When he was twelve he was swept out to sea in a riptide. Ten years later he returned with the knowledge they had always lacked.
The infection led to tinnitus, which sounded like a roaring sea. As if adrift, he constantly reached out for a railing and tried to ascertain his position by a lodestone he’d tied around his neck.
Something was wrong with the ocean, he could tell immediately. It wasn’t choppy. The sharpness of it had been dulled. There was an artificial, sweet air around it now instead of an invigorating briny sensation. Worn away, he thought, we wore the ocean down.
That’s a lot to fit on one piece of paper, she said. They could still see the top of the bottle intermittently as short, angry waves dodged back and forth, the bottle spinning in distress.
They wouldn’t need the ship anymore, they would use the currents, they would grow flippers, they would imagine gills.
There wasn’t enough room on the raft, there was plenty of room in the water. Quorum.
It was not a subtle sea, but full of waiting monstrosities and devilishly brilliant submariners.
The key was kept somewhere inside the leviathan’s rotting carcass. A one armed man and his monkey were paid to dig it out.
Fetid saliva had collected in the shaggy, matted hair. The face had a frozen expression of pain and confusion.
The egg was missing, giant ships shaped like eyeballs roamed anxiously above frothy oceans.
The air was heavy, they heard a window rattle in the next room. They wondered how long the antidote would last.
That nightmare about the Lobster God condemning you to having your penis pecked by the Galactic Raven for eternity.
“Your place in the universe is not so well defined.” When the button was pressed, the sound was deafening.
“We don’t know where it came from, we can’t imagine where it goes.”
In 1945 they buried it on an island in the South Seas. Now they’d forgotten which.