by Matthew Bissonnette
I watched from the small lifeboat as the gigantic cruise ship finally disappeared beneath the black waters of the Atlantic ocean at night. The ship let out a tremendous groan as it sank out of sight, trapped air escaping from the hull with a bellowing hiss.
It had all happened so quickly. My name is Anthony Curtis, I was a young journalist on his way to Europe aboard the cruise ship "Eve". I was alone in my cabin around midnight when suddenly the whole ship heaved violently. Then the sirens went off; the captain ordered everyone to abandoned ship. I had reached the deck of the ship when it began to list over quickly. In the chaos I had managed board a lifeboat with three others and we where able to disembark from the ship before it sank.
When the ship finally disappeared, I came to the grim realization that we had been the only ones who managed to evacuate the ship. We where alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; a storm loomed upon the north horizon.
I turned to the other survivors. There where two men and one woman. To my left was a young guy, he was dressed in a uniform so I surmised he was a member of the crew of the Eve. The other guy was older, balding with gray hair and thick horned rimmed glasses. The woman, she seemed middle aged, was dressed in an expensive dress.
No one spoke, it seemed they we where all in a state of shock. I turned again to where the Eve had gone down and solemnly stared at the approaching storm. I had an uneasy, queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach; how long until we would be rescued I wondered.
Then in the distance I thought I saw something. A person bobbing up and down in the water about thirty meters away from the lifeboat. I squinted my eyes, it looked like a woman looking towards me. Then she vanished beneath the waves.
I didn't mention it to the others, I'm not sure why.
The storm finally broke around dawn, I had never been so happy to see a sunrise in all my life.
We had spent the night huddled in the lifeboat as it was rocked about by the waves and the sound of howling wind had been almost deafening. I and the crew member of the Eve had spent hours furiously bailing water.
Now it seemed that it was going to be a beautiful day. The sun had majestically risen above the east horizon; the sky was blue and devoid of any clouds.
I looked at the other survivors and said, "maybe we should introduce ourselves."
The guy in the uniform, an athletic looking fellow who still seemed shaken, looked towards me and ask, "who are you?"
"Anthony Curtis. You where a member of the crew weren't you?"
He nodded. "First mate Derek Peters."
The woman, very dignified looking and graceful, seemed to have a refined charm and seemed very poised despite our situation. She had red, fiery hair which went down to about her shoulders.
She asked, "what happened?"
Derek seemed troubled by something. He explained, "I was on the bridge when it happened. We picked up something on our sonar, something huge. It shot up from the depths of the ocean and rammed into the ship."
The older guy said, "it could have been a nuclear submarine."
Derek shook his head. "No, it moved to fast."
I asked the elderly man, "what's your name?"
He replied, "Jasper Whitley. I was on vacation."
I then turn towards the woman, I couldn't shake the feeling that she was familiar. "What's your name," I inquired.
Derek was looking out towards the ocean. I realized then that the surface of the sea was thick with floating seaweed, soggy green vegetation littered the surface of the Atlantic as far as I could see in every direction.
"This is not good," Derek said.
I asked, "why?"
"We are in the Sargasso Sea, we are at least a few dozen miles from where the Eve sank. The search parties might not find us."
Jasper seemed concerned and scared. "Do you mean we might not be rescued?"
Derek said, "yes, it is a possibility."
I began to realize that we where in serious trouble. I said, "how far are we from land?"
"Over a thousand miles in every direction."
Emily, who seemed calm despite our situation, said, "I guess we should stop rowing."
Derek explained, "we are in a strong current, it's pulling us into the center of the Sargasso Sea."
I asked, "what do we do?"
"This lifeboat has provisions; we'll sit tight and wait for help."
Then we all where silent again. Seems no one wanted to talk so I gazed out towards the ocean.
In shocked disbelief, I saw her again. A woman bobbing about in the ocean looking at us. It was only a moment before she vanished beneath the waves, I came to the realization that her skin was pale, the color of chalk. Then she was gone and all I could see was the endless expanse of ocean.
Emily must have seen me staring, she asked, "see anything?"
"I thought I saw a woman, in the ocean."
Emily let out a restrained, yet cynical laughed. "You must be seeing things."
The next few days passed slowly as we all kept our hopes up, everyone looked out for a chopper, a boat, anything. As we drifted deeper into the Sargasso Sea, the seaweed grew thicker to almost the point where you felt like you could actually walk on it.
It was on the afternoon of the third day when Derek spotted the island.
Derek stood up and looked towards the horizon.
"What is it," Jasper asked.
Derek seemed puzzled. He said, "I see land."
On the horizon was a thin gray strip, but it was land.
Emily said, "thank god."
I could see that Derek was uneasy for some reason. I asked, "what is it Derek?"
"This can't be," he said, "there isn't supposed to be an island here."
Emily looked at the spot of land in the distance. "You are wrong because there is an island right there."
Derek said, "no, I know the Atlantic, there isn't supposed to be an island here."
"What do we do," Jasper asked.
I said, "let's be democratic. Who thinks we should row towards the island, put up their hands."
I, Jasper, and Emily raised our hands. Only Derek seemed reluctant to approach the island.
"This isn't right," he said.
We then rowed towards the island, unaware of the horror which awaited us upon the shores of that blasted place.
The four of us staggered out of the ocean; after a desperate swim towards the island once our craft sank. As we had approached the island, we realized that the entire place was surrounded by an ancient reef. As we passed over, the heaving ocean had thrown us upon the reef and our lifeboat had been sunk.
I still remember that reef as if it had been yesterday. On a trip to Australia, I had witnessed the grandeur of the Great Barrier Reef. But where that reef was vibrant and colorful, this one was dead and stunk of rotting fish. In areas where the reef protruded from the ocean's surface, I could discern crab like things scuttling about. Derek's unease had been well founded.
As the island came into view before our boat had been destroyed, I realized that it was nothing more then a mountainous series of rocks which rose out of the ocean; surrounded by a beach with dull gray sands covering its bleak shores. Upon the shores of that beach where vessels; ships of all sizes had been washed up upon the beach.
Jasper collapse upon the beach, the swim had taken a lot out of him. Emily sat upon the sand and simply looked into the sky. Derek stood, scanning our surroundings.
I looked across the sandy to either side. About a hundred yards from us was an old frigate, I surmised it was of the World War 2 era. The rusted leviathan rested on hits side on the beach, it was partially covered in dark coral.
Two the other side of our party was a large, expensive yacht sitting upon the beach. The large white ship towered at over us, a metallic ladder hung down its side. It seemed to be in relatively pristine condition, on its hull was the word "Valkyries".
I looked at Derek, glumly I asked, "what are we going to do?"
Derek did not look at me when he replied. "Search the yacht for supplies. We'll use it for shelter, another storm is brewing."
True, ominous thunderclouds gathered upon the horizon.
Emily said, "why don't we use the yacht to get out of here."
Derek shook his head. "It would never make it past that reef, the bottom would be ripped out."
"How long could we be stranded here," I asked.
"For awhile," Derek cryptically answered, "but we'll be OK."
The way he said those words did not leave me with a sense of optimism.
I sat upon the top deck of the yacht, under a cowling which sheltered me from the drizzling rain. It was dusk yet numerous flashes of lighting cast a surreal light which lit up the bone yard of decaying vessels on that beach.
We had searched the yacht, and found it in good condition. Two large bedrooms, a large galley stocked with at least a month of worth of food, and a posh entertainment room.
Derek and Jasper where both asleep.
I thought I was alone when I heard Emily speak.
"Mind if I join you?"
I turned around and saw her standing there, now she was dressed in jeans and a sweater. There was a bottle of wine in her hand.
"Where did you get the change of clothes?"
"I found a woman's wardrobe in one of the bedrooms. Would you like to have a drink?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I need something to calm my nerves."
So we both sat on the deck of that yacht as the storm approached with the night, drinking in silence for awhile. Then she spoke.
"Your Anthony Curtis right, you used to right for the National Post."
"Used to be, before I got canned."
"I occasionally read your articles."
I looked at her. "You like my editorials?"
"No," she bluntly said, "but there OK for a bleeding heart, liberal."
"Well, it's OK, guess I'm an acquired taste or something."
"You where in some kind of scandal or something weren't you."
I took the bottle from her and drank deeply from it. I explained the whole sordid mess.
"Yeah, well my editor wasn't much of a fan of a particular politician and he was pressing me to dig up any dirt I could find on the guy. So I find a woman who claims she's having a torrid affair with this seemingly upstanding public official and my editor convinces me to run with the story, but I got it wrong. She was some obsessed secretary of his and she was lying, and the next thing my story got the paper sued for slander. I was pretty much laughed out of the profession, I guess I was on that ship because I'm in exile. I had a job with a British tabloid."
Emily smiled suddenly.
I asked, "does my story of personal ruin amuse you?"
"Sorry," she said, "it's just that I'm kind of in exile to."
"You know," I told her, "you look extremely familiar, yet I can't quite remember where I've seen you."
She got up and began to walk away, though she looked back at me and smiled. Then she entered the hatch to the ships interior and she was gone. Our interaction proved to be a nice reprieve from our current bleak situation.
I stood up and walked across the deck. Cold rain fell upon me and I stared out across the turbulent seas agitated by the storm. As I gazed towards the horizon, the occasional flash of lightning would reveal the ocean.
Then I saw it. I couldn't really discern what exactly it was, some huge formless shadow which emerged from the ocean many miles away and would then disappear into waters of the night ocean. Its dimensions, its sheer sized seemed to be gigantic. I remember feeling distressed, I wondered if my sanity had been damaged by the stress of the whole ordeal.
I Then I heard a giggle, a soft laughing of a woman. It came from the area of the beach beside the yacht. It was not Emily, there was something inhuman and sinister about that laugh, it chilled me to my core.
I slowly walked towards the port railing of the yacht, then looked down. A woman, or something that looked liked a woman, stood on the beach looking up at me. Her wet, unclothed body glistened and her skin was the color of chalk. Her eyes seemed to glow and where looking at me.
I was about to turn away when the color of her skin suddenly changed from a pale white to a strong red, and her eyes began to glow brighter. She must have hypnotized me or something because I was completely immobilized and I felt a strong urge to climb down from the ship and embrace her, though this was not something I wanted to do.
I began to climb over the rail and jumped down to the beach, no matter how hard I tried to not do this the foreign control over my own mind was stronger then my own will.
She then approached me casually and put her arms around me, her body was as cold as ice literally. She looked into my eyes then she smiled, revealing her sharp inhuman teeth. I was reminded of shark teeth.
Then Derek's voice called out, "Anthony!"
The creature stopped looking at me and then I was again in control of myself and pushed her away. I looked up at the yacht and saw Derek standing there at the edge of the deck.
I yelled, "don't look into its eyes."
The creature then let out a loud hiss then ran towards the ocean and dived beneath the waves and vanished. I turned to Derek and he simply said, "what the hell is going on!"
I shook my head. I began to fear that I had died when the ship sank and now had awakened in the pits of hell.
The next morning the four of us gathered in the entertainment room. Jasper and Emily sat upon a leather couch as I stood in a corner while Derek paced about the room.
Derek and I explained what had occurred to Jasper and Emily, Emily seemed doubtful and Jasper was reading a book of some kind.
Emily asked, "are you both insane?"
I told her, "we are not making this up."
Emily shook her head. "You want to get us to believe you saw a mermaid or something."
Jasper closed the book and spoke up. "I think it was a Rhine maiden."
"What is a Rhine maiden," I asked.
Jasper said, "they are creatures from Norse mythology, magical women who are said to inhabit bodies of water. Or at least that is what the owner of this yacht thought."
Derek said, "you read the ship's log didn't you."
Jasper nodded. "It was in German, but I was able to translate."
Then Jasper explained the strange and disturbing tale of the Valkyries.
The Valkyries was the property of a wealthy German industrialist and his wife, Clause and Natalie, who had both set out from a port in Spain and where on their way to North America. The beginning of their journey was insignificant and the weather had been good.
Then the Valkyries ran upon a fierce storm somewhere in the mid Atlantic, and Clause wrote of how then his sonar had indicated that something colossal was rising from the depths of the ocean. What fallowed where mad ramblings about some great sea serpent, which Clause named Jormungand, a creature which had emerged from the ocean.
Clause then wrote of how the ocean began to heave violently as great spires of rock rose from the depths of the sea right under their ship and had left the Valkyries stranded upon this island that had once been on the ocean floor.
But as Jasper went on, he explained that the log became increasingly erratic and nonsensical. It spoke of Rhine maidens which had tormented Clause and Natalie, and then in the last pages spoke of how brutish, inhuman things had taken his wife away in the night. The log stopped mid sentence and there was blood on the page.
After Jasper had stopped talking, I asked, "do you know what Jormungand is?"
Jasper replied, "yes, it was a mythological sea serpent which was said to be so long that it encircled the entire earth."
Derek asked, "how do you know all this?"
"Simple," he said, "I used to teach a course in ancient mythology."
Emily still did not seemed convinced. "I'm not scared."
"Derek," I said, "we have to find a way off this island."
He seemed to be thinking. "We will stay on the yacht for as long as we can while we find a way to escape."
Derek then started to move away from us, I got the impression that he was going somewhere.
"Where are you going," asked Jasper.
Derek replied, "I am going to search some of the other vessels on this beach. There should be a lifeboat on one of them that we could use to get past the reef tonight at high tide."
I said, "I'll go with you. I don't think any of us should be alone. I'm not sure what's going on here, but we are definitely in trouble."
Derek then said, "Emily, you and Jasper stay here. We will be back when we find a craft we can use to escape. I want want you two to thoroughly search the yacht for supplies."
I was reassured that escape from that terrible place was soon, I had been in a continuous state of fear since the prior nights events. What had I seen had shaken me to my core, for it was so unbelievably terrifying; I had always seen the world in such a rational way but now anything seemed possible. It seemed that my understanding of what reality was to me had now become more complicated. I deeply feared what else might be hiding on that island which had once been at the bottom of the ocean.
I was no marine biologist, but it seemed reasonable given two how isolated the deepest regions of the world's oceans might be some place where things lurked completely hidden from the rest of the world.
I longed desperately to have my feet again on mainland. But what the night was about to bring was far worse then anything I could have imagine.
It was early in the day. It was overcast; gray foreboding clouds filled the sky and it made everything seem melancholy. As Derek and I searched further down the shoreline, our hopes of finding a suitable means of escape was becoming more unlikely. Accept for the yacht, all the other ships where basically piles of rust that barely resembled anything that could be called a ship.
I looked somberly skyward, the looming spires of rock towered over me. I had already witnessed the terrible secrets that the island concealed, I was not anxious to discover more.
There was something that I had wanted to ask Derek for awhile. "Derek," I asked, "why did you not remain on the ship with the rest of the crew?"
Derek looked coldly at me and somberly replied, "my wife is two months pregnant. I was supposed to remain on the bridge, but I could only thing of my child growing up without a father. I left my post."
I looked at Derek and asked, "what are we really going to do?"
Derek replied, "I don't thinks we can find a lifeboat on any of these ships. There all to old and rusted. We are going to have to remain here until we find a craft suitable to use. I'm sure Miss Hammer will love that."
I was confused and asked, "who are you talking about?"
"Emily, she used to play Lucy Hammer on television."
Finally I realized why Emily had been so familiar. During the 1980's a police television drama called Ms. Hammer had survived several seasons until it was finally canceled once the ratings had evaporated. The show featured a young Emily Gray who played as the tough, no nonsense policewoman Lucy Hammer. I knew all of this because I had watched the show during my angst filled adolescence, I had a crush on the shows star Emily Gray. I was surprised that I didn't recognize her.
Derek stopped suddenly then whispered, "shut up and listen."
I stopped in my tracks and listened. Aside from the waves crashing on the beach, I didn't hear anything at first. Then from a large rusted battleship on the beach ahead of us came sounds. Loud, inhuman grunting and the sound of twisting metal.
I said, "where not alone."
Derek then I hid behind a large boulder on the beach and looked at the battleship in the distance. I hoped we had found someone else stranded on the island, but when I saw what started to emerged from the ships innards I was filled with terror.
Several things that looked like large men started to emerge on the deck of the ship. They where dressed in tattered, soaked clothing and carried varied weapons, hooks and axes made from rusted metal. Their skin was greenish and seemed to be covered in a thick slime like substance. Their large eyes seemed to burn like red fiery embers. There where at least six of them.
I looked at Derek and whispered, "let's get out of here."
Derek seemed visibly shaken, he muttered, "one of those things, it is wearing the uniform of a crew member of the Eve."
"One of those things was human?"
"Eddie," Derek said, "that thing was named Eddie Haskel, he worked on the bridge."
Then I felt a deep unpleasant feeling in my gut, I really did not want to end up like one of those things. I realized I was in a realm of twisted evil, evil which wanted to corrupt us into these inhuman things.
Derek whispered, "let's get out of here."
We sneaked back to the yacht.
I was alone in a bedroom of the ship, laying on the bed and hoping that our salvation was close at hand. I had been in war zones before and had dealt with fear and the possibility of dying, but I never had felt fear like I did on that island. It was like I had left reality and entered a nightmare.
There was a knock on the door, I watched Emily enter and she looked at me in a very tender way.
"I don't want to be alone," she said.
I said nothing as she got onto the bed and then we held each other for awhile in silence. She seemed to be shaking, I guess her cool demeanor had finally broken.
I asked, "could I have your autograph?"
"I just can't believe I'm with Emily Gray."
She sat up and looked down at me. She seemed to be very vulnerable suddenly.
"I'm just an aging washed up actress."
I said, "you look very attractive for an aging washed up actress."
She then put her head down on my chest and said, "you don't have to be kind."
I replied, "I'm not. I used to be a huge fan of yours, even fostered a school boy crush on you."
She laughed. "I guess this is a fantasy of yours."
"Yeah," I said, "though it never included this island or monsters."
"Do you have anybody in your life," she asked.
"There was somebody, but she left when I lost my job. Do you have anybody waiting for you?"
"No, several divorces but no one."
She had a least a decade and a half on me, but I really was beginning to care about her. It was like being tossed into a dark abyss with only a candle for hope.
I asked her, "listen, when we escape, would you like to go to dinner sometime?"
Then she kissed me softly and we then held each other again, I was not as afraid and was hoping that maybe we would escape and could be together.
We spent the rest of that day together, just in each others arms and not saying anything.
It was night. The overcast sky had parted and the stars blazed in the heavens and a fat, full moon hung over the island.
I had emerged from the bedroom and found Jasper asleep on a couch in the entertainment room. I left him and exited the porthole and then was standing on the deck. Derek was leaning on the railing along one side of the yacht and he looked out towards the sea.
I said, "got any plans Derek?"
"No, I don't know what to do."
I was about to say something when we both heard the soft laughing of a woman coming from the shoreline beneath the boat. We both looked over the edge of the yacht and then looked into the eyes of one of those Rhine Maidens.
She stood in the surf, her naked skin glistening in the moonlight. She skin was a purplish red and she smiled revealing her jagged teeth, her glowing eyes looked into mine.
I could not move, neither could Derek for we where under the mental influence of the Rhine Maiden. I could only watch silently as dozens of those brutish, deformed creatures emerge from the ocean. There where worse up close. There skin was more like the scales of a fish, and large gills ran down their thick necks.
The one at the front of the pack stood about seven feet tall, it was dressed in ancient rags and a deteriorated captains cap covered its long, greasy hair. It carried a large hook in one of its massive fists.
The thing spoke with a deep, inhuman voice that seemed to ooze from its lips.
"What is your command mistress?"
The Rhine Maiden spoke with a whispering, seductive voice and it said, "search the ship."
Then three of the fish men climbed up onto the deck of the yacht and casually passed Derek and I, both of us paralyzed from mind control of the Rhine Maiden.
We listened as those things searched the deck below us, things being overturned and the noise of breaking glass. Then came the sound of Jasper groaning in pain followed by Emily yelling.
I was able to resist the mind control enough to threaten, "you hurt her and I'll kill you."
The Rhine maiden laughed.
"You don't realize how powerless and feeble you are," the woman thing explained.
Then the three fish men emerged from the lower deck, they had Emily with them. The things led Emily to the edge of the deck and the Rhine Maiden looked at her.
When the Rhine Maiden ceased her controlling gaze and looked at Emily, I was again in control of myself. I was about to rush to her when two of the fish men restrained I and Derek.
The Rhine Maiden climbed up onto the deck and approached Emily, they stood only a foot apart from each other. Emily seemed terrified.
She looked at me and whispered, "Anthony."
I tried to reassure her. "Emily, I won't let anything happen to you."
The Rhine Maiden used her hand to lift Emily's chin up then it said, "I think we have found our next sacrifice to the great serpent. Take her."
I screamed, "no!"
I watched as two of the fish men led Emily away. They forced her to climb down the side of the yacht and led Emily away into night. The rest of the fish men followed, leaving Derek and I alone with the Rhine Maiden and the brute behind us.
"What do we do with these two?" asked the fish man behind us.
The Rhine Maiden ordered, "let them go. We will deal with them later."
The fish man behind us let us go and soon the Rhine Maiden and all here deformed servants vanished into the night, going in the same direction which they had taken Emily.
I went to follow when Derek stopped me.
"Let me go," I barked, "I have to save her."
Derek said, "we will, but lets prepare first. If you go of half cocked, you will get killed."
Derek and I went below deck to find Jasper lying on the floor of the entertainment room, he was dying from a wound to the stomach.
I knelt down beside Jasper and said, "hang on, we we'll get help."
Jasper weekly said, "do you know why I went on this boat voyage?"
"Why?" I asked.
"To spread my wife's ashes at sea. We where married on a boat many years ago, it is fitting that I die now. I just want to be with her."
"I'm sure she is waiting for you," I said.
Jasper closed his eyes then slowly his breathing ceased. He died in front of me, I really did hope his wife was waiting for him where ever it was he went.
Derek then began to search the yacht when he fount a small plastic box. Inside where several flares and a flare gun. He picked it up, loaded a flare and put the rest of the flairs in his pant pocket.
"Let's go," he said.
Then we went to rescue Emily, I could not imagine how badly it was going to go.
Derek and I followed the tracks of those things had left on the muddy sand of the beach, the moonlight pushed back the dark veil of night. The tracks seemed to lead around the edge of the island until we came to the far side.
As we approached the far side of the island, I became aware of chanting in the distance. Before us was a cove, at the end of which was a small trail which led between the mountainous spires of rock. Along the sides of the cove where spears driven into the ground, atop which where impaled human skulls.
Derek and I then started to traverse the path.
Eventually we came to a gigantic valley surrounded on all sides by the rocky spires, it was directly in the center of the island. In the middle of the valley of muddy sand was a lagoon, in the center of the lagoon was a large heap of rusted metal that had been fashioned into some ungodly alter shaped like a serpent. Atop the metal serpents head was Emily, tied to a pole. She was terrified and screaming.
Surrounding the lagoon on all sides where countless legions of those fish men, their weapons raised in the air as they all chanted in perfect unison.
The lagoon was shallow and about seven of those Rhine Maidens waded around the lagoon in a circular pattern. They all seemed to look at Emily, their eyes creating enough light that the entire alter was bathed in crimson.
The path led towards the lagoon and I began to run towards Emily intending to help. I was rather brash, how could I not make it past the throngs of the brutish fish men.
Derek then tackled me to the ground. He held me down as I struggled to get up.
I yelled, "I have to save her!"
Derek said, "we will, but we'll do it together."
I settled down and asked, "what are we going to do?"
Derek explained, "wait till I make it around to the far side of the valley."
"I will use the flare gun to create a distraction to lure those things away, give you a chance to get Emily."
"What about you Derek?"
"We meet back at the yacht."
I said nothing as Derek let me up. I realized these might be the last things we ever did during our lives, I didn't know what to say.
Derek then started to run around the edge of the valley as I waited for his signal.
I watched Emily as she yelled and tried to break free.
Then I saw a flare appear in the sky and cast a wavering reddish light upon the entire valley. The fish men all looked up at the flare and the chanting ceased. Then one of the Rhine Maidens pointed in the direction where Derek was supposed to be. Then two more flares appeared out of night and landed in the crowd of those abominations. Then the mass of those things around the lagoon thinned as they all ran towards the direction the flares had come from.
I then ran towards the lagoon, several of those fish men where ahead of me but they seemed to look upwards and took no notice of me.
I then started to wade quickly through the lagoon. The Rhine maidens skin seemed to be blazing red and creating light of its own. But they seemed to be in a state of trance and also did not notice me.
Emily saw me and yelled, "Anthony!"
I then reached the alter of rusted metal and climbed it making my way to the top. As I climbed I was pierced several times by jagged metal of the alter.
I reached the top then made my way to Emily.
I told her, "I said I would save you."
She said nothing as I began to try and free her. But she was tethered to a metal pole by a rust en coated chain. I began to curse as I tried to pull the chain free from the pole.
Then a deafening roar which was loud enough to shake the entire island filled the night. I knelt down and held Emily as boulders began to topple down the sides of the spires around us. The sound seemed to come from the direction of the sea from one side of the island.
Then something appeared atop the spires, the moon was bright enough to reveal it to me and I began scream.
A serpent as thick as a skyscraper seemed to be slithering through the mountainous spires towards the lagoon. It was at least several miles long. It was a dark grayish color and its body was covered with the seaweed of the Sargasso sea. It wrapped itself around the top of the tallest spire of the island, then extended its body and its gigantic head hovered over the center of the valley.
I looked up as the beast stared down at us. It had a mouth large enough to swallow an entire house, filled with huge fangs and in its mouth was a serpentine tongue which seemed covered with ooze.
Emily muttered, "go, leave me."
I held her and said, "I'm not going anywhere."
Then blinding red light came from the serpent's massive eyes and I was blinded. I shut my eyes and just held Emily.
Then it was suddenly deafly silent. I opened my eyes to see that serpent's tongue then dart towards Emily and ensnare her knocking me aside. I watched as it then pulled her upwards hard enough to break the chain. I screamed as it swallowed her.
I then ran. I don't know why, I just wanted to get off the island completely. I was going to swim to shore if I had to.
I jumped down from the alter and landed in the lagoon. The Rhine Maidens watched passively as I passed them, neither did the fish men try to stop me. Soon I was on the trail running towards the beach. Then suddenly the whole island started to violently shake. As I ran between the spires, pieces of rock rained down from the sky. A boulder the size of a car fell behind me, and several times I was hit by large stones. The whole time I was crying over the loss Emily.
I then reached the beach and was about to dive into the ocean when something grabbed me from behind. I was about to fight back when a voice said, "Anthony, come on!"
It was Derek, out of breath but still uninjured.
He asked, "where is Emily?"
I only shook my head. "She's gone."
Derek said, "the whole island is coming apart. I think it is going to sink, we have to get back to the yacht."
We then ran down the beach as we circled the island. The sea seemed to get higher quickly and crawled up the beach, to our other sides the spires of rock began to topple over and crumble before our eyes.
We reached the yacht just as the sea was about to carry it away now that the beach had vanished beneath the sea. Derek and I climbed up onto the deck while the ocean violent heaved as the island sank submerged beneath the frigid waters of the ocean.
Derek and I where tossed violently around the deck as waves smashed across to hull of the boat. Then the shaking subsided after a few minutes and suddenly the night was silent again.
I got up to see ourselves surrounded on all sides by the ocean as far as the eye could see, the endless expanse of the greenish surface of the Sargasso Sea.
Derek had been knocked unconscious but seemed fine.
I then heard a familiar voice whisper from over the side of the boat.
She said, "Anthony."
I cautiously approached the side and looked down. I then began to mutter, "no, no."
Emily was swimming in the ocean, but now her skin was a chalk like color and her eyes where fiery ambers. Her hair seemed to wave around as if in some wind yet there was no wind. She smiled at me. She also seemed much younger.
She asked, "want to come with us?"
I stammered, "no, its not you, you are not Emily."
She smiled as she said, "you can live forever."
"As what? I don't even know what you are."
She then stopped smiling then vanished beneath the sea leaving me alone. I fell to the knee's and started to scream horsely until I couldn't anymore.
Fortunately the rest of my ordeal was short and uneventful. Derek was able to navigate our way to a shipping line in the Atlantic, the boats engines still seemed in working order.
We where picked up a few days later by a cargo ship which then took us back to port. I was happy to walk on familiar ground again.
The story of my and Derek's survival proved to be somewhat of public interest. We both said that only he and I escaped the Eve when she sank. Nothing about Emily or Jasper, I knew that if we had told the truth surely we would both be called insane. Derek explained that we had found the Valkyrie empty and adrift on the sea.
No one ever suspected we where lying. And things settled down.
It is now seven years later as I right this, I'm sitting in a flat in London. I now right for an obscure tabloid no one's ever heard of. I'll be honest, things haven't been the same since but I'm still grateful that I'm alive.
I think of Emily often, we didn't know each other long but I still feel a great deal for her. I guess she is somewhere, at the bottom of the Atlantic surrounded by things terrifying yet also perversely wondrous. Though I will never be within forty miles of the ocean, I fly when I have to.
I guess in retrospect my life could be defined as many years of ignorance punctuated by one instant where I learned that my sense of reality was painfully ignorant to what was possible. I wish I could see the world as I did, a world where you don't believe some monstrous thing awaits you in every darkened room, lurking in every ally, waiting for you around every corner.
Sometimes I dream of Emily. In one dream I'm in a row boat in the Sargasso sea, sitting as I look out across the ocean. Then a surge of water appears in the distance and races towards the boat. It hits the vessel and throws me into the ocean. I swim for a moment when she appears from beneath the water and looks at me. We look mutely at each other for a moment then embrace and kiss; finally we both vanish into the depths of the ocean. I wake up screaming every time.
So that is the story. I know how it sounds, but every word of it was true.