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Monkeys of the Sea

Short story By: BrandonSPilcher
Fantasy



A Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus) hanging out at the beach encounters a race of marine mammals even larger than himself and must defend one against predators from his own domain.


Submitted:Dec 27, 2012    Reads: 25    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


Whoosh.

The Brontosaurus pulled his serpentine neck away from the palm trees to face the turquoise sea. Flicking his whiplash tail's tip, he lumbered towards the surf on four pillars. The beach's white sand shuddered with his every footstep, sending the seagulls fluttering up and squawking.

Whoosh. A geyser shot steam from the ocean's surface up ahead. The brontosaur halted, but his heart kept stomping. Geysers didn't spring from the ocean, but from stony mounds in the shadows of volcanoes. Perhaps he had accidentally eaten a plant which somehow scrambled his vision.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Two more geysers fired, both of them closer to the brontosaur than the last. One of the vapors even tickled his face when the breeze blew it towards him. If his skin felt what his eyes saw, the sea was definitely acting unlike any body of water he had seen before. He waded into the ocean until it reached over his breast.

Yet more of the geysers whooshed. They did not appear all over the ocean though, but rather from one concentrated area which the brontosaur approached. A low moan vibrated the water around him. Another geyser followed, but this time the brontosaur noticed that it sprouted from a blue-gray hump that sank into the sea as quickly as it rose.

Splash.

A giant pair of fish's flukes stuck out of the surface. The brontosaur swam towards them, but they disappeared into the water before he could inspect them more closely. The geysers resumed. Surely the big fish knew something about them.

Whoosh.

This time a geyser did not spray. Instead a gray-blue fish at least as colossal as the brontosaur himself thrust its body out of the water into the air. It twisted its streamlined torso and plummeted back into the deep on its back. SPLASH. Little waves swept across the sea's surface after the thunderous impact.

Whoosh. This geyser shot near where the fish had dove back in. It had come from the fish's own head!

The brontosaur's jaw slackened and he blinked his eyes. Fish as big as his kind that jumped from the ocean and sprayed geysers from their heads---and yet he could not have possibly dreamed them!

He plunged his head below the surface. A whole school of the giant fishes glided through the briny depths before him. Actually they exceeded the brontosaur at least in length, something no other animal he had ever encountered did. The water continued to tremble with their songlike moaning.

These fishes differed from other kinds in more than only size. No scales shimmered on their hides, nor did gills streak behind their eyes. However, they did have grooves running down their undersides. Bumps atop their heads each had a pair of nostrils. The fishes did not sway their horizontal tail flukes side to side but rather up and down. No fish the brontosaur had previously seen moved like that.

One of the bigger fishes ejected white fluid from its underside, which a much smaller individual lapped up. It resembled how baby monkeys back in the jungle would drink milk from their mothers' breasts. These creatures must therefore not have been fish but really giant swimming monkeys!

And yet the brontosaur had never seen more spectacular creatures in his whole life. Not even his own kind had stunned him as much as these great fish-monkeys. Their songs took on a soothing melody as they echoed through the deep.

Gradually more of the fish-monkeys soared away until only one trailed behind, but this grew far larger than the rest. Wizened skin around its eyelids suggested a greater age than its peers. The last fish-monkey's moaning had a deeper, more plaintive tone, as if lamenting its isolation from the other animals. The brontosaur's heartbeat slowed for once and he replied to her song with a rumble of his own.

The fish-monkey steered sideward, away from the horizon, and drifted against the brontosaur's flank. He turned around and lumbered behind it, heading back to shore. As the water around the sea creature grew shallower, its swimming slowed until it dragged its belly across the sand. The surf then pushed the giant onto the beach where it finally stilled.

As the brontosaur returned to dry land too, the pupil of the fish-monkey's eye followed his movements. When he stretched his head towards the eye for closer inspection, the pupil contracted into a dot. The fish-monkey was watching him, undoubtedly out of a curiosity typical of intelligent animals like himself. It sighed out another sad song that melted the brontosaur inside.

He licked the salty moisture off the fish-monkey's wrinkles, and it purred back. He responded with another rumble. Only he could provide the old giant with the care it needed. For that matter, only a Brontosaurus could return this fish-monkey to its ocean home---but the sea creature grew so big!

With his feet sinking into the sand, the brontosaur pushed his side against the fish-monkey's. His muscles stretched and strained and he bellowed but it did not move. Another push barely nudged it. It would take days to shove such a bulky animal back into the sea.

A roar drowned out the bird cries from the jungle beyond the beach. The brontosaur's heart returned to frenzied throbbing. The rustling of leaves and the snapping of twigs grew louder as he resumed struggling to budge the fish-monkey. It still stayed put.

A pair of Tyrannosauruses broke through the fence of palm trees on the jungle's edge. With their birdlike legs they stormed towards the brontosaur and fish-monkey, sniffing the air. The brontosaur petrified before breaking down into shivers. These predators would kill the fish-monkey to devour if he did not intervene. If he did, they would kill him instead.

The fish-monkey wailed. The tyrannosaurs accelerated towards it, jagged jaws agape and dripping saliva. Rearing up onto his hind legs, the brontosaur bellowed his throatiest at them and brandished his forelegs. One of the tyrannosaurs roared out its defiance, piercing his eardrums.

The brontosaur crashed his forelegs back onto the sand, sending a shockwave through it. Although the tyrannosaurs stepped backward, they retained their footing. One of them clamped its mouth onto the brontosaur's neck. He thrashed himself free, whacked the tyrannosaur aside with his neck, and rotated to face the fish-monkey again.

It convulsed its body as the second tyrannosaur bit into one of its fins. With another bellow, the brontosaur stomped towards the tyrannosaur, stood up again, and kicked it in the face with his forelegs. After the predator collapsed onto its flank, he raised one foreleg to crush its skull when agony shot through his tail.

The first tyrannosaur sank its spike-like teeth deeper into the flesh. The brontosaur could not simply shake his tail free, so he pushed himself to rotate in a circular path. As he spun his body around, he threw the tyrannosaur off, losing a piece of his tail in the process. The beast smashed against some palm trees, cracking its ribs, and dropped to the sand.

By this point the other tyrannosaur had scrambled back onto its feet and now lunged at the brontosaur's shoulder. He sidestepped so that his adversary bit air and swung his neck again. The monster back-stepped out of the way and repeated the lunge. This time it tore a sliver of skin from the brontosaur's withers. The brontosaur waved his neck about in pain. The tyrannosaur thrust itself for another attack, but now the brontosaur took his turn to bite it on top of its neck. His dull teeth did not penetrate his adversary's skin, but the shocked carnivore nonetheless recoiled after yanking itself free. The brontosaur then swung his head again and clubbed the tyrannosaur on the breast. Its wishbone snapped underneath the flesh. With a cry half roar and half shriek, the tyrannosaur wobbled its front half and retreated. The brontosaur bellowed in its direction as it jogged back into the jungle yelping.

The fish-monkey did not bleed nearly as much as the brontosaur, yet whereas he panted from all the exercise, it did not breathe at all. Its sides did not even rise and fall like a breathing animal's. Nor did the fish-monkey's eyes follow the brontosaur's movements anymore, for instead it had shut them. He had fought to save its life, yet it had still died.

The brontosaur raised his head towards the sky and howled, sending birds swarming off the beach and out of the jungle. Never again would he hear the fish-monkeys sing again. Never again would he gaze upon these most enormous and wondrous of all creatures he had ever seen. And never could he observe whether or not they had the same intelligence as his own kind.

Drooping his head and tail towards the sand, the brontosaur lumbered away from the beach back into the jungle whence he had come.

Whoosh.





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