Writing prompt: ocean horror

“The ocean is a vast and beautiful thing. Taking a quick peak off the side of your boat you realize something strange. The tentacles slowly creeping up the hull aren’t your imagination and the captain’s nowhere to be found. Where do we go from here?”

Dark dreams faded to dark thoughts as Jal awakened in the cabin. His hands brushed back his short, black hair as he sat up, leaning over the edge of his bed.

Bastards, he thought. I’ll show them. They’ll never laugh at me again.

The boat jerked unnaturally, like the plaything of some giant child. Jal stumbled to his feet, steadying himself as he made for the deck. Whispers of chthonian prayers uttered the previous night lashed against his sanity.

Jgal’nteraoth de’ritf valqrgeh. The words hung like smoke in the cavernous hate of his soul. What did they mean? Where did they come from?

Cries for help cut short his thoughts. Jal swung the door open to the deck, its rusty-but-recently-oiled hinges trying to creak but unable to produce sound.

Above the sides of the ship, slender, liquid-onyx-colored tentacles flailed, gripping Jal’s crew mates. The tentacles shimmered in the late morning sun. Jal admired their gem-like beauty for a moment.

“Help us, Jal!” a sandy voice choked. “There you are!” the captain’s voice gasped. Jal looked to his right, in the direction of the voice, as one of the unseen black beast’s appendages tightened around the captain’s ribcage.

Jal stood, unmoving, unblinking. A smirk began to curl at the side of his mouth.

“You incompetent swine, do something!”

“I already have, Captain.” Whispers streaked into his thoughts. Kill them. They won’t laugh anymore. Kill them. “Kill them? Yes. Kill them.” Jal’s mind shattered like the bottle of rum Tergren had thrown at him two nights before. “You won’t laugh at me anymore!”

“You barnacle-brained lunatic. Have you lost the precious few specks of grey matter you had le—” his voice broke, crackling and wheezing as the tentacle tightened.

“Shut up! You’ll never mock me again.” A soft snapping sound like twigs splintering, followed by the first of many screams, clogged the air.

Kill them. All of them. Kill them. “Yes, all of them,” he mumbled. “None of you will ever mock me again!” Jal yelled, spinning wildly, looking wilder, his hair matted by sea spray, eyes salt-burned and red. His smirk had fissured into a toothy grin.

“You’ll dance with Jack Ketch you mutinous blaggard!” the captain cursed with a last shriek of air, slumping over the still thrashing tentacle. A red mist of spittle lingered in the air, scarlet and vibrant. The last scream brought silence to the deck, interrupted only by the sounds of calm breakers meeting the side of the ship. Bodies hung limp in the breeze, swinging back and forth in the glistening, sable grips of tendrils around the boat like marionettes dancing from strings.

Jal sat down on the deck. Kill them. They’re dead. Kill them. They’re all dead. Kill them. Yes, there are more. Kill them. Yes, all of them.

So the prompt immediately sent me into a Lovecraftian direction when I read it. I have never written in a horror styling. I’m sure it could use some work on the terrifying side, but it was a fun little prompt to write from. I didn’t take the time to polish it, but I still hope it is a fun little read.


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