My hamster is pregnant...
The sea mist rolled in thick and choked out the sun. The marshes were extra swampy today. He followed the wood planks that were lifted well above the sludge of the marsh. In between the cracks of the planks he watched twigs and mud and bullfrogs trying to eat fluorescent dragonflies. He saw the deck at the end of the path, and it appeared to be collapsed into the mud at the far end. He usually fished off the end of the platform for crawdad, or catfish, but now it was a mess of splintered wood and marsh sludge. He stared down into the brown water,. It reflected some crows that flew through the grey sky. Suddenly the water began to ripple before his eyes. It was parting slightly as something rose out of it. Mud slid from a bumpy dome-like surface. From the water emerged a giant toad with human ears. Resting on these large pink ears was a crown of gold and onyx. He opened his enormous speckled eyes and stared up at the sky. He opened his gaping mouth like a black hole. The boy leaned closer to the toads oozing lips, looking in amazement down the toad's throat. A noise like a foghorn gusted from the toads mouth and blasted the boys face with slime and swamp breath. The water all around began to gurgle and bubble. The bubbles burst and purple colored fumes puffed into the air. A wave, a tiny wave it seemed, began to roll closer from far off. As it approached it leapt higher, doubling its height, tripling it, until it was nearly twenty feet above the boys head. It paused behind the toad, whose eyes were now closed. In one thunderous swallow the looming wave collapsed and consumed them both. The boy, even in his terror, only thought how mad his mother was going to be at him being covered in mud. He was tumbled and pulled in all directions, and all the while in the blackness he heard an eerie song and many voices singing "la la la's". He opened his eyes finally and saw a huge floating clock like an eyeball strike midnight. The clock winked as he fell past. He looked down and saw that he was falling quickly towards a giant dark ship that was rotting away. It was covered in barnacles and wrapped in seaweed and snail slime. He thudded onto the oily deck of the ship and fell to his knees for they wouldnt hold him up. He sat with his head hanging down and his hands grasping the grimy wood deck. He finally noticed there were feet on the ground in front of him. They were bare, and the toenails were elaborately painted. They were beautiful, but something was odd. The feet were webbed. He looked up, raising his chin slowly. A girl sat very still on a wooden bench, hands folded in her lap. Her hands were also webbed. Bits of seaweed were wrapped around her wrists and fingers. Small bones laid at her side and the hem of her simple white dress was wet. Her hair covered half her face and both her eyes. It was tossled and messy, like from sea winds and salt. In one movement she took two fingers, parted a hole in her hair, and revealed a bright yellow eye.
"What are you doing here?" she asked quickly. Her voice was strangely familiar to the boy and she spoke as if she knew him. Before the boy could get a word out they heard a deafening clamor. Cascading like an avalanche over the side of the ship came a torrent of crustaceans. Starfish wiggled in fast motion, lobsters clacked their claws, and bright nudebranchs flew dancing through the water. They picked him up and the girl yelled a desperate cry that was overpowered by the scuffle of tiny feet. They carried him overboard and through a dead forrest of kelp and rotten driftwood. A sea lion with two heads and spots sped by barking. It looked right at the boy as it swept through the water, one head wore spectacles and one had a long thin beard. They finally came to a cliff and the crustaceans continued their path right over the cliff. They all plumetted down and crunched into a pile at the bottom. They were in a lush meadow of colorful sea anemones. The anemones reached out at him as he walked by them and tickled him with their soft tentacles. He felt dizzy and happy when they touched him. He stopped in front of a large pink and orange one. It traced the sides of his neck and ears, and it hummed and smiled as it did so. It was so pleasant the boy forgot where he was. Suddenly it grabbed the back of his neck and wrenched him forward. The sweet smile of the anemone had now transformed into certain doom. Circles inside circles of tiny triangular teeth gritted on each other and a sticky tongue reached out and licked the entirety of the boys face. The boy thought it was the end, when from the corner of his eye he saw a spear whistle by and strike the anemone directly in the face. It squealed and dropped him. The anemone sucked into itself, its squishy skin retreating deeper and deeper until it nearly disappeared. A snail wearing a feathered metal military hat had thrown the spear. The snail slowly approached him with a dreary expression and without saying a word snapped a large starfish onto his wrists like handcuffs.
"Hey!" the boy shouted, "but you just saved me!" The snail raised a hand and shushed the boy and the boy shrugged and followed the snail. They crawled out of the meadow and through a dark green canyon of moss and spitting sponges that sang and gurgled. They spiraled down a hole and finally the boy was released and shoved through a curtain of strange liquid. He now found himself in an undersea air bubble. It was a dark cavern, very dim and quiet except for the dripping from the ceilings. In the corner he saw a shape, possible a creature he thought. The boy studied the shape and observed that it had hooves. As he watched to see if it would move another creature approached. The ancient beast plodded slowly towards the boys back with with heavy feet and droopy eyes. With a droning, powerful voice it sighed and said, "Im old, so old. And so much wiser for it." The boy turned about quickly and saw before him an enormous tortoise. It towered above him for its legs were stretched high as a horses. Its legs were made only of smaller bones stacked on each other. He had carvings all over his shell and symbols of the kind the boy had never seen. "Open the small door first," he said and then closed his eyes and slumped to the sandy floor. A tiny door was in his shell and the boy opened it. A little play setwas laid out inside. A small wooden ship was suspended from the top and miniature snails carrying dandelions in their mouths crawled over its deck. The water it sat in was black and tiny strawberry shrimp swam in it. A rough doll of a girl paced the deck in a livid manner, as if it were angry. She took a tiny bucket and dumped it into the black water. The substance that poured out was shimmering silver and glittering, and it took over the black sea. The tiny door snaped shut and a hand covered in black hair held it closed. Black hair covered its face, only its eyes which were glowing white circles showed. His body was a long shape, but so covered in hair it was nearly impossible to define. His legs were strong and hooved and had silver bands wrapped around them. He grabbed the boys hand and pulled him through the dripping cavern away from the collapsed old tortoise. They ran over a bridge where flying fish jumped in hoops over them. Creatures peared out from behind stalagmites as the hooved creature rattled the ceilings with his heavy steps. Bats with long flowing heads of golden hair swooped and whistled at them. A dead end neared and it was darker. They stopped. A soft whining started from a flower above the boys head. It glowed purple and whined louder as if it was longing to be picked. They each plucked a petal and it sighed as they ate of its petals. Nearly instantly the boy felt a burning in his belly. Every angle in the cavern began to bend and wobble and every light exploded and showered into tiny fireflies. The fireflies grouped together and fluttered around their necks like a necklace. They began to float, faster and faster until the rock of the cavern broke and the sea water gushed in flooding it all. A white fell over the boys eyes. The white sloshed around like milk topped with sea foam. In the middle of the slow sloshing white he saw an old decrepit crane with moss growing around its eyes. A toad dangled from its beak. A girl waded through the white and began to tug on the toads leg, trying to save it. The crane took off and the girl hid the toad under her hat. She put it on her brothers toy sailboat and put a play crown on its head. And she called him the king and the captain of the sea. And she kept him inside, away from his home. Until one day he escaped. He hopped with his crown from his tiny wooden castle back into the white.
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