(The following is part of a short fan-fiction story in the works. I wanted to post what I had so far on this site just so anyone reading could get a better sense of my literary writing style as opposed to my academic style. Enjoy! ~C.)
Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. 3 November, 9:54 A.M.
“…man. Aquaman. Aquaman, can you hear me?”
Arthur Curry slowly opened his sand-encrusted eyes to a blurry image. Against a light gray backdrop was a dark figure, tall and broadly-built, standing over him. More details came into focus only after a few seconds. The backdrop was an overcast morning sky, and the figure, clad in blue and red, bore a worried expression on his youthful face.
“Aquaman, are you okay?” the mysterious figure continued, his voice almost fully registering to Arthur’s ears.
Arthur grunted, and as he attempted to sit up, the figure moved out of his field of vision. The Atlantean felt a slight amount of pressure on his shoulders, as if someone were manually stabilizing him. His sight fully returned after another few dazed seconds, and he could see his legs in front of him, resting on a beach just a short distance away from where gentle gray waves lapped at gray sand.
Arthur noticed slight motion to his left and turned his head, just in time to see the nervously smiling face of a friend.
“…Superman,” he rasped. “What’re you doing here?”
The tall, raven-haired Kryptonian, just as resplendent as always in his untarnished blue-and-red bodysuit and red cape, was bent over slightly to meet Arthur’s eyes with his. “It looks like you took a pretty bad hit.”
Arthur grunted once more and lightly shook off some of the sand that stuck to his scaled, dark orange armor, then ran a hand through his cropped blond hair. “Where are we?”
“Tokyo Bay,” Clark Kent’s alter ego replied. “You sent out a distress signal just a few minutes ago. I got here as soon as I could.”
Arthur extended a hand, and Clark grabbed it to slowly help Arthur to his feet. Once solidly planted on the ground, Arthur looked out towards the calm surface of Tokyo Bay, then back towards Clark. A small crowd of passers-by, excitedly whispering and occasionally sneaking a photo or two, had formed a few meters away from where the two metahumans stood.
“Distress signal?” Arthur repeated. “What about?”
“You didn’t say,” Clark replied. “You were cut off just before you said anything specific.”
Arthur grimaced. “Well, I hate to say, but I can’t remember what it was. I must’ve been hit hard by… well, whatever did it.”
“Take your time,” Clark said. He gave a reassuring smile for only a second before it faded and he whipped his head to face the water.
“What’s wrong?” Arthur asked, turning his head to see what was troubling Clark.
“There’s something in the water,” Clark answered. “Look.”
Arthur squinted into the distance, but saw the disturbance soon enough.
Only a few kilometers away from the shore, a large, black object began to emerge from the water. Though it moved forward very slowly, it grew larger by the second until what was beneath the surface became more apparent. Both Arthur’s and Clark’s eyes widened.
“…I’m guessing that’s why I sent the signal,” Arthur remarked.
The object was the oblong head of some kind of massive creature, suspended above the water by a long and thick neck. The animal’s skin was charcoal gray and resembled either a cluster of cancerous cells or a severe burn scar – or both. The maw, slightly agape, featured innumerable small and crooked sharp teeth. A downward-facing beady eye rested on either side of the head, adding to the strangeness of the creature’s overall disturbing appearance.
“Can you communicate with it?” Clark asked Arthur, his eyes not straying from the beast’s hideous face.
“I can try,” Arthur said, ignoring the hubbub of the growing crowd behind him and Clark. The Atlantean closed his eyes and focused his energy to send out a telepathic signal that would hopefully reach the creature.
Only a few seconds later, Arthur clutched his forehead and gave a slight cry of pain.
“What’s wrong?” Clark nervously asked.
“Its mind…” Arthur uneasily replied. “Too… much.”
“Too much of what?” Clark asked.
Arthur composed himself enough to look Clark in the face. “This thing, whatever it is… It’s so enraged that communicating with it actually hurts. All it feels is pure rage – pure hatred. It’s single-minded and I don’t think we can stop it by being reasonable.”
Clark sighed. “Guess we’ll just have to push it back, then.”
“I’ll go for the legs,” Arthur said, before grabbing the Atlantean trident that lay to his right and running towards the water.
“And I’ll go for the head,” Clark said.
As Clark began to hover off of the ground and turned to warn the growing crowd to move away from the scene, Arthur dove headfirst into the Bay and shot through the water like a supersonic torpedo towards the creature’s submerged legs. As he grew closer, the Atlantean could fully determine the appearance of the creature’s body.
This thing wasn’t merely big, it was enormous – easily over one hundred meters in height and more than double that in length. Its body was upright, supported by bulky legs with clawed feet that sent small tremors through the seabed. A long serpentine tail trailed behind it, slowly waving from side to side as if it had a mind of its own. Tiny, almost vestigial arms ended in four-clawed hands with their palms facing upwards. Several rows of multi-pointed spines ran down the creature’s back, each row growing larger towards the midsection. Peeking through the grotesque charcoal flesh were small but unmistakable patches of glowing red light.
Well, if this isn’t ugly, I don’t know what is, Arthur thought to himself, before effortlessly cutting through the water towards the creature’s nearest leg and pushing against it with all his might.
To be continued.