Sea Monster

Submitted into Contest #83 in response to: Write a fantasy story about water gods or spirits.... view prompt


Fantasy Adventure Thriller

Though the weather bureau forecasted a calm and sunny day, dark clouds appeared on the horizon by morning, and sooner than the anglers expected, the sky cover with thick dark clouds. The sea was raving by noon and rained cats and dogs. Waves as tall as a two-story building rocked the small fishing trawler almost to a tipping point. The wind was powerful enough to lift a medium-sized man from the deck and threw him into the dark, angry waters. The four fishers stuck in the cabin and hanged to the frame to keep themselves from hitting the walls and the fixed furniture.


The storm came from nowhere and didn’t give them time to pull their trawl net out of the sea, made controlling the trawler challenging. ‘We should pull the net up. In this horrible weather, it drags the boat.’ John, the boat’s captain, said.

It was a small fishing trawler they bought together recently, and their catch hadn’t been good since then. They invested in a quality trawl net, and they all knew well they couldn’t afford to lose it. Steve, the youngest but the strongest of all, tall, barrel-chested, with a hundred kilograms weight, silently wore his thick yellow raincoat and pulled its hood over his head. Mathew, his father, also dressed up and followed him shortly. But before leaving the cabin, they each tied a dynamic rope, the strong elastic rope rock climbers use, to their waists. Using two separate ropes gave them more agility and mobility. The third man, Peter, also dressed up and tethered to a rope, followed them to monitor his friends. He was there as support; if one lost his feet or blown in the sea, he was there to fish him up. John was an experienced sailor and the captain of the vessel. He held the boat’s wheel by both his hands and was busy monitoring the coming waves to navigate the trawler in a way to avoid waves hit the boat’s beam, to not let her capsize. The trawler was a decent boat, and he didn’t worry about its integrity, but even a good boat could easily capsize if she faced tall waves at the wrong angle.


Steve and Mathew positioned at the trawler’s stern and began operating the electrical winches, pulling the net up. The winch struggled as if the net stuck in the water. Though it couldn’t be true, the dark and angry water looked more viscous than it should be.

The boat was wildly swinging from one side to another like an out-of-control pendulum, made standing on their feet a laborious job and pulling the trawl net up an arduous task. Finally, after over an hour of struggle, pulling the heavy net inch by inch, the net was collected, and the crane pulled it out of the water. Net bulged bigger than ever. It was full of fish, something they hadn’t seen for a long time. It would be their best catch ever. It brightened up the father’s and son’s tired faces. Though every single muscle in their bodies had already worked beyond its natural capacity and was cramped and sore, the prospect of the good catch boosted their morale and gave them energy.

As the boat was rocking violently to its right and left and bounced up and down, Steve struggled to direct the net toward the boat’s catch storage place, 2x2 square meters opening into the lower deck. After a few trials and errors, finally, Steve brought the net parallel to the opening and emptied its content. Then Mathew quickly covered the opening with a large piece of waterproof canvas to avoid more seawater get in. Their next job was to sort and pack their catch by the type of fish and their sizes into cold boxes and cover them with ice. But in that madness and with their weary bodies, it looked like an impossible task, so they left it for a later time. Tired and wet, they struggled back to the cabin. John welcomed them back and was happy to see them safe.

‘It seems we have a good catch.’ Mathew said.

‘Yah, the net was almost two-third full and heavy. Guess, the storm forced fishes to swim down toward the seabed and into our net.’ Steve stated.

While nodding, Peter responded, ‘guess you are right. Let once storm works in favor of us.’


The same as the storm appeared from nowhere in a few hours, it lost its power, and clouds thinned out and dispersed, and the sun showed his face again. By four in the afternoon, the sea was calm as if there hadn’t been any storm at all. John dropped the anchor and left the trawler’s engine idle. And they all went to the lower deck. They had to be quick to pack their catch in the cold boxes. Otherwise, they had to empty that day’s catch into the ocean as their customers bought only fresh fish.

While in the below deck busy sorting and packing, they suddenly heard Peter’s scream, ‘holy mother of God.’

They all turned toward Peter. His face was white and shivering. ‘Are you okay? Are you injured?’ John asked as some fish’s fins and scales were as sharp as a steel blade knife.

‘No, look at it?’ Peter said with a trembling voice.

They moved toward his corner. It was Steve who first reached there. ‘Oh, God. What is this?’ Steve said anxiously.

A second later, Mathew was there, and he uttered an unintelligible sound showing his bewilderment.

Finally, John saw the creature. It was a dark green humanlike being in the size of a five or six-year-old child, with webbed hands and feet. Its body was covered with scales and had gills on both sides of its head. It was still alive, and its body was twisting to its sides, but by noticing their presence, it stopped moving and stared at them with its black piercing eyes. ‘Jesus.’ John said. He jumped a step back and crossed himself. ‘Where did this demon come from?’


They were all scared and stunned by the sight of the creature. No one knew what that scary being was? It looked like a mythical creature. None of them wanted to be the first to inspect it. Because of their job often facing unknowns, sailors and fishermen were superstitious. They all heard stories about giant squids, octopuses, monstrous snakes, killer whales, and mermaids, but not this one. It was a hellish-looking beast. Finally, Steve showed some courage and gently touch the creature with the shovel he had in his hand. By the touch of the shovel, the creature shrieked and madly twisted its body away. Its high pitch shriek sent shivers down their spines. Steve jumped one step back with fear.

While his heart was beating fast, Mathew said, ‘we should return it in the sea. Otherwise, its curse will haunt us forever.’

‘It worth millions. Imagine how much TV channels will pay to film this beast. It will make us rich and famous.’ Steve argued to keep the creature.

‘It will bring bad luck, son.’ Mathew said disapprovingly.

Though Peter was with Mathew, the prospect of becoming rich and famous was tempting to him. After a minute of contemplating, he said, ‘Ah… Steve is right. The media will pay big bucks to film and photograph this hellish beast. Whatever it is?’

‘By doing that, we won’t be safe on sea anymore!’ Mathew protested.

‘Yeh, but we can sell the trawler, plus the money we will receive from the media, we can start a new business on turf. Honestly, I am getting too old for this shit.’ Peter argued.

‘The beast’s curse can ruin our lives. It can bring us bad luck and lose our money in no time.’ Mathew commented.

‘Black magic and curses belong to stories. Nothing will happen to us by showing this strange creature to people. We have caught millions of fishes with no consequences. Why would this one be any different? I am sure marine biologists will be happy to find a new species unknown to science.’ Steve stated.

‘Don’t say that, son. You are still young. There are things in this world we don’t know about them. Stories are for reasons.’ Mathew protested.

John, who was silent up to that moment, said, ‘I am sixty-five years old, and I’ve been fishing since I was twelve. I’ve never seen such a creature in my life. I heard many stories about bad lucks and curses, but I’ve seen nothing with my own eyes. I understand Mathew and his argument, but Steve is also right. With the money we can get, we don’t need to worry about anything else in our life, and we can comfortably retire.’


Three to one, they voted to keep the creature, to show it to the public. The thought of being rich was pleasing. Mathew wasn’t happy with the majority vote and upset with his son’s greed. But he kept it to himself as he couldn’t change their mind.


They brought a large blue durable plastic sheet and spread it on the floor. Then, by their shovels, they rolled the creature onto the plastic sheet. It wasn’t an easy task as the beast was violently twisting while shrieking. Then they carry it to their lobster tank. A tank of fresh seawater was used to keep caught lobsters alive. It was empty that day. They carefully dropped the beast in the tank.

By finding itself in the water, possibly by breathing easier, the creature got calmer but warily kept watching them as if it wanted to know their real intention. For the fishers, it looked more like a sentient creature than a low intelligent sea-dwelling animal.


It was the third day after they caught the creature. Based on their navigation system and the newly installed GPS, the trawler was in the right direction toward the shore, but the shore was nowhere to find. Though the radio looked working, no one had responded to their frequent distress calls. John, for the very first time in his life, lost in the sea. He was anxious and worried about the creature’s curse, but he kept his thoughts to himself. After all, he voted to keep the creature.

‘As I said before, we are cursed. Let’s release this creature into sea.’ Mathew broke his silence after three days.

‘We are just about a day late. I guess the storm took us off course.’ John responded while he silently doubted himself. He had heard many stories about mysterious sea creatures and their demonic powers. But until now, he had never seen such creatures. One part of his brain told him that all those stories were nonsense and created by the scared and ignorant sailors. But the other part argued, though those stories were heavily exaggerated, there must be some truth in them.

Peter was silent, but he was saying preyers since they caught the beast. He was genuinely scared by the humanoid creature. He wanted the money. He wanted to have a comfortable life, but he was scared by their delay in reaching the port. He believed they were cursed.

Though Steve was young and studied chemistry at university, he trapped between two lives. The traditional and superstitious life of seamen full of illogical and nonscientific believes and the modern and academic life he had at the college. Steve didn’t want to believe the creature had any magical powers, but the other crew’s behavior, especially his father, made him uncomfortable. As sailors and fishers, he fully trusted them, but he couldn’t digest their illogical beliefs in the age of science and technology. But now, he wasn’t sure which was right and which wasn’t. While musing, he recalled a psychological book he read a while ago that our brain is a more emotional organ than a rational one, and we make most of our decisions emotionally. The author’s example for her argument was why we buy lottery tickets, though we know the chance of winning is almost near zero.

On the fifth day’s morning, they were all scared out of their wits. They all concluded that they lost because of the creature’s curse. It was only Steve who wasn’t entirely convinced, though he was also scared. This time, three to four, they voted for the release of the creature. Steve was the only one who still wanted to keep the creature and show it to the public. So they cautiously released the creature into the sea.

By finding itself in the sea, the creature joyfully swam around, jumping up and down like a dolphin. Then it swam in circles around the trawler, and on its last loop, it paused and looked at the boat and the fishers on the deck. Then raised its right arm, appeared as it was waving at the sailors, and then disappeared into the blue waters.

That afternoon they reached the land. The three older anglers believed the creature removed its curse by letting it go. But Steve believed it was just a consequence to reach land just a few hours after releasing the creature. ‘We have already been near the land. We would reach the land even if we kept the creature on board.’

March 05, 2021 16:14

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