Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4. "DA-DUN"

First published, August 19, 2010

“I think I see it again.”
“Oh, crap, you’re right. Paddle faster!”

Thoki and Lor were on the western side the Atlantic Ocean heading roughly east towards the Mediterranean. Standard forms of travel had been out of the question. Between the two of them, they had managed to save up only $128.34 from various odd jobs and petty thievery. That wasn’t enough to get a plane ticket for Thoki, let alone Lor who would have needed to purchase an extra seat to accommodate his backside. Plus he would have had to hunch the entire way to keep from banging his head on the overhead compartment. 

Thus stymied, they had tried to stow-away aboard a cruise ship. This plan had worked for all of twenty minutes. Thoki was still nursing some bruises from when they were arrested and put ashore in Florida. Stupid Disney. Down to their last Benjamin, Thoki attempted to be resourceful. He waltzed into a beach-shop and began to purchase/shoplift supplies. 

Now he was 40 miles out to sea, with his cohort, in a crude raft made of inflatable alligator pool-toys held together with duct tape. Three inflatable beer-coolers swam beneath them, acting as ballast. They were filled with containers of Ensure, Red Bull and Dasani, which were their only concessions to hydration and nutrition. The Red Bull was for Lor, who was currently acting as the outboard motor. He was wearing a large innertube around his waist, and orange water-wings, as his massive legs thrashed the water, keeping up the steady “kick, kick, kick,” they’d been doing all morning. Lor never got tired, he didn’t have enough imagination to get tired. 

Right now, however, he was kicking more frantically as Thoki called out to him.
“Starboard, kick starboard!”
“Is that left or right?” asked Lor.
“It’s that way,” said Thoki, pointing.
“So left?”
“No, that’s… wait. Does it matter which way I’m facing?”
“I think it depends on which way the boat is facing,” said Lor in one of his rare moments of lucidity.
“Oh… so port, then?”
“No thanks, I don’t drink.”
“Too late! Here it comes again!” cried Thoki in a panicked voice. He pulled on the tether holding Lor to the craft, and tried to pull him aboard. After a few close calls and near-capsizes, the giant managed to clamber onto the squeaking wet alligator toys.

The two stared in growing anxiety, huddled beneath a pile of stolen beach towels, as a large dark shape came closer to the boat.
“It might just be a whale,” said Thoki in a whisper.
“Or not,” he added mournfully.
“I’m scared,” said Lor quietly.
“Just don’t make any sudden moves,” said Thoki. “Keep quiet and don’t touch the water.”
"Okie-dokie, Thoki."
“It’s getting closer,” whimpered the giant, trying pathetically to make himself smaller.
The water began to boil and churn as the dark shape got closer and closer. Thoki and Lor, held each other tightly as scales and fins began to flash beneath the surface.
The ocean rose suddenly in a column of green water that erupted from the waves. A terrifying creature rose sixty feet in the air and came down again in a horrible splash. It was a sea serpent that seemed too big to be possible. The undulating coils were larger and longer than a freight train as jaws, the size of a drawbridge, snapped at them. 

“BADA-BUN!” sang the snake-head joyfully. Its breath tore at the two sailors, smelling of death and chocolate milk. In confirmation, a few empty Ensure cans floated to the surface.

“JORM! KNOCK IT OFF!” screamed Thoki.
“Aw, don’t have a hissy-fit, wiener. I was just funnin’ yah,” said Jormungandr, the world serpent. 
“And stop eating our food supply!” Thoki snapped again at his half-brother.

Jormungandr was in his traditionally ‘mythic’ form this time, that of a gigantic cretaceous clidastes. He didn’t exactly run the length of the world–the Ancient Norsemen did like to exaggerate– but he could circle around Australia at least. The giant sea-serpent was supposedly so hideous that no mortal could look on it without going insane, but Thoki was used to it by now and tried to stare down the mad rolling yellow eyes. 

“And do you have to sing the theme to ‘Jaws’ every time? It’s getting old.”
“I could sing the theme to the Poseidon Adventure. There’s got to be a morning afterrrr, If we can hold on through the niiiiiiiii–!
“Aw, you got such a stick up your ass.”
“Can you sing something from an ocean-themed movie where nobody dies?
“Alright. Have it your way,” said Jormungand with a poisonous grin. “Under da Seeea! Under da Seeeaaa!...
“Is he going to do this all the way to Egypt?” asked Lor meekly.
“Or until he gets bored and tries to eat us,” said Thoki.
“I prefer the singing.”
“Me too, actually– he’s not that bad.”
Up on de shore, dey work all day…” sang the serpent.
“This is going to be a long freaking trip though,” sighed Thoki.
“Who wants to hear me sing the theme to Spongebob?” cried Jorm turning happily in spirals.
“Ooh! Ooh! Me!" said Lor, raising his hand.
"I can't heeeere yooou!"
"Aye-aye, Captain!"

Drama queen,” Thoki muttered.

1 comment:

Amalia Dillin said...

hahahaha! Jorm cracks me up. That is just how it is! Great installment!