On the shore

~ a short story

The boy walked along the edge of the shore. A place of respite, of peace. A sanctuary for him to no longer consider the confusion at school or the troubles at home. He could simply walk along the sandy shoreline at dusk, feeling the fading sun’s warmth on his skin and the waves lap at his pale feet. Mostly he liked to look out over the horizon and think about what was out there. Of what could be out there in the wider world over these waves, he held little notion. Somehow it was incredibly important to the boy that there was something out there, something greater. This idea was so important; he never fully comprehended why. He tried not to ‘think’ about it and instead simply feel the certainty of it. All of it was too big for it not to be true. Most days, that was enough for him. He felt very small. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he really did not matter much at all.


The town had been evacuated. He knew he had to be the only one left on the beachfront now. The storm raged along the horizon, the strength of the wind buffeted his body. He did not seem to mind. Everything was already lost. At that point, his own life didn’t seem very important to him. He strolled listlessly, waywardly along the sandy shore, nearly toppling over into the cold sand, following the same path he used to walk so often in his youth. So much had changed over the years since he used to look out over the horizon and wish for.. What did he use to wish for?

The storm was close enough now to witness its true majesty, to begin to touch its embrace. He stopped and found a seat on a rocky outcropping at the beach front. A place to contemplate the power of nature. He actually hoped the entire town would be destroyed. If nature willed such a thing, he applauded it. Honestly, he doubted anything of real value existed here. A bunch of wood, concrete, and steel, and plastic. The people were gone, they’d abandoned it to its own fate. Perhaps subconsciously, he hoped to join them in the joy of such destruction.

He closed his eyes and held them closed. Briny winds splashed upon his face, and he dug his hands into the grains of sand at his sides. He thought about nothing. Nothing could move him any longer. Helplessly, however, he began to simultaneously consider all the numb, unconscious days of the past year, the past decade. What had it all amounted to? What did he gain in the time he had given? He could go on and on about what he had lost. But he didn’t want to think about all that right now. He just wanted desperately to exist on this shore, his sanctuary, for a little while longer while an oblivion edged in from the abyss before him.

Then, a blinding flash of lighting fell over on his closed eyes. This intense light awoke him from his reverie. But he didn’t open his eyes until the thunderous crash that followed. He stared again out over the dark horizon, into the clouds and the raging storm from whence the light had sourced. Within the swirling chaos he witnessed something. An immense form, some massive entity – a creature – heaved among the cloudform. It’s existence was unfathomable; to sight it was awe-inspiring.

He immediately stood up on his sandy perch and looked out across the waves upon its full form. In these moments, he thought nothing; he felt everything. It appeared as nothing resembling the darkest fantasies of man. From his vantage, it had to be hundreds of stories tall. It made the distant ocean and hurricane gathering about it look insignificant in its presence. Six, seven, eight-legged, hunched over, it was a roiling mass of monstrous appendage and furious motion. The waters at its base were spiraling and crashing with force beyond what even the hurricane could cause. It had the face of a lion, its ghostly visage peaked through a mane of shadow and shouted out yawning shockwaves that made the tides shudder. A spiral of blue, wraith-like flames surrounded the thing’s head, and extended down its serpentine torso along a body made of visible, palpable energy, as if it was a conduit of the surrounding storm formation.

Somehow this being had appeared within the approaching storm — just now. It was here when a moment before there was nothing, just the endless expanse of the ocean. The emergence was impossibly instantaneous. Did it come from the sky? Had it emerged from within the ocean? Or had it been birthed somehow by the strength of this great storm? It had to be a god. It moved slowly but with incredible poise, as if it knew exactly what it could intend for this world. The dark gave way to its sweeping tail, a whipping rod of striking brightness. A tsunami began. It reared up on its hind legs and smashed down into the miles of water before it. Another rainmaking, God-wave began.

The man stumbled backwards onto the ground, and edged back a few more feet, still not even processing as the ground rumbled about him. It let out a roar which shook the stone and sand and rattled his mind into a vitalized shock. The energy within its body began to visibly brighten and pulse. The brightest stroke of lightning he’d ever seen flashed out from the beast. In this wake, the storm clouds began to quickly clear, drawing away from its form. The winds picked up and the waves rose ever higher, distant but drawing nigh. It faced the mainland, beginning to move its towering mass.

The boy turned away from the shore, his shore no longer. ~