Dreams of a Squid by Neal Reagan


            I darted through the turbulent currents, the vicious sperm whale snapping at my tentacles. I needed to reach the beach by midnight when the New Years Eve fireworks would begin. My head popped above the surface for a brief second to spot the safety of the beach quickly approaching. Then, without warning, my world went black as a curtain of teeth closed all around me.

            My name is Squidrick Watersworth, the Third, and I’d just been eaten by my mortal enemy.

The stench repulsed me as I clung to the slimy tongue for dear life—a vat of acid awaited me somewhere in the digestive tract. My tentacles weren’t made for clinging to whale taste buds, but I latched on as best I could. Inch by inch, I slipped backward toward the pit of death.

I moved toward the back of the jaw where a black object was lodged. Just as a torrent of water rushed in through the hinging mouth, I leapt with all the force my tentacles could muster and narrowly made it to the lodged object. One by one, my tentacles connected with it and held on tight, expecting another wave of water. Feeling around, I got the distinct impression it was a policeman’s nightstick. My goodness! What had this whale been eating?

A flood of air rushed past. The blowhole! It was my only chance of escape. I waited patiently for the next burst of wind, then launched myself directly into the flow. My body flailed weightlessly through the air, then ejected from the hole with a harsh thump! I sailed with the breeze, waving at the passing seagull who gave me a look that said, “Why are you violating my air space?”

My brief stint as a pilot ended as I smashed headlong into an unsuspecting motorists’ windshield. My face flattened against the glass and I witnessed sheer terror cross the face of the driver. Much to my surprise, he assaulted me with a wiper of some sort, sending me sprawling to the asphalt. I stared into the sky as the vapor of exhaust passed overhead.

The angry tone of the car’s engine died off slowly in the distance. But not for long. Before I knew it, another grumbling engine approached. I turned to see rolling treads heading right for me. I hopped up on my tentacles and scurried away to the security of the nearby beach.

Safe at last!

Squid usually view the fireworks displays from the water, but most only dream of watching the show from a prime seat on a sandy beach. I laid back and stared into the sky, letting the lapping water massage my skin. I watched the trail of the first morning glory lift into the sky and burst into an umbrella of vibrant colors. It was all worth it to see this.

Then, just as the brilliant lights were fading, the massive tale of the whale slammed down on me, encasing me in the sand of the beach. Well…you can’t win them all.

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