The Harbor Beast
There we stood at the harbor, our weapons drawn. Our hundreds of ships shredded like veal to the tortures of a fork. Screams of men echoed through the thickly laid fog. Every man's heart beat could be heard that day.
Our bayonets branded upon our guns. Others stood with swords drawn, but what good were they? What good were any of us?
The desolation that floated among the harbor waters, was as if the wrath of god had rained down, and it was teaming with horrors. You could hear the screams of men vanish to silence as if death had rose from the water.
And the most haunting thing of that day still rests in my head like a scar upon the flesh. One of my men, my own son, aboard the ship I was designated for had swam to the very dock we stood upon. But as I and other men tried to save him, something took him. Something powerful, something beyond our eyes.
In one foul second we lost our grip and he was taken under with ease. His face pale with fright, I watched as it was plunged to depth too dark to see. And like a ghost in the night his face forever haunts me.
We tried our best, but it was not enough. The beast was powerful and we were but men. Soldiers meant to defend against other soldiers. Not this, not this creature of Hades. This nefarious hound released from the gates of hell.
What did it want? Why us, why did it devour us so?
Will we ever know, I cannot say?
But on that day, I shall never forgive myself for my men were slaughtered and I lived. The beast never chose me. It never grasped me in its long dark arms. It never took me to the bowels of its gut. I watched as it tore my men apart as if we were tender meat.
The echoes of breaking bones, the screams of dying men and the shrilling shriek of the beast is forever in me. I fought, we all fought, we fought till none of us remained....but I.
What purpose did this creature bring? What have I done to deserve such a forgiving ending?
Was its stomach full? Did it suffice its eclipse for its craving of a massacre? Or were we just ill fated by god? Did our sins flow too heavily from us and stain the heavens above?
I cannot say. But that day was dark, a dreadful spectacle of how feeble we are. Our minds are much against that which cannot be understood, nor seen. Yet we stumble about as if we are the rulers of this spinning stone.
We may be at the top, but as quickly as we are born the ravages of the unknown can snuff us like two moist fingers in the strangling of a burning wick.
The fog that day, it was dense beyond what I had ever seen in my ten years assigned to this harbor. It was quiet just before the nightmare unraveled. I paid it no mind as the birds all denounced their usual thrones and flew south.
Maybe it could have played out differently, but I had wished our ship to sail. To find new lands, my eagerness for my own objective had got us killed. It was my choice to sail beside the others. We could have stayed behind. Been in the quarters of our beds.
At least some may have survived then. Or maybe, it was inevitable and until all were murdered but I and that the beast would have remained?
What it was we may never know. But its long black arms at least eight or, even more, like the end of snake whipped, smashed, desolated our ships, our men.......my men. Demolishing our harbor as if it were but a tick upon the neck.
It wasted my men and all the others. Even our general was taken under. A man of twelve voyages. He had seen everything or, so I thought. But not even he saw this coming. Not even the eerie dead silence of the morning harbor alerted him.
Even the harbor waves were as still as glass. As if the beast had control of the ocean, control of the currents, the winds, the fog. Its shrilling shriek would resonate from the fog with such terror. Your ears would ring and your nerves would quiver.
It was invisible to us. It could see through the thick breath of the mountains but we could not. It could hear us from afar. Reaching at least a two hundred yards inland. It knew which buildings to strike first.
Where our alert systems were, our sentries that kept watch. It swept them all away before we even knew. And then, as I stood loading the last barrel of water. I stepped off the ship to help out my men with the loading of our rations.
And by whatever hand of god played that day, it wished me not upon that ship at that moment. For when I reached to gather my hands upon the edges of the first bag of rice. The splitting of our ship sounded with great devastation.
My men aboard howled in fright. The rest of the ships be heard at the hand of destruction. Like a blind man to the world I could only listen. Hoping for an answer, for someone to speak. But there was no voice, no reasoning, no commands, no procedure for such atrocity.
We thought it our enemies at first. But there were no cannons, no echoes of commanding voices in the fog. And no such man made device could cause such mayhem in such little time. But we all stood and fought, fought like fools.
Blindly shooting our rifles into the fog. Praying we do not hit our own men. But worry not, for as the fog dissipated against the rising sun, so did the beast. And among the harbor waters, every ship lay torn. Crushed, shattered like glass.
And not a single man was left alive, not even upon the shore but I. I was saved by the beast, it had swung upon one of my men and as I saw its unholy arm from the rolling fog I jumped to plunge my bayonet in it.
I was successful in planting my blade into its flesh. But it had grabbed the soldier I tried to save as it swatted me to the far sands of the harbor. Only a few seconds went by and I caught my breath but it was too late.
By the time I ran back it was gone and the harbor waters were clouded in blood, the shore was a massacre of slayed soldiers and the sky was glaring a golden sun. My ribs were broken and left leg fractured.
And here I stand now before you all, telling you the story of , the Ghastly Harbor Beast .
Love me a good mythical creature story.
Some times the horrors of life will stain the soul, A Man's Traveled Heart
Coming soon, The Bleeding of Words
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