The First of Many Feasts – R. Smith

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The boat swayed above, ever so slightly. The moon was centered directly above and in between the heavens. Although a bright moon it was, Merpeople see much more vividly within the deeper shadows of the lake. Yet, Vonacis was intrigued by the peculiar vibrations disturbing the water this night. These visible-stringy-sounds vibrated towards a jarring boat, where it did not belong. These boats, or better known to Merpeople as hollow-lands, only lurk above when the sun shines. Some try to be ever so quiet off the shores and peninsulas when attempting to steal their prey, while others sweep through the bays as fast and as obnoxious as possible when pulling land-people from behind.

These walking creatures of the land have never belonged in or on the water. Since antiquity, they have polluted and disturbed the lives of liquid worlds.

This is why Vonacis became vexed of these land-people, who now were ruining her peaceful and tranquil night. The night belonged to her people, the only time they could expose themselves without worry. So few are the Merpeople, and so many are the land-dwellers.

When Vonacis approached the boat she tried to get as close as possible, but not too close, for it was late summer’s clear water and not early springs murky water. To this night, it was the closest Vonacis had ever been to land-people.

The scent of them was unlike anything Vonacis had ever sensed. Bass, turtle, trout, walleye—it did not matter—this sensation rivaled second to none. Vonacis’s stomach churned at this marvelous scent. She and her people had always been afraid of these creatures, but now all she could think of was how satisfying it would be to consume the flesh of them.

Vonacis crept upon the boat until she could finally hear their muffled voices. There were two, maybe three of them. Judging by one of the land-dweller’s voices, it was clearly distraught and perplexed.

“Listen, Griff! You know this last shipment was a fraud. It was set up by the Miller’s and their bastard nephews!” a frightened one said.

“I have no doubt it was them. But you know just as well as anyone else in this business that collateral is simply forbidden,” another land-dweller said.

Vonacis could not understand the meanings of their muffled voices, and had no time for recollection when sudden movement produced loud, hollow banging sounds. Spiraling down 30 feet in less than a second, Vonacis turned around to see what would happen next.

The boat began to rock and produce its own undulating sway as the creatures seemed to yell and beat each other. It wasn’t until a solid four thump sounds when the lake reached silence again. Vonacis would have vanished within the depths of the lake after this altercation, but due to the scent becoming more vigorous than before, she decided to creep back towards the boat and its creatures.

The creatures were no longer speaking, but now moving something heavy across the boat. After a long silence and a few moans from what must have been a wounded land-dweller, a different one spoke through their mysterious language saying, “What do you plan to do with that?”

“I’m goin’ make sure this little shit dies a slow one, and this is the only thing heavy ‘nough to do it, now help me with that rope,” said the other.

After getting quiet above, Vonacis began to get edgy due to the unfathomable hunger continuing to grow within her. Vonacis crept until she was in touching distance of the boat, and being directly beneath it she slightly stuck her head out from its side to only simultaneously have a metal object fall on her face. The force struck like a raging barracuda, yet, she was able to stay conscious.

When this object stopped from a sudden jolt, Vonacis gained more tuition of her situation. With her fin pointed up, she looked down at the boat to see the land-dwellers pushing another more flimsy thing overboard.

This time Vonacis did not jolt away with sudden panic, for when the land-dweller struck the surface of the lake, the scent was the most overwhelming sensation she had ever felt. Ecstasy would not suffice in its description, nor would extreme lust for that matter.

Vonacis awaited in her surreal emotion until the creature sunk down eye-to-eye with her. Whether it was pure hope of astonishment or pure frightment of inevitable death, the look in this land-dweller’s eyes surely told of one who was already dead upon entering the domain of the Merpeople.

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