THE DEMON OF CORTEZ
Fiction by Devin Joseph Meaney
The "Dark Dwarf", a large fishing vessel, had just finished sinking into the blackened abyss that was the Sea of Cortez. There was a violent storm raging, wind and vicious rain plummeted in different directions as the sea was turned into a gaping chasm of malevolence. Michael, a shrimp fisherman, was the only surviving member of the Dark Dwarf. He was clinging to life, hanging on to a small buoy fading in and out of consciousness. The storm raged all night, but somehow, Michael had survived. The next morning was not at all like the previous night. The sea was calm once again and Michael could see nothing on the horizon as he desperately clung to his buoy, his mouth parched with undeniable thirst. For hours he floated in a sunlit purgatory, surrounded by nothing but water, open air and his forever growing anxiety towards his future. It seemed as if things could not get worse. That’s when he saw the ripples. About twenty-five feet away, there was a sudden movement in the water. Bubbles were surfacing and Michael could hear a faint sound that he had never heard before. Then Michael saw the tentacles. Two tendril like whip extensions that seemed to emerge from a watery hell. All went still and a few seconds seemed like hours. With ferocious speed, this aquatic monstrosity darted at Michael, wrapping him in razor tipped appendages. The whip tentacles pulled him closer to the monsters ravenous beak, the evisceration that commenced afterwards was and still is too grisly a tale to tell. Blood and bits of flesh and cloth encircled a buoy, the only remnants of a disaster that will most likely remain unknown. Larger than any squid known to science, this demonic cephalopod had ravaged many a fisherman, but their tales were always regarded as grotesque over-exaggeration or just plain tomfoolery. Men continue to fish. Squid continue to eat. Every now and then when the stars align, a monster meets a man, the sea looking on like a chronicler, too absorbed in his own writings to lend a hand to a fallen commoner. Humans eat squid. Sometimes, the squid eat us.