Waymakers

The last in a line of sea monster themed stories... for now.

I saw her again on the tarmac, I tell myself again because no one is listening. Her blonde hair, her thighs, her elfin hands. Cypher sidles up next to me, and we’re off toward the SS Farborn.

The helicopter makes its touchdown on the helipad, located aft, 2.3 hours later. We are greeted by a man in bright orange coveralls. He introduces himself as Sgt. Maj. Raleigh.

“Come with me,” and he motions toward the cabin.

I follow behind and squint back over the horizon as the sun shudders. The quick solution for seasickness, they say.

Inside, Raleigh runs through the bells and whistles on the control panel. “This is the most advanced
SONAR surveillance system to date. It can penetrate depths of 20,000 leagues [insert gratuitous Nemo joke], and no surface is clear of echo.”

It sounds impressive.

“Captain. It’s back.”

He bows briefly to join the ensign at the readout. “The same blip?”

“Yes sir,” he says.

Portside, the ship rocks. I know why.

Starboard, the ship rocks. I know why.

The crewmen scatter.

I walk down the stairs with Cypher. The beast begins to climb up the sides of the ship.

The crewmen begin to jump over the sides, as if that would assuage their fears. There’s nothing there but the ocean.

She’s here now, standing on the edge. She beckons to me. I have been a horrible man. Why she would beckon to me, I do not know. She smiles at me, and I remember holding her hand. The apartment was painted teal, and we stood in the doorway, watching the light refract off the window decoration. There was a pristine apparition like a practiced ballerina flitting over our floor. I held her hand and she leaned her head on my shoulder. “It’s like she was never here,” she whispered into the air.

I move forward, tentatively feeling the boat shift and rock under me. The helicopter fans whir. The Captain. Chicken shit.

At the end of the world, I join her. The long tentacles wrap themselves around me. She was here; she is not now. I am pulled under, faster, farther. It was here for me all along.

-JR Simmang

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