The seahorse wouldn’t leave Alora alone. It swam around her face and kept pecking at her neck. She batted at it a few times and missed. The little bites were starting to hurt. “What do you want?” she shouted.
Unfurling its tail, the seahorse dropped a small shell into Alora’s lap and skittered away. Picking it up she saw that the shell was painted deep blue with intricate yellow stripes around its perimeter which meant only one thing. Swimming up suddenly, she knocked the shell from her lap and it slowly drifted through the dark water to the rocky surface below.
Shaking off the sleep, Alora reached for her golden trident and bounded down the path she was supposed to be patrolling. She’d fallen asleep on duty once again and was certain to get chewed out by her superiors. It wouldn’t be the first time but if she’d missed something it could certainly be her last.
Her pulse was pointing now and she could feel her gills flushing water against her skin. What did she miss? She must have missed something to get a blue shell.
Approaching the end of her route Alora saw it. There, off in the distance she saw something. When she widened the dilation of her eyes completely she could just make out the ripples and shadow far up on the surface of the water. A human boat.
Reaching to her hip she grabbed a small metal rod, brought it near her trident, and beat them together three times. The deep clangs echoed through the water causing nearby sealife to slink away and hide. The noise dissipated quickly and nothing appeared to happen but she knew better.
Bracing herself, Alora raised a hand above her head at the ready letting the rod fall to her hip. It appeared to be attached with some type of green vine.
Her hand was suddenly engulfed with a red tentacle and she was yanked upward. She raised her trident hand and another tentacle wrapped around it pulling her upward toward a red writhing mass. The tentacles pulled her safely past the jet of water propelling them upward.
Held in place at the head of the giant octopus she gently rested her hand against the animal’s skin, interfacing with it and taking control. Their minds connected as she danced her fingers over its skin instructing it what to do. The tentacle grasped her a bit tighter as it adjusted course toward the boat.
Looking left and right Alora checked that her other companions had heard the alert as well. The fins of two great whites flanked her as they all raced toward their target. Making eye contact with the whites their souls connected, they were awaiting her orders.
Coming up under the boat she thought through her options. Humans didn’t belong here and knew better. They were close to the Atlantean border and alarms would soon alert all the residents. She’d end up in the caverns serving hard time if she let that happen. That blue shell was bad enough, she couldn’t risk worse.
Gesturing with her hands first to the octopus and then the whites, the plan was laid. Coming just underneath the humans, the octopus lifted her up and over the stern dropping her into the boat. She landed with a thud against the wood planks, her trident clanging against the nearby anchor.
The three humans sitting around the edges, glass bottles in hand, scrambled from their chairs. One fell on his butt and the others yelped in surprise. Their pitiful human eyes were wide in fear. This race was weak and they needed to made examples of.
One by one Alora leapt across the stern and kicked or stabbed each of the scrawny human forms lifting them over the edge of the boat and into the water. They were horrible swimmers, even clams had more elegance in water.
Screams of pain and agony echoed through the blackness of night as the whites tore the humans to pieces. The waters around the boat were painted in blood as the crushing began. The octopus started tearing planks and contraptions off the roof of the rickety boat.
Alora reached up to one of the tentacles and briefly made contact, reminding it to not destroy the boat entirely. She wanted to deliver a message to the shore. Something the humans would remember.
Her gills were beginning to dry out but she needed to check inside the boat before departing. Walking forward she stopped just outside the vessel’s door and could hear it. A faint crying noise, a human infant. Sliding the door open she saw it. It was cradled in a clam-like structure and nestled within what looked like seaweed but she knew better.
The baby was innocent. It didn’t know any better and as such couldn’t be held responsible for the failings of its elders. She reached down and gently lifted it, pulling it close into her chest. Walking out of the chamber she returned to the stern.
There alongside the boat, the whites awaited Alora’s command as they playfully swam in the blood-red waters. Lifting her leg over the edge they swam up. She slowly lowered onto the back of the nearest, the infant still tucked safely to her chest.
She linked with the white and ordered it toward the nearest shore. She needed to drop the infant on dry land.
Racing across the surface of the water, Alora looked to the left at the giant octopus towing what remained of the human craft alongside her. There on the bow, she could make out the name the humans had assigned the pitiful vessel, Point Reyes.
Alora wondered what it meant but realized at the same time she didn’t care. The humans were destroying her world and continued to trespass near Atlantis. Part of her hoped they’d heed this warning and change their ways. The other part of her hoped they’d ignore it. Their days were numbers and Atlantis would soon rise again, retaking this planet that was rightfully theirs.
Word Count: 1011
I’ve been swamped this week with work and had no time at all to revise this until the weekend. Under a crunch to not delay the rest of the team I knocked out some changes.
After re-reading through it I wasn’t as worried as I thought. It read pretty well to me. I felt like I could show vs tell better in a few places and clean up some of my descriptions so I did that. Unfortunately, that bloated my word count above the 1,000 word limit. I’m sure my CP’s will knock out some stuff though so in order to keep the ball moving I’m handing it to them.
My first CP for Week 4 is Jen Karner from Syllables and Sass and my CP for Week 5 is Ellen Mulholland. I’m looking forward to seeing their comments and suggestions to move this story to the next level.
From here I’m using my workflow from Ulysses and outputting my draft in a Word DocX Standard Manuscript (MS) form. This is a format that many editors request MS’s in because it’s easy to read and markup. I’ll be sending it on to them this evening.
I hope you like the changes I made. Enjoy!