Back To ‘His Image’

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Truman’s dream came from an ancestral memory of when humans walked the earth. Before the great morph, and the changes in their anatomy that forced them to live under the sea.

He saw people walking in deserts, forests, mountain trails, and paved streets in massive cities. They were all able to breathe the sweet air they took for granted. It was before the gills started showing up in babies. Before fingers and toes were routinely webbed. It was in a time before mankind unleashed dooms-day bombs that nearly destroyed the planet and it’s inhabitants.

He didn’t question his dream. As usual, he just wished it was longer.

The ocean was a dangerous place, but twisted evolution made it even worse. When the first humans were forced to be water-dwellers they were confronted with monstrosities in the dark depths and quickly preyed upon. But as millions of humans morphed and banded together, they learned how to survive the terrors in seas across the planet.

Truman’s job in the colony he lived in was to provide food. He and many other “gatherers” constantly sought plants, and small forms of sea life, like crabs, lobsters, and oysters to feed the colony’s five thousand inhabitants. It was a daily job. A way of life. Part of the tapestry of their city under the sea.

After bringing back his daily quota, Truman spent most of his time exploring. Sometimes his friends came with him and they found ancient shipwrecks replete with artifacts in gold, silver, copper, and precious stones like diamonds and rubies. They would study them and admire how light danced through the diamonds as the lighting above beamed down through the depths and passed through them. They’d spend hours trying to figure out what the corroded pieces of metal were. Especially the massive metal tubes scattered near some wrecks. Without disturbing the artifacts they’d go back to their city. They were useless in the world Truman lived in.

The dreams started when he was eighteen years old.

The early dreams were like going to a school and learning simple lessons. As the years passed by, the messages became more complex and would puzzle him for days afterward. In the last year his dreams became a tour of another age. He saw humans with varied skin colors, but without scales like his. They built fantastic machines that flew in the sky and rumbled across the earth. They erected architectural wonders all over the world.

Truman jealously guarded his secret dream life. It was a wonderful escape from his dull existence. People would just laugh at him, and he didn’t want that. His temper could lead to getting him kicked out of the colony. That was a scary thought.

In the dream a man appeared and asked Truman questions. The odd thing was he was able to answer him! He temporarily felt a wave of nausea and then they were both standing on a beach. Truman started to panic when he realized he was out of the water, but the strange man reassured him it was okay. And, it was. Somehow he was able to breathe. He looked up and down the beach. It seemed endless. Turning away from the water he saw sand dunes leading to a garden. He knew what a garden was. He learned that lesson early on in his dreams.

“Do you want to explore?” the man asked.

“Can, I?” Truman hesitantly asked.

In spite of himself Truman woke up. His heart was still beating fast with anticipation. “Damn!” he muttered out loud.

Picking up his corral spear and knife, he slipped out of the common sleeping room and went in search of food. He was daydreaming and not paying attention when the mega shark appeared directly ahead of him! As fast as he was, there was no way he could out swim the massive creature. It’s four eyes, and the two tentacles that grew from its misshapen head with eyeballs on their ends, looked at him hungrily. He’d never been cornered before by a monster this large before. It’s sheer size was a horror to behold. He cleared his hunter’s mind and held the spear up and planted his web feet firmly. He held on as it pierced the largest eye on its head! The beast thrashed in agony and churned the water around so strongly he was flung to one side. His survival instinct urged him to swim in the opposite direction as fast as he could. It was an hour before he felt it was safe to come out of the cave he found in his flight. Despite what happened, he couldn’t go home yet and began looking for food.

The stranger came to him in his dream that night.

They were on the beach again. He was able to breathe air again. “How?” he asked.

“Those plugs in your nostrils and ears.

“Can we go to the garden?” Truman wondered.

“Yes, of course. Follow me.

As they walked through the beautiful garden with lush fruits hanging from trees, Truman asked where the animals were? The stranger smiled and said, “The construct isn’t complete yet. I have a lot of work yet to go. I’m reconstructing another age.”

 “Where is this?”

Somewhere between reality and the renaissance of the earth,” the stranger explained.

Have I died? Or, am I still dreaming?

“Dreaming…but some day…

Truman bolted upright and looked around the room. It was almost empty. Only a few sleepers remained. Once again he was disappointed that he wasn’t still dreaming. The stranger sounded so encouraging. He knew something special was happening and wanted to be part of it. Sighing, he got up and started his day.

Months passed by without The Dream. Truman was distraught. He no longer explored or hung out with his friends. He gathered his daily quota of food, then went off to be by himself.

The dream came back one night.

The stranger, whose white beard was longer than the last time he saw him, appeared weary, but satisfied.

The construct is nearly finished. Are you ready for a new life?”

“Yes!” Truman quickly answered.

“You still have the blood of the first man I created. And the soul of a good man. Now I give you the body of a true man,” the stranger said. “Welcome to paradise…Adam II.”

As It Stands, was mankind ready for redemption?

Man Overboard

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A very inebriated passenger on a cruise ship, Webster Wycoff, was walking on the upper deck one night when he lost his balance and went sailing over the railing and into the dark sea below.

His wife was asleep in their cabin when it happened. There was no one else who would miss him until the next day. The ship slipped away into the night. The shock of hitting the water instantly sobered him up as he swam back up to the surface. As he bobbed like a cork in a swimming pool, he watched the lights from the cruise ship dim, then disappear. He never felt so alone in his life than that moment.

All he knew was he was near the Bahamas. That was it. He looked up at the full moon and the stars sparkling brightly in the clear sky. All he could do was lay back and float. He didn’t have anything to cling onto to. A rising tide of panic overtook him, but he calmed himself down. Above all, he told himself, he was a survivor.

He tried not to think about what was swimming below him. Just the thought of a shark was enough to nearly paralyze him. He was one of the many viewer/victims of the movie “Jaws,” who forever afterwards dreaded sharks. Webster had no idea what kind of sharks were common where he was at. It didn’t matter. Any shark would scare the hell out of him.

To change his line of thinking he thought about his wife. They were on their honeymoon after getting married in southern California. Her name was Beth, and she was a nurse. It was because of her that he got out of the US Navy. She refused to be married to a man who would suddenly disappear for days at a time, and not know where he went, or if he’d come back. She didn’t want to be constantly worrying about him. So he retired after 15 years of service.

They had a big wedding, members from both sides of the family packed the hall they rented. After the wedding ceremony there was a joyous celebration. One of the many gifts they got was a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas. Mr. and Mrs. Wycoff were toasted numerous times.

He felt something big below him. Movement caused the water he was floating on to move slightly. He gently rolled over and ducked his head under the water to see what it was. Whatever it was, it kept going and didn’t bother to circle back and check him out. His relief was fleeting as he thought about the odds of being discovered. He was a needle in a haystack. A grain of sand on the beach. Years of training told him his shit had hit the fan, and there was little he could do about it.

A day passed, and he was still awake. Beneath the stars again. He was thirsty and discouraged when he bumped into a tangle of broken boards that looked to be part of a crude raft. Jagged boards of varying length, lashed together with rope, bobbed alongside of him. He grabbed onto them and managed to use them like a belly board, arms and legs overhanging. It was something. He was so tired that he fell asleep as he drifted with the currents.

He woke up under a glaring sun. He was only wearing a pair of shorts and a colored t-shirt. His exposed body parts were sunburned a cherry red and his lips were swollen. His mouth was so dry it was hard to swallow. What was he drinking when this happened? Awww yes…Irish whiskey. Nectar of the gods. What he would give for a bottle of water right now. It wouldn’t even have to be cold.

His thoughts became more jumbled as the day wore on. Three days later he was so desperate that he bit his arm. Savaging the wound until he was able to lick the blood that slowly seeped out. He tore a strip of his t-shirt off and bound the wound afterwards. He clung to sanity by a thin thread that night when something brushed his dangling leg! He looked down in time to see it was a great white!

It slowly circled him. He watched the fin break water like a mongoose transfixed by a Cobra’s stare. A deer blinded by the headlights. Something within Webster surfaced. A fighting spirit that would not allow him to go quietly into the night. When the shark struck, it rose out of the water displaying rows of sharp teeth and came down where he was! Webster had slipped off the boards. He bared his teeth and poked the monster in one of its eyes, pulping it instantly!

The water thrashed violently as Webster swam in the opposite direction. When he looked back over his shoulder he saw two fins in the water, but they weren’t pursuing him. They were attacking the shark he blinded in one eye. He turned away and concentrated on swimming as long as his strength allowed him. When he finally had to stop and tread water it was getting light.

For a moment he thought he was hallucinating. A small island lay directly ahead of him! With renewed strength he swam to it and crawled up onto the pristine white sand of the beach. He passed out just beyond the gently breaking waves in a shallow depression.

It was still light when he woke up. He was thirsty and hungry. Seeing the lush jungle about fifty yards away he forced himself to stand up. On wobbly legs he entered it and kept his eyes peeled for signs of water. When he saw the little freshwater stream he sobbed in gratitude. He drank too much water at first – even though his training had taught him not to – and vomited it back up. Eventually he got some water to stay down.

He was delighted to find coconuts and bananas, but he had to earn his meal by climbing up the trees for the precious fruit. In his weaked condition it took everything he had left to knock down enough fruit for a few meals.

Two days later while he was walking along the beach he saw a small plane. When it approached the island he waved his arms wildly and shouted for help. The plane circled around and wagged its wings in acknowledgement of his presence. Then it left! Stunned, Webster felt like he was gut shot! He was still sitting on the beach when a seaplane came into view. It gracefully landed in the water and the pilot waved at Webster, who had already ran out into the surf and began swimming towards the plane.

When he got aboard the pilot asked him if there was someone he wanted to radio a message to that he was alright? When he explained to the pilot who he was and what happened to him he contacted authorities. An hour later as Webster relaxed in the plane the pilot asked him, “Want to take a call from someone named Beth?” he asked with a sly smile.

“I’m fine,” he said, “as she cried out of relief on the other end. “Listen, I promise not to go island-hopping again without you. Okay?”

As It Stands, survivor stories have always made for a good read.

Sharky’s Story: A Tale Of Catch and Don’t Release

I’m real. I could be your neighbor.

The streets of New York are rivers stocked with fish/pedestrians from all over the planet.

They flow north and south during certain times of the day. The rivers going east and west are the busiest and best for hunting.

I am a fresh water shark stalking my prey every day. I know every little outlet and cove where my prey tries to hide. My predator blood boils when I sense fear. It’s like an intoxicant.

I see red. Then I drink the red. Then I go home and sleep soundly until my hunger awakens me again.

You should know that I’m not a vampire. That’s a supernatural being. I’m real. I could be your neighbor. I could be a greeter at Walmart. Or, your neighborhood Postman.

I like to play billiards. You’ll never guess what my nickname is at Al’s Pool Emporium. Give up?

It’s Sharky!

I use to be a sailor in the US Navy. That was years ago when I was still growing my shark teeth. They got sharper in every dream I had, until the day came when I got my first kill. It was swift and savage!

One moment I was talking to one of the ship’s cooks on the fantail, and the next I was choking him to death. What came next surprised even me. I bit his neck. Once, twice, three times, trying to pierce the skin to draw his still pumping blood.

But my teeth weren’t sharp enough. So I used the cook’s own pocketknife to slit his throat. I’ll never forget the awesome surge that coursed through my body when I sucked that thick hot blood from the open wound.

Afterwards, I tossed the body overboard.

That’s really when I became Sharky. The billiards thing came later.

I became a land shark when I got out of the Navy. I returned to my native waters in Manhattan and set up shop as a computer repair wiz. There turned out to be so much business, that I had to hire an assistant to keep up with it. Then another person.

Before I knew it, I had a nice office building with a dozen employees and was making a million dollars in my first year of business. It was all too easy. I grew bored with my success and hired someone to manage the business for me.

I was free to pursue other activities. Like swimming in the streets of New York in search of tasty fish.

I prepared for my prey this time by sharpening my front teeth – upper and lower – until they came to sharp little points. I disguised them with a set of false teeth that fitted tightly over them.

Sometimes I pick my victims at the pool hall. I never know who the catch will be. That’s the thrill of it. I could play pool with a dozen different people without knowing which one’s blood I get to taste that night.

When I feel more adventuresome, I silently swim through the schools of pedestrians on their way home from work, or towards those night-owls seeking entertainment in the theatre district.

It’s been like this for thirteen years. Right up until a clever group of cops caught me red-handed. Literally. So I’m sitting here in jail waiting to see what happens. It’s really boring.

That’s why I’m telling you my story.

Who knows what these fisherman of evil souls will do? As a shark, I expect no mercy. As a man, I’ll act crazy and see if that’ll save me.

As It Stands, this tale of  catch and don’t release, is a reminder that the mentally ill in America today need help…before horrible things like the shootings at Parkland High School in Florida happen again.