It’s official, I’m past the halfway point for NanoWriMo! Going for my 14 day record, let’s do this! New chapter is below, please check out my crowdfunding campaign if you have a chance and donate/share. This money is really going to help give Whiteout, my first novel the best shot at getting out there.
Just a reminder, this is unedited, a rough draft, is the product of too much caffeine and CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WHITEOUT AND DOWNPOUR. You have been warned!
Links to previous chapters: Prologue,
9. The Triangle
In that moment, I truly regretted some of my more unsavory habits. Specifically, blacking out in the process of planning for a very dangerous expedition. Usually it worked out, but on that occasion, we were in for a very rough night. It seemed that through haphazard bookings and a few miscalculations we had ended up in the triangle a few days earlier than expected, and with none of the supplies we needed.
My immediate reaction was to run from side-to-side, watching over the sides of the boat for sea monsters. I quickly realized it was futile, as the water was only illuminated enough to see when lightning struck. “James!” I yelled over the symphony of chaos that had become the world around us.
The kid looked at me, paler than ever, shivering from both the cold of the water and likely from the sickness of his hangover. “What?” he mouthed. There might have been words, but I didn’t hear them.
“We’re in the god damned triangle!”
If nothing else about our situation registered, the word triangle did. James’s eyes widened, and he stood immediately, still unstable, but motivated to live. “What do you mean we’re in the triangle?”
I pointed to the instruments on the dash which had continued to either spin or go dead. To his credit, Samuel stayed at the helm, trying to steer us through the storm. I admired that about him.
“Samuel, what do we have in terms of weapons?” I asked.
“Weapons?” he stammered. “This is a fishing vessel, not military.” His hands shook but remain clenched to the wheel, knuckles white. The boat crested a particularly large wave, and I watched as the bow dove briefly under the water, showering the canopy with salty spray.
“Great.” I looked around for anything that might help us. In the moment I didn’t even know what we would be facing. James and I had our gear bags which meant a pair of hunting rifles with rounds meant for killing large lizards. I opened the bags and pawed through the contents looking for anything that might have a bit more firepower to it. There was nothing. Oh how I wished I could have brought my harpoon.
Beside me, James was doing the same and shared a similar look of dismay.
Regardless, I pulled out my collapsible rifle and extended it to working capacity. “Ammo check, James.”
Stanley turned to look and yelled: “No! No weapons. That is highly illegal!”
I grabbed him by the collar. “Trust me pal, the storm is about to be the least of our worries.” Carefully, I began to load the rounds into the rifle, careful not to spill any of them with the motion of the boat. Despite it all, my hands felt steady.
“I’ve got five,” replied James, loading his rifle as well.
“Great, that makes for a total of twelve. Let’s hope whatever it is, it isn’t big.”
It was at that moment a huge force propelled the boat sideways with an earth-shattering crash.
The force of the impact sent me head over heels into the opposite window, cracking, but luckily not shattering the glass. James somehow managed to stay unscathed. Stanely was thrown sideways, head crashing into the side of the ship, leaving a bloody smear where he had impacted. His limp body fell backward onto the boat’s throttle, stopping it dead and leaving us bobbing like a toy in the growing storm.
“What the hell was—” I started, but then stopped as a bright lightning bolt illuminated a massive black tentacle in the air. I was aware of the waves calming around us slightly, and in a moment of lunacy felt relief. Standing, and pointing my rifle at the tentacle, my breath stopped.
Rising from the water was the jagged black dome of a creature easily fifty feet wide. Jet black eyes gleamed out at me hungrily as other tentacles began to raise from the water around it.
He stood, and looked out the window. “It’s uh…”
“It’s big,” I finished.
There was a moment’s pause. Shielded from the great storm around us, we locked eyes with the creature, waiting to make the first move.
“What do we?” James muttered.
“Aim for the eyes?” It was as good a plan as any. I had planned on reading up more on sea monsters when we reached Tortuga. As it stood, I knew nothing beyond the obvious, which was: shoot it where it looks soft.
“Right,” James moaned, and shouldered his rifle.
Above us, the tentacles swayed back and forth in the dark sky.
“Wait till you’ve got a good shot.”
There was another flash of lightning followed by the boom of thunder.
In the split second of light, I centered my scope and fired, shattering the glass in front of me. Whether the bullet hit or not, I could not tell, but one thing was clear: The creature was angry.
There was a second concussion as James fired his rifle and then all hell broke loose.
The creature’s tentacles whipped and waved angrily in the air only briefly before coming crashing down. The thick, black tentacles wrapped around the ship’s hull and squeezed, shattering the fiberglass almost instantaneously. There was a muffled boom and a puff of smoke as the engine gave out beneath the creature’s weight.
The entire ship lurched to one side, sending the unconscious Stanley sliding into the black water. I tried to reach for him but tripped and went sprawling after him. Outside of the canopy I could hear the odd wailing of the creature as it squeezed, and the strange roiling sound of the ocean boiling around us.
I tried to raise the rifle once more, and fired a shot into the nearest tentacle. The shell punctured the creature’s skin, sending black blood spraying over me. The tentacle released the boat, sweeping over the deck in the process.
Another flash of light and the crack of thunder.
I watched in dismay as James was flung over the side of the boat and directly onto the black dome of the creature’s head. Through the storm I heard the sound of another shot go off, and the creature wailing once more.
Water poured over the edges of the now shattered boat as it began to sink into the sea below. I looked to the sky above and saw that while one tentacle had been damaged, there were three more ready to take its place. My last thought was: I’m about to get tossed in the ocean, covered in blood. The sharks are going to eat me. Never mind the sea monster before me, it was the predators below that I was concerned with.
Then, in an instant, the tentacle came crashing down. I felt massive pressure, and then a dark embrace I could only believe to be death.