In the dark she waits. She has always waited. In the times before men walked the Earth she swam through the miles deep layers of rock beneath their feet. There she fed on the fossil souls of creatures trapped under the crushing strata above. Then she found the river and tastier fare.
Now, when she must, she takes the souls of the sorry creatures who share her river, and those damned to fall into her domain. These small offerings are not enough – she craves the souls of men – the ones who have sought her through the ages. They came for her with spears and bone hooks, with traps and nets, and now with iron hooks and devil lures – it is the angler she desires the most.
The Earth has rolled around the sun many times since she fed last – she is hungry, very hungry.
She does not see him first approach, she feels his footfall – she knows he is there. She rises slowly, closing on her quarry. She will wait, wait for him to step into the water, to take his ankle and drag him down. She will eat his soul and leave the bones and flesh to the river.
He does not enter the water, he stands and casts his lures, she grows impatient, her anger grows with each passing moment.
Then she is startled by a sudden movement above her, she feels the pressure of the water change and in her hatred she strikes. She takes the lure with such fury that the unwary angler slips, his clutch is too tight, the line does not yield - he slides down the grassy slope – and into the water.
With a flick of her mighty tail she is on him – teeth sunk into flesh. She turns and takes him to the deeps. All that remains a cap floating on the oily surface that turns, and slowly sinks.
However his soul is not like that of other men, it is not even the soul of a single man but that of many, they are fierce and full of their own passions – the souls of many anglers. She cannot bear their taste and she relinquishes her hold, the angler makes for the surface now far above him.
He swims free and scrambles to the shore – his trusty rod still clenched in his hand. He heaves and strains and turns the monster before she reaches sanctuary, he fights. The two souls are locked. Back and forth the battle rages, she takes the line – the angler regains it. It seems the war cannot be won and neither beast nor man can best the other. Long into the night they struggle. It is the soul of the angler which is stronger and little by little the leviathan tires, and by daylight the angler takes his prize.
Pikenstein strikes again!
Happy Halloween Folks
.A big thank you to Matt Holmes for working his magic with photoshop!