Lurking

by Mervyn (transmitted by Cadsuane)

Lurking

Contented. In the blackness, the coldness, the wetness. Languid and relaxed. Still, quiet and dark. Aware.

No movement apart from small fish gliding near, flicking away when they get too close. Weed drifting, small pebbles rolling on the bottom. Currents curling when tentacles undulate. So contented........

Then - - a vibration, a movement, from outside. Slight, insistent, intrusive. Memories from before jerk in the dark. Food.

Rise towards the emptiness, that edge between world and............nothing. But slowly. No need to hurry. Anticipation as fulfilling as the food. The hunt an ecstasy heightened through many years.

Sounds pushing softly though liquid, like orc noises. Many levels, high and low. Unconcerned.

They think that they are alone.

Go slowly. Go gently.

A sudden fall, small but fast. Tentacles reach to grab - but find only a pebble. Ripples on the edge expand, slowing, smoothing the changes.

Wait. Wait.

Nearer now. Rise to the edge. Look across the world. Light all around, reflecting.

Ten of them, five small, five larger. Not orcs.

The largest is leaving - fearful and knowing. Watch the others. Examine them.

There are sharp things, hard and crunchy things, pointed things. But the four smallest look warm and soft and juicy. One of those then. Which?

Glide in closer. Careful.

Their smell - heat, salt, animal. And that one.......{shines}. Glows, but not with light. That's the one - smells spicy, different. Want it!!!

Be calm.

Nearly there.

No! The hunt is disturbed. A cave has opened in the hard flat. They are going!

Outside the world there is no wet. There is scratching and peeling and hard edges. The hard flat has always kept them before, trapped them on the edge of the world so that tentacles could grab. But not now. Now they are going.

Quickly now. Caution gone.

But still they think that they are alone.

A chance. Softly creeping, searching, trying not to touch the cold and scratchy flat. Curl like the water snake, find the stem of the glowing one. Wrap around slowly.

Grab and pull!

There it is! Success! Over the world, making noises like the orcs now. Not heavy. Small. Time for the crunching. Time for the tearing.

Pain. Hurt. Sharp things. Stings. Piercing things. Shock. Surprise.

Don't let go. Keep hold. Want it!!!

Getting worse. Tentacles being sliced, being stabbed. Pointy things coming for eyes.

This has not happened before. Outrage. Anger. GO AWAY!

Sudden agony. A tentacle has gone. Cold rushes along the stump as the world feels the cut end.........Shock. Recoil. Draw in and away.

It has fallen, but not into the world. It has escaped. Never before. Never. They entered the world to take it back. Never before.

They are going back into the cave.

Rage. This cannot happen. This has not happened.

There is a thing in the cave. A thing that eats small animals and orcs. A thing that is powerful and not animal.

IT can have them!

Revenge.

Soreness, frustration, but they must not get away unscathed. Feel towards the hard flat. Pull down the heavy on them. Trap them inside with the powerful non-animal.

Sounds - rumbling of many pebbles. Boulders. The hard flat falls. Difficult to pull, but anger provides the strength. Eyes hurt with pricking dust, ends of tentacles sore and raw.

Settling. Silent. Flying things going back to where they sleep.

Need to get back to the deep, to the blackness. Brooding, wounded, throbbing, healing. .....Disappointed.....

Just the waiting now. Food will come again. All is still. The coldness, the blackness, the wetness. Familiar. No longer relaxed. No longer content.

Troubled. Hoping to be alone.