North Atlantic

East of Connecticut

1972

2:27 A.M.

It was not a calm night in the open. The wind was blowing harshly and the sea sprayed water up on deck of the Sun Raid. Richard Yates, the rich owner of the bait shops in town, stood at the bow of his boat, smoking a cigar. He proved to be not a kind fellow. Some say his wealth got to his small head. His eyes searched the deck as he looked for his only server.

"Greene!" He shouted out, earning the attention of the boy. Andrew Greene was a simple kind. He followed orders like a dog. Quickly, he dropped the rope he was dwindling with and ran up to Yates.

"Sir?"

"Get my rod."

"...Sir? It's stormin--"

"I know." He interruped his so called slave. "It's what brings some curious things up fer dinner." Yates said, prying the cigar from his yellowing teeth. Greene hesitated. "Greene. What do you think I'm paying you for?" He twisted around, reflecting his cold blue eyes into the boy's.

"Yessir..." Greene ran across the deck, careful not to slip on the wet surface. The rain plastered his black hair to his forehead, and his eyes were squinted as rain shattered on his body. He groped for the handle of the captain's box, blinded by the rain. His chapped hands found the smoothe surface and he whipped open the door and collapsed inside the warm room.

As soon as he could catch his breath, he sat up and searched for the rod that he figured Yates would prefer. There were four weak ones that could barely handle a stingray, and one with a thick pole and tough lining. He clipped it away from the wall and headed out with the pole.

Yates snatched the pole away from his servant and shouted more orders. "Get the bulb outta tha water n' see what we've got fer bait."

"Sir." Greene replied and took off, not wanting to disobey the rich man. Bastard. Greene thought to himself as he reached the bow and found the cord holding the bait bulb. Not taking any sense into the situation, he grabbed the bare steele cord with his chapped hands and attempted to pull up. Nothing. "The hell..." The once 7 lb glass bulb felt heavier than the crates of ice he had to haul on the ship days before. He gripped it tighter and attemped again.

The cord zipped down as if a gargantuan force were baited on it. The steel cheese grater-like rope tore his palms, splattering his blood into the sea. He shook his shredded palms as if to cool down a burn. "Fuck!" Greene shouted, letting the rain pour away the red.

"How's it goin', Greene?" He heard Yates' voice call over the storm.

"Dandy." He yelled back.

Once again he turned his attention to the cord that injured his hands. It was dangling straight down like a line catching a fish. He looked closely and saw that it was gently moving in a circle. "Damn hammerheads..." He recalled what had happened the day before as a pack of the sharks tore Yates' fish away from his line, earning bullets shot into the water.

The force from behind came quick and everything was thrown to the deck of the old yacht. Greene lost his balance on the bow and flipped over the rail with an 'Oof' and into the freezing sea that shocked his body.

He surfaced, shaking like a maraca, caused by the frozen depths and the suprise of thrown overboard. The cold around him seemed to be alive as it clawed at his lungs, drawing air quickly from them. Greene gasped, tears forming in his stinging eyes. The salt rushed quickly into his body, contorting it into a living rag doll. He screamed for help, but nobody seemed to hear him over the rushing winds and ocean spray.

Greene suddenly became aware that he was not alone in the water. He had been in the water with sharks before, like the hammerheads. But the hammerheads would never worry him. No, this was bigger. Adrenaline pumped in his veins, stinging his arms and legs. He stopped treading and floated still in the raging water.

He jerked to the right, feeling something touch his leg. Out of reflex, he yelped. No! Shut up! He mentally screamed at himself. Greene dipped his head in the water, seeing the navy blue blacken in a small cloud. His hands. He lifted his head up out and shook the salt from his face and stared at his palms. They were white and red, pale but covered in his blood. He darted his head around, afraid. He looked to see the Sun Raid almost 100 feet away from him and increasing the gap between them.

There it was again.

Something was definitely watching him. Paranoid beyond measures, he froze again, hoping whatever the thing was, it would lose interest in him. He looked down into the water again, seeing a black shadow underneath him. He wanted to scream, but nothing came out. Whatever the thing was, it was watching him like a vulture and a dying rabbit.

Greene felt hot tears pour down his face, accompanying the harsh rain that stung his exposed skin. Taking a deep breath, half full with seawater, he planted his face into the sea, searching for the enemy beneath the depths.

Murky sea water, how exciting. A surge of relief drained his body of the adrenaline and he could feel his shoulders relax. All that paranoia for nothing.

---

It stared up at him with its clear, searching eyes. It had never seen anything like the man before, and curious much like a child, it inspected him. Circling below fifty feet was not enough for it, and curiousity drove it mad. It rose to the surface.

---

The feeling was back again, and Greene tightened up inside. His mind screamed at himself, telling him to get the hell out of the water. He had not moved.

A soft splashing of water killed off his train of thought and he bolted backwards. Greene whipped his head around, searching for the creature that toyed with him. Then, his eyes caught the fin.

It was a dark color, seemingly almost a swamp green, with darker stripes trailing down its body as if paint dripped on it. The fin itself was almost three feet above the water. In a pulse-like movement, it breached, bringing the upper half of its whole body out of the water for Greene to see. It was slick, but textured with denticles that seemed alive. Cartilage made bone pierced through the muscle, bringing about a hollow structure upon the side.

"Just a sturgeon...just a sturgeon..." Greene muttered to himself, trying not to worry. But the reality came back. Sturgeon don't live in saltwater. And definitely not in the Atlantic.

It lifted up enough to give Greene a glare colder than that of a dead fish, examining its prey. Greene studied its strange beauty as it circled him. He examined the size of the fish, thinking to himself about 17 feet long. It was a juvenile.

With a powerful swish of its sythe-like tail, it dove back under. "Oh, shit." Greene knew what it was doing. It had inspected him and chosen to take the prey, getting a swimming start towards him.

---

It was hungry, starving at that. The beast sensed the panicked vibrations coming from the prey, and it drove it mad with the sense to kill. It tilted upwards and thrashed with it's powerful tail, pushing towards the surface. Its grey eyes rolled back in its head, and hyperextended its jaws...

---

Blood rose towards the surface underneath Greene. In the night it seemed almost a violet black. He checked his palms. No, the blood wasn't from his hands unless he had been bitten and not noticed. But still, he thought to himself, its freezing; I'm numb as all hell.

He looked down. He sighed at the sight of nothing. But where was all the blood coming fr...

...his question was answered.

The body of the juvenile tiger exploded from the water, tossed into the air like a limp ragdoll. There was something about it that scared the man to death. It was only the top half of the shark. The organs, belly, and tail were all missing from the 17 foot shark. It fell back into the sea. Greene shook madly; He knew deep inside...

He was swiming with a monster.