Chapter One
Wreckage and Myth

   I am the fomenter of fable. Over the centuries the tales have morphed to myth, though I still believe in myself. I continue to prey on man, but only when I must.  Hunger, unlike loneliness, is an urge that cannot be pushed aside.
  When I feed on your kind I try to be merciful and quick, but it is also true that hunger consumes me and I sometimes lose myself. You could say I see red, though really I don’t see well at all. Smell serves me, the scent of the dead and dying carrying on ocean current breezes like apple pie resting on a windowsill. But mostly I feel and hunger for me is hollowness without bottom. See yourself saying goodbye to the ones you love most, knowing you will never see them again, though they blithely believe, as you all do, they will witness tomorrow’s dawn. No telling them. No touching them. Just stepping away.
   As you might imagine, such emptiness is a chore to ignore.  
   Hunger adds keenness to the scent, turning me madder still. The luscious renderings – fat, salty-sweet fluid, juicy-burst organs - of the human form crawl into my every pore. At this pressure cooker point, sadly mercy takes a back seat. I thoughtlessly part bone and flesh. I lose myself in the act, as you do when you murder or mate. Hate and love are twin sisters, both ugly and beautiful.
   I exhibit mayhem and clinical efficiency: what little I don’t ingest, the ocean’s smaller creatures gobble, leaving only wreckage and myth behind. But here and there a sailor or a fisherman has survived, mumbling of reaching fingers, unable to turn their back to dark corners. One man chewed off his lips rather than give himself away. This suffering I regret. It is not always boon to be the survivor.
   Opening your minds is difficult, a nudge by nudge process. Start with this. Do not be so quick to discount a lunatic’s mumblings. Sometimes a direct line runs from madness to truth.

Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nevertheless, calmly licking its chops.

H.L. Mencken

Author / Speaker