. It knew she was in here somewhere.
It turned its eyeless face in her direction and screeched, sending a shower of black sickly liquid onto her. A feeling of dread overcame her and she tried to move but it was like she was glued to the floor. She fought the feeling, the lethargy settling in her bones like sand filling an hour glass. The longer she was there the harder it was getting.
A tentacle came over the countertop, sending pots skittering on the floor near her feet and this time a small yelp escaped her lips. The creature turned in her direction and stepped onto the counter with surprising agility. All four tentacles were now probing this side of the center island.
With a surge of self-preservation Hannah managed to get her muscles into motion. She darted for the side door with the exit sign. She heard the wet slap as the monster landed on the floor where she had been only seconds ago.
She yanked hard on the doorknob of the wooden side door. It pulled open and she sighed in relief as she jumped through the opening, but she couldn’t get all the way through. Something had her leg. She looked down in horror as the tentacle wrapped around her slim ankle. She pulled as hard as she could, getting leverage from the door jamb with her other foot.
The tentacle’s suckers undulated, almost snake like and started to work their way up her calf muscle. She saw another tentacle in the doorway seeking her flesh. A small barb rose from the translucent skin of the tentacle slowly, dripping with a green viscous fluid.
Hannah kicked wildly in panic and broke free from the suckers that left small bruises on her leg. She turned and scrambled into the small service hall and ran right into a man. They both tumbled to the floor.
“We got to go,” she yelled as she heard the screech from the kitchen.
“Come now, relax. You’re ok,” the man said helping her to her feet. He was strong. He wore a black suit with an aquamarine button down shirt. His black hair was slicked back to just about shoulder length. His bright green eyes entrapped her for a second. IN that second the monster went away, all pain went away the world only consisted of this man.
“Now tell me, what is all the fuss about,” he asked stroking her hair. She practically melted from his touch. This man was her world now.
“The monster!” she said, suddenly remembering and turning in his arms. The creature stood ten feet from them, its tentacles flailing, but not approaching any closer.
“The spawn of Cetus will not harm you,” the man said and Hannah felt her worried fade. No harm will come to you, if you play along.”
“Play along?” she said.
“I have come here to find a bride. I am sorry if The Spawn of Cetus frightened you. He can be a little…overzealous in his wishes to please me,” the man said.
“That…thing works for you?” she said.
“In a sense, yes,” he relied.
Revulsion took ahold of Hannah and she tried to push away from the man, but his strong arms held her tight. She remembered the knife in her hand and thought about plunging it into the man’s ribs. Would that do the trick? She wondered.
“What say you? Would you like to go home with me and be my queen?” the man asked and held her out at arm’s length, looking into her eyes.
“I have a choice?” she asked.
“Oh course you do,” he said with a laugh. “Free will is very important.”
“Look, I just met you, don’t you think we should have a date first maybe, see if we have any common interests,” Hannah said looking for an escape route.
“You would deny me?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
“Well you would have to at least meet my parents first,” she quipped and gave him half a smile. She saw the rage start to consume his face
“You jest at Pontus?” the man said. “This is a onetime offer. Take it seriously,” he said angrily. The Creature took a step towards her, screeching.
“Let me go,” she said.
“You refuse your better? This is why your world is doomed, mortal,” he said shaking his head, but he still didn’t let go. “Maybe you think yourself above the queen of the sea? Maybe I should teach you a lesson in humility,” he said and nodded towards the creature who began to move forward, its tentacles grasping Hannah’s ankles. With a quick tug it pulled her from her feet and she hit her head on the floor of the hallway, passing out.
When she awoke she was in a dark place, like a basement or cave, the stone wall didn’t look like brick but carved. She was laying on a slab of stone, held down by two of the Spawn of Cetus’s tentacles, the other two were still wrapped around her ankles. Shadows danced on the low stone ceiling as she realized the light was reflected from moving water nearby. The smell of salt assaulted her nostrils.
“Good, you are awake. Much like the land animal the horse I hear about, maybe your spirit needs to be broken,” Pontus said and raised his arm to the creature and nodded. He stepped back into the shadow behind her until she couldn’t see him anymore.
The tentacles of the creature wrapped around her calf muscles and worked their way around, rising up her legs. She screamed and struggled against the bonds that held her, but they were solid. The undulating tentacles weren't a bad sensation, it was like a massage, only from a cold clammy source. The part that bothered her more was where were they heading?
She tried to lock her legs tight together as another foot of tentacle crawled its way up her, drawing the creature ever closer. The eyeless face stared back at her, not just blank of sight, but of emotion as well. Its beak was parted slightly and she saw the teeth inside just in front of its tongue.
The creature was only a few feet from Hannah now and that’s when she noticed something horrific. It wasn’t the tentacles she had to worry about. A protruding mass of transparent flesh was growing between the squat legs of the creature. She screamed.
The tentacles that were holding her legs suddenly pulled in opposite directions, spreading her legs wide. She cried out in pain of muscles and tendons not made to stretch that far as the creature made its way onto the table. She pulled against the tentacles holding her legs apart as hard as she could, but she couldn’t budge them more than a few inches, the beast was too strong.
That’s when she noticed the knife laying on the slab next to her. It was only a few inches from her hand, as if Pontus didn’t consider it a threat. She reached, spreading her fingers to gain another inch. She could touch the handle, but not enough to bring it to her hand. It wobbled from her touch.
She tried to adjust her shoulder so that she could gain an inch or so, lowering her left shoulder down. That helped and the top inch of her fingers could touch the handle. She worked it back and forth, each wiggle gaining a fraction of an inch as the monster now kneeled between her legs with its impossibly huge appendage dangerously close to her.
Nowhere was Pontus. The darkness surrounding her had swallowed him up. She couldn’t see or hear him as she struggled against her bonds and her slimy supernatural rapist. Only a little more and she could grasp the knife.
Hannah felt the cold slimy member strike her mid-thigh and a whole new level of terror enveloped her. She nearly convulsed in elation when her fingers grasped solidly the plastic handle of the nine inch knife. Quickly she spun it around and slid the blade between her forearm and the creature’s tentacles. With a push the razor sharp knife slid through the soft flesh, severing the limb and freeing her arm. A screech erupted from its beak, the sheer loudness made her cringe.
She twisted quickly and freed her other arm with another swipe of the blade. Clear thick fluid escaped the wounds on both tentacles of the monster. She sat up and plunged the steel into the monsters member with a two handed thrust.
The Spawn of Cetus reeled back from the pain and slid off of the table, taking the knife with it. Hannah quickly jumped to her feet and pulled her skirt down, relieved that the monster never finished what it set out to do.
From this point of view she could see that they were indeed in a cave. Salty sea water reflected light from a small opening at the far end of the cave about thirty feet away. She ran around the stone slab and looked for the knife in the pile of writhing tentacles. A quick glint from the light betrayed its presence and she grasped it once again.
She stabbed down into the face of the monster repeatedly, plunging all the way to the handle in its spongy translucent flesh. The cold clear fluid sprayed across her face with each strike, dripping from her chin. Hannah didn’t stop stabbing until the monster stopped moving. She caught her breath and stood over the corpse of the atrocity.
Her eyes panned the cave’s shadows for Pontus, but he wasn’t to be seen. With tears on her cheeks she limped her way to the source of the light. The opening was four feet across and just at the water’s surface. She crawled onto the smooth stone, worn from eons of tidal erosion and slipped into the light.
She was on a rocky coast, the ocean’s expanse in front of her. To the right and left it looked like more rocks and cliffs with no discernable escape route. Hannah laid there for a few moments, basking in the warmth of the sun about fifteen feet from the cave entrance trying to get her bearings.
She had to get a better view of the coast to see which way to go, and the only way to do that was to swim out a little from the rocks. She clutched the knife tight in her hand and dove into the cold waters.
Fifty feet from the shore she could make out a sandy beach section to her left and began to swim towards it. Her eyes kept darting back to that cave entrance, looking for any sign of the creature or Pontus, but she saw nothing as she made her way through the waves to the beach ahead.
Once on dry land she rested and looked herself over for wounds. Some minor cuts and scrapes, but nothing too bad. She tucked the knife into the belt on her skirt and headed towards the stand of trees in front of her.
Suddenly she heard a loud roar from the water. She spun on her bare feet and saw Pontus rising from the water about a hundred feet out. He rose like he was on an elevator to the surface and hovered over the water accelerating towards her.
Hannah screamed and ran into the forest, pushing small branches out of her way. She heard him hit land as the wake he made crashed against the beach.
“You cannot win,” Pontus said in a booming voice.
Hannah pushed through the thick underbrush in a near blind panic, only trying to flee from the mad water god behind her. She nearly tumbled when the trees stopped and she realized she was at a bay on the island. A wrecked pirate ship lay washed up on the beach. With a quick look over her shoulder she dashed for the relative safety of the ship. Scrawled in white paint on the side of the hull was the name Poseidon’s Vengeance.
She entered the captain’s chambers just as she heard a crack and a thud from the forest line. Pontus emerged behind the fallen trees.
“Enough of these games, bitch,” he called out with a sneer. No longer did he have mesmerizing eyes, as she watched him through the broken port side window. Pontus scanned the nearby area for her.
“Hiding will do you now good. I have all time,” Pontus said walking towards the wreckage.
Hannah looked at the knife at her belt and knew it would be useless against Pontus. She looked around the cabin for a better weapon. Hanging on the wall above the rotted mattress was a large trident. She jumped up and grabbed it with both hands yanking it free from its resting place. There were words inscribed down the heavy metal haft. The Earth Shaker.
Hannah gripped the weapon in both hands as she heard Pontus step onto the worn wooden planks of the pirate ship. She knew it was useless to hide. He would find her. She mustered up all the courage she could and headed towards the doorway, trident first.
Pontus was on deck, about thirty feet from her. He stood there full of confidence looking at her with victory in his eyes. “Your insolence will not go unpunished wife, but we have a long time to break you in,” he said. “Now drop that mortal weapon and bow to me.”
Hannah stood her ground, staring back into the eyes of the primordial god. She shifted her grip on the haft of the weapon turning it in her hands. Pontus reacted immediately, eyes growing huge.
“Where did you find that? I can’t be,” he said first taking a step forward then one back, as if indecisive.
“Captain’s quarters,” she said taking a step forward. She watching amazingly as Pontus took a step back towards the end of the ship.
“You don’t know what you’re messing with,” the sea god said keeping his distance from her.
Hannah looked down at the haft. The Earth Shaker. The words rang out in her mind. The phrase sounded so familiar. “Stay back!” she said hoping to sound stronger than she felt. It was a wonder her hands weren’t shaking.
“This is your last chance. Put the trident down,” Pontus said.
Hannah gripped the haft and raised it, pointing the metal tipped barbs at Pontus threateningly. “I said stay back!” she said. Pontus took a step forward and smiled.
“You don’t know what you have there, do you little one,” he said, the confidence back in his voice.
“I’m gonna stab you with this sea fork!” she quipped raising it above her head. The weapon was heavier than she thought and her arms began to wobble.
“You’re too weak to be my bride. I will have to find another,” Pontus said and stepped closer.
The weight of the trident was too much after everything she had been through and it started to slip from her hands. She brought her arms down and gravity pulled the three tips down into the deck of the ship. The sound of the metal entering the wood was deafening and the force made Hannah fall on to her seat, but what it did to Pontus was the most exciting.
The sea god was knocked clear over the side of the ship and out of sight of Hannah. Tremors started almost immediately and she could see the trees on the beach shake with the fury of each one. She rose to her feet carefully, using the old sea soaked wood of the ship as a brace against the impact. She made her way to the rail and looked for Pontus.
She saw the sea god rise to his feet. His eyes all but aglow with hatred aimed at her. He stepped back towards the ship in the ankle deep water, but one step was all he took. The ground shook harder and Hannah had to hold on to the rail to keep herself upright. The water under Pontus quickly disappeared and then the sand began to as well.
The sea god looked down in surprise as a chasm began to open up beneath him. He quickly jumped backwards to the edge trying to remain on solid ground. The opening spasmed and a wall of water erupted and began to spin around Pontus.
“You can’t take me. Don’t you know who I am?” he called out to the sky with hands stretched out. Hannah turned towards the trident still buried in the deck of the ship. “The Earth Shaker,” she said. “Another nickname for Poseidon. The ship was called Poseidon’s revenge. She realized how it sounded familiar as images from Myth and Legends class came back to her.
Hannah fought against the shaking and made her way to the trident, gripping it with both hands to keep her balance. Pontus was screaming now, barely audible over the sound of the rushing water that was forming a cyclone around him, the force of which was raising him above the earth.
Hannah could now see the angry sea god looking at her over the rail of the ship. He struggled against the water, but didn’t seem to be making any headway. She rose to her full height as the tremors stopped shaking the ship.
A large man shape made of water rose next to the cyclone, its sea foam beard adorning its face. Hannah looked on in awe at the beings in front of her. This new entity turned towards her. She pulled the Trident out of the deck and tossed it towards the watery being who grabbed it out of the air. It spun around and launched the trident directly into the chest of Pontus.
The imprisoned sea god let out a blood curdling scream as the trident pierced his body, nearly tearing it in two from the force. The cyclone suddenly stopped and Pontus was dropped straight into the chasm below, disappearing from view. The watery figure turned towards Hannah and gave her a quick bow before splashing down into regular water.
“Wait!” she called out looking over the side of the ship for her savior. “I want to thank you! “There was no response, just the churning of the tidal waters around the wreck of the pirate ship. Hannah sighed and slumped down on the ancient deck.
She must have fell asleep because the next thing she noticed it was dark. She climbed off the ship, taking some of the old wooden planks with her. It took her sometime to create a fire on the beach, but eventually she managed to get it alight with some friction. The warmth felt good.
An hour later a spot light fell on her as a coast guard helicopter flew overhead. She was saved! She looked out over the moonlight water and thanked her protector, Poseidon. It took a little while for them to send down the rescue basket, but soon enough she was safely onboard and flying home. She vowed never to step into the ocean again.
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