Tentacles… Take 1

This passage comes from a story that I wrote a couple years ago, one that was a part of my MA thesis and was also the story I submitted for VP 16 this year. What you will read below is from the original draft, before it was modified to the “final” draft that had been in place since the end of that semester. Since this is out of the context of the story, what you need to know is this: the story was my first attempt at horror-ish writing, and I was pretty blatantly riffing off of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos.

The air was crisp.  He was standing on a rock surrounded by water.  There appeared to be a submerged sand bar trailing back to the beach. He lowered himself to the water, and began wading back to the shore.  The currents changed, and soon he was forced to tread water.  As the sand bar shifted under him, he began swimming to shore.

There was a stabbing pain on his legs which forced him under the water.  He looked around, forced his eyes open in the water.  There were tentacles, long, sinewy members that reached out for him from the depths, from something under the sand.  He kicked himself free and rose to the surface.  The cool air filled his lungs, biting them as he gasped, before the pain found his legs again.

He was pulled under the surface again; his arms strained to take him up.  He looked back at the tentacles, the long, dark figures reaching for him.  His arms stung as new tentacles groped for them.  He was being pulled deeper.  Above the base of the tentacles he could make out a pair of dark eyes – darker than the water surrounding them.  Below the tentacles, all he could see was a large blackness, something he was sure he wanted to avoid.

He struggled against the tentacles; the more he fought the tighter they became.  With no other options, he lowered his head, attempting to bite one of the things from his arm.  His arm had become covered in some thick material – It looked like hair, but it could have been something from the tentacles.  He wasn’t sure.   His chest tightened.   He needed oxygen, soon.  He looked up, and could barely see the surface.  He pulled his right arm to his face, craned his neck to get a good angle.  He sunk his teeth into the soft, wet tissue of the tentacle on his arm.  He felt the thing tense then loosen as his jaw clamped tighter.  He felt like a dog playing with a rope toy.   The tastes of bile and blood and salt water filled his mouth.  All that mattered was that the tentacles were letting go, and he was able to swim to the surface, towards the light dancing on the waves.

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