Excerpt-The Beast Bellow

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Hi friends. 10 years ago, I wrote a story about a little boy and his large adventure. I’m seriously thinking of revamping the tale and throwing it out into the open to see if it generates any interest. Today, I’d like to share an excerpt from the original story. It has been revised (I have a greater grasp on writing technique than I did ten years ago). I’m seriously looking for any feedback on this, so feel free to comment or email me with any advice, you may offer. I hope you enjoy.

 

“Wait. Something’s down here; something big.”

Static sounded over the com-link. TJ pressed the red button, as he looked through the monitors off toward the distant undersea mountain side.

“Mike? Mike come back, I didn’t catch that last transmission. You said something’s down there?”

No answer. TJ fought panic, as a few seconds of silence became one minute of dead air space.

“Mike, are you there, buddy?” A cold shiver began to climb his back as he again waited for some answer from Mike. TJ stood staring at the monitor. His hand gripped tight around the zoom toggle wheel. A dull ache began to throb in his forearm. Suddenly, static pierced the silence.

“Up!”

More static.

“It’s coming your way; Buckle up!” Mike screamed into the com-link.  TJ felt his heart jump into high speed and his body suddenly chilled over.  He pressed the red button on the com-link again.

“Mike, what was that? I didn’t hear your message, Mike.  Please repeat!  Mike!”

“TJ can you hear me?! That thing’s headed for the cave entrance!  It must have seen the lights!”  More static, and then, “Strap in and shut off the lights! It’s headed your way!”

“Oh no,” TJ whispered. He turned and darted back toward the control room. Suddenly, there was a loud bump from the front end of the pod. TJ lost his footing as the weight of the under-sea vehicle shifted under his feet. His face slammed into a locker and he crumpled to the floor.

Static filled his left ear just as alarms began to wail all around him. Pulsing red lights flashed in unison with the alarms.

“TJ, I repeat: the beast has left the cave, and is headed your way. You have to shut down the pod lights!”

TJ shook the stars from his vision and shot a glance toward the front of the pod.  He had to get to the light switch before that…thing…circled back again. He jumped to his feet, still feeling the effects of the blow, and centered himself.  Pressing the red button on the com-link, he bolted for the front of the pod and yelled into the com-link’s mini speaker.

“Roger that, Mike!  I’m on my way up front!  What is that thing?”

“Thank the Lord, you’re okay. I don’t know what it is. I didn’t get a good look at it, from the cave.”

The crash had strewn equipment all over the pod. TJ jumped and evaded loose boxes on the floor and sparking cables, hanging from the ceiling as he ran. Just as he made it back into the control room, TJ took a flying leap and landed, chest first, onto the control pane. His right hand thumbed the toggle switch to the off position as he collided with the controls. The lights on the roof and below the belly of the pod died instantly.

At first there was a wave of bubbles and a shove of water as the force of the creature’s abrupt stop shoved the pod back gently. When the bubbles cleared, TJ found himself staring at a thing that looked, oddly enough, like a gigantic Blue crocodile with no appendages. The creature waded slowly and effortlessly in front of the pod as if waiting for something to happen. Its eyes, one on each side of its head, seemed to glow a bright yellow in the darkness of the ocean. TJ saw jagged, horns protruding from the monster’s snout, traveling back and over its head.

He lay still across the control panel, convinced that the monster could somehow see him through the thick quadruple-reinforced steel shell of the pod. Static shrieked in his left ear, sending a chill up his spine.

Mike whispered, as if he were in hiding. “Don’t touch anything, TJ. It’s staring right at the outer hull of the control room. Are you good?”

“Mike, I wanna go home right now,” TJ whispered.

“I think it knows you’re in there,” Mike said.

TJ remained motionless as the gigantic crocodile-thing slowly began to move to the right of the pod.  It swam close, almost touching the metal hull with its snakelike body slithering through the ocean.  His eyes, trained on the monster, paced the creature as it circled around the back end of the pod. He saw that the horns across the head grew increasingly larger as they drew across its back, until the tail itself was nothing more than a huge sharp horn.  TJ slowly inched his way off of the control panel and stood on shaky feet. Watching the floor monitors, he saw the creature swim underneath toward the front end again.

Radio static sounded over the com-link in TJ’s left ear.

“Mother of pearl, that’s a big sucker.” Mike whispered.  “I guess now we know why no one’s ever returned with Camoon’s treasure. Are you okay up there?”

“Fine; I don’t think it sees me, but don’t want to make any sudden moves yet.”

The creature circled the pod again in the same pattern as before, and centered toward the front again. Its mouth opened wide, revealing a double row of sharp points on the top and bottom. Despite the darkness of the deep blue sea, the monster’s teeth seemed to glow a magnificent yellow, just like its eyes. A wave of terror gripped TJ, as he suddenly imagined the monster ripping through the metal walls of the pod with those teeth.  The creature’s yellow forked tongue appeared from the black nowhere of its open mouth and began jerking fiercely. TJ pressed the com-link button on his ear piece.

“It’s trying to lure me out,” he whispered. “It does know I’m inside.”

The mouth snapped shut, as one of the weird light-bulb stick fish swam too close to the jerking tongue. The creature moved with lightning speed for its size. It made an about-face and disappeared into the darkness of the open ocean.

 

 

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