TO START THE CYCLE :
It’s only a siren’s song baby
Hey there Mr. Cthulhu
Got some toxic truth?
Squid Kings and Greek Fires
THE DORLEY CYCLE
The water felt heavy and my body heavier, but I somehow was carried inside the prickling cold tunnel of this underwater cave extension. My eyes were red, but I could still see Eli in front of me, his feet kicking as fast as he could make them. The tunnel narrowed and quickly led us out some two hundred meters from the cave to wider waters, bashed on by the full intensity of the storm, now upon all of Dorley. Our heads bobbed out of the water and I heard Eli’s sharp inhales and felt his fingers fighting for a grasp at my collar, but the waves, monstrous and ever-growing separated us and carried us further then nearer, tricking distance and changing depth. And I looked at my pale hands, instinctively I guess keeping me afloat, my broken wrist swollen and in the mercy of the water’s cradle, carrying it left and right.
“Jackson we gotta swim for land!”
Eli pointed at the rocky beach and tried for my body again, but then I heard a sound, a new voice the sea used to talk to me and I found I knew the language already. The sea vibrated like a giant machine just turned on and the sound was so delicate pressed under the erupting thunders and the stammer of the drumming rain, yet building, and it resonated inside my bones and Eli’s too, because I could see his eyes widening suddenly and him panicking, looking to find the source. It was just a warning, like before an earthquake when the sea groans and calls for the disaster about to happen.
And it happened.
The sea exploded, sending us both underwater for a shocking moment, and then scooped us back up to see.
Guy, or fuck whatever was left of him towered above us, a skin and face far scarier than the one glued to the cave wall. This… creature was well alive, gangrene-like skin and all sucking mouths on tangled together tentacles and arms with many thorny hooks lashing at the sky. His whole body bent forward and slammed back into the water. Guy circled us, motoring his disfigured body with the help of all the conjoined bodies and their limbs tying it all together; he mimicked the motions of his former body, propelling fast, creating a whirlpool to suck us in.
The boy ducked beneath waves and I drank a mouth full of the salty water. Then I was sucked in too. All sounds soothed and somehow the water seemed warmer now. Nothing was around me, but then a shadow from atop plunged itself towards me and Guy brought down his wrath, dragging me further down with speed and weight.
Smaller arms had joined together to form improvised long tentacles which now slashed the water and caught me wrapping around my chest. Smaller arms sprung to action slapping me across the face, and it burned when they lingered, like a jellyfish touch though harsher. I felt those suckers leave marks, or gashing wounds that stung. The water boiled around me from their enclosure.
I came face to face with them people as he arched his body, limbs pushing it forward, swimming for him, and they were white eyed and empty, just attached now, a piece of meat to help propel this giant. A fuckin squid king, I remembered, all ties and knots and just one brain at the center of it.
I tried to wriggle free. Another thick fake tentacle shot at me and wrapped itself around my waist and stomach, tightening its hold to squeeze at my ribs, my lungs and leave me gasping for breath. I tried to twist my body to escape and swim faster away but the pressure was too much. Then I spotted something. Those that came whipping at my face now fell short, an easy lick and quick withdraw, like they weren’t strong enough anymore to cling to me with their small convulsive suckers and their portruding hooks.
A fuckin’ squid king it is. I should have seen it before, the mantle of naked bodies that entered the water headfirst and now displayed all those arms and tentacles was no mythical creature, like the siren or the mermaid, whose lives I took so carelessly away. It was an abomination that fed on humanity, a predator belonging to another time. It was a thing to kill.
My free hand reached and grabbed. I pulled, twisting the limb around my arm, ignoring the burn of the suction disks, and it came off, a spray of black blood coming in spits. The pale twins of that one, I made aim for them too as they came for me, madly grabbing and kicking for them. Guy dialed up the pain and closed completely around my body. Breathing became impossible. The beat of my heart hammered in my ears, while red spots danced before my eyes. But I took them, all I could reach in the last moment I probably had, tearing them off of the purple veined faces they came from, and letting them fall to the bottom. It bled, dark ooze floating in clouds around me. Lifeless limbs abandoned their engine function and sprang to life, swinging at me, clawing at me, a desperate way to hurt something.
Guy whipped his own large tentacles fully extant, and I saw their lenght like two skinless anacondas compared to the others in thickness and even larger circular disks spotted here and there with pointed teeth inside them too, but tapped at his own body, now at a halt under my attack and missed me among the meat, ripping flesh where they connected. He caught the dancing tongues of the people of Dorley who were people no more, just marionettes for Guy to feed off. He was so wrong, unnatural and undone in this quick-tempered attempt to be king. He preached for wanting to create a new family, but all I could see were innocent people used as parts, inbred fuck-ups of his that would go to waste and detached be buried in water graves. I had burned down his town and jeopardized his kind, and now, oh now desperate as he was, he had created this freak. His movements were difficult, not precise, his whipping charges uncoordinated and mad.
Let go Jackson.
My chest clenched, ripping flesh and excruciating pain.
Let go boy.
His voice crept in my head, the same pleading tone I had heard before; that poison living inside me ever since Guy first attacked me on the pier. Let go I won’t.
You are never seeing another day, Guy, I thought, hoping he’d hear me.
My mouth opened to search for air at last, but inside I screamed. I drank like I was thirsty filling my body with buckets of new pain. Guy’s tentacles unwrapped from me, lifting the weight, but leaving the ache, and I floated, light and unable, faint and almost, almost gone, catching just a glimpse of Guy changing shade in the water, becoming murkier and battling the depth on his own, but then I saw him planting himself on what was that, a shipwreck below me? He took hold of it and pulled with his four strong tentacles like he wanted to dislocate it and squash me under it; the metal corpus that was still whole groaned and little fish scattered from inside of it as he released it, lifting it slowly.
He wouldn’t need that now. He wouldn’t need any second now.