It wasn’t the proper morning to hunt it. It was too clear. The water was melted emeralds, and the wind buzzed like static against the parched white sail. The skiff was sailing, cutting a narrow beam of froth through the surface. He’d heard it was out again, released from the ageless pen at the mouth of the long, mountain-spiked bay. Some children let it out, a pair of boys, no doubt answering some idiotic challenge. Now, they were both dead, and being stripped down in a stew of acid and bile.
Every year he thought. This happens every year.
By midday, he was in the center of the gentle bay. A thick fog of algae and insects hummed against the shapeless waves. Seagulls cackled impatiently within the sunny breezes. He took out a small vial of white powder and sniffed it vigorously. He was a tiny man, withered, tan, and folded in with age.
He checked the curved rod at the front of the boat. The bait-line was calm, not a quiver of interest from the deep. The day’s tranquility had driven the beast far down into the void. His eyes began to droop into a routine nap that would occur with or without a monster.
It was at this exact moment that it appeared.
The line snapped against the wooden hull like living thunder. He played the catch for hours. The serpent thrashed and contorted its long body. It was a living tempest, a lost cyclone of myth and abomination. The fight usually lasted all day. Even monsters are consistent. Eventually, it floated to the surface like overworked rope.
The snake’s body was thick in the middle. The two little boys were still being digested. He pulled its narrow head onto the edge of the deck. Its eyes were stretched into uneven diamonds, which were supported by endless rows of icy teeth. It almost relaxed as the fishermen cut its head off.
The leviathan was used to the sensation.
He dropped the green, scale-laced body into the deep. It disappeared like a trail of fluid smoke. He’d take the head back to the prison. It’d spawn a new body without a blink. The serpent was eternal and immortal. At least it couldn’t grow to full size within the cage; it would always be an endless grunt till someone released it. The eyes still blinked when he finished. They’d gotten to know each other very well. The fishermen took another sniff of his vial and smiled, then he paddled in the direction of the underwater enclosure.
“Back to being a curiosity, my friend,” he said, with a smile on his face.
This is a flash fiction excerpt from my collection of short stories Seven Monsters. Currently you can get Seven Monsters for just a buck on Amazon’s Kindle. Click here to find it. Also, if you want to get the paperback edition, please check out my online store, where you can get any two paperbacks for $25 with free shipping. Also, if you just need some free fiction in your life please check out more of my stories by clicking here. Thank you.