The Kraken (#14)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XIV. A Faithful Flight

Observing her in silence but for sound of griffin breath,

They recognized her dignity, still beautiful in death.

Then Galen looked up pleadingly, cheeks marked by frozen tears.

His mentor looked much younger now, despite his many years.

 

He spoke with sensitivity. “Somehow, your faith is weak.

In giving you some time to grieve, I’ve taken time to speak.

Compared to what should really be, our efforts are but jest.

Now you must meet the One who can perform beyond your best,

 

“One who appears in many forms, a king without a crown.”

As he expounded on the ice, more griffins circled down.

With that, the prophet used his robe to wrap the corpse in white.

“This struggle is not over yet. If you have will to fight,

 

“You’ll take this precious bundle to complete what you’ve begun.

Now get you to the South and East to meet the rising sun.

Take no time to deliberate or question what I say.

So off with you. Be on your flight. Your griffin knows the way.”

 

Through twilight’s gloam, in haste they flew, but Galen was confused.

He held the dead weight to his chest as silently he mused.

He felt no hope or sorrow then or anything between.

This errand seemed to be in vain. What could the prophet mean?

 

Obedience was dearly learned. He would not stray again.

Had he not conquered in a fight no mortal man should win?

The glory of the day before had faded into night.

The goal of present faithfulness was hidden from his sight.

 

They came to rest upon a ridge beneath a graying sky,

And, standing by his escort, he heard flutterings nearby.

Like blades of grass that stand in such profusion on a lawn,

Were countless griffins seen to swarm the hill by light of dawn.

 

As if on cue or high command, by instinct or by choice,

They raised their eagle heads and screamed together with one voice,

And to this cry responding, as if not to be outdone,

A griffin larger than them all flew outward from the sun,

 

Its brightly colored plumage set on wings of awesome span.

As fine a sight as ever was beheld by eyes of man,

The Griffin King flew closer. Galen nearly lost control

But held his ground before the eyes that stared into his soul.

 

Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread

But never moved its gaze from Galen’s face, it must be said.

The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown,

And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

The Kraken (#13)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XIII. The Battle

For hours they waited on the ice and watched the Kraken’s hole

As Galen hungered to avenge the beauty that it stole.

His older friend, beholding the frustration on his face,

Took hold of him. “Stay true,” he said. “This is the proper place.”

 

Their griffins also rested there. No fear did they display.

In time of greatest danger, they would simply fly away

And hover well above the fray, then, faithful to their call,

Return to take the heroes home, unbothered by it all.

 

It seemed that nothing happened, then it seemed that nothing would

While Galen tried to reckon what his teacher understood.

He found that he was standing where impatience fears to tread,

Where times of great excitement first by boredom must be fed.

 

As patience is rewarded in some unexpected way,

The ice began to vibrate. Then the ice began to sway

As from the edge, and looking down to see where he should go,

The hunter saw his target’s head appear from down below.

 

The eyes he sought were rising only feet from where he stood.

He felt the handle in his hands and tightly gripped the wood.

In one quick thrust, the implement was driven through the foam.

With discipline, he found his mark and drove the spearhead home.

 

The ice exploded with such force that Galen flew aloft

And landed certain yards from there on something somewhat soft.

The old man underneath him laughed, delighted by it all.

“You did it, boy! Despite my pain, I’m glad to break your fall!”

 

The two men, still disguised in white and trapped upon the flows,

Observed the Kraken thrash and bleed, imperiled by its throes.

The suctioned arms still rose and fell to crash upon the ice.

The section where they bowed and kneeled was nearly capsized twice.

 

One slimy arm caught Galen’s calf, and then he felt it slip,

When upward came more tentacles with something in their grip.

The Kraken died as Galen gasped. He recognized the face,

Lost love, once seen from pirate’s mast, still locked in dead embrace.

 

The two men worked with labored breath, made steamier by toil,

And used their spears with urgency to free her from the coil.

Then reaching into frigid sea, they pulled on her with care

To drag her from her ocean grave and out into the air.

 

And as the heat of battle through our heroes’ veins still burned,

They heard the sound of screech and wing. The griffins had returned.

Though vengeance had been satisfied, the deed was incomplete.

The men beheld the sorry sight now laid before their feet.

To be continued next Thursday…dot…dot…dot!!

By Robert L. Jones, III, at Pneumythology

The Kraken (#12)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XII. Departure

The morning came when all was done. No task the prophet gave,

Save breakfast, which he barely touched. His countenance was grave.

And Galen’s pulse was quickened then.. His chest began to heave.

He knew just by his master’s look that it was time to leave.

 

“The time has come, “the prophet said and took him by the arm.

“Be carefully attentive lest we come to major harm.

There is more than one aspect to this problem to be solved.

Tomorrow, when the sun is set, this part will be resolved.

 

“Of course,” he paused, “wear proper dress, and don this garment here.

Despite our plan, the Kraken’s speed might best you, and I fear

You’d meet your end within its coils if not for this disguise.

One dressed in white upon the ice stays hidden from its eyes.”

 

Then quickly Galen slipped the robe on top of what he wore

But asked, “However shall we go with no boat on the shore?”

His elder went to fetch the saddles hanging on the wall

And gathered spears. Then, with a rope, he tied and bundled all.

 

He said, “I know your heart is set on striking out by sea,

Yet, nonetheless, we shall proceed as safely as can be.

No vessel born of human hands can breach the Kraken’s lair.

No ship that plies the sea is safe, but these will take us there.”

 

And as he stepped outside the door and pointed overhead,

A flock of griffins landed, calling shrieks to raise the dead.

With eagle’s front and lion’s haunch, and terrible in shape,

Each one arrested Galen’s eyes and held his mouth agape.

 

The wise man held the saddles out in effort to explain.

“Be calm. You should be thankful for the speed that we will gain.

There are no reins. You use your arms to balance as you sit.

The saddles only they allow. Their beaks refuse the bit.”

 

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed

In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.

All through the night and into dawn, the expedition flew

To find a world of gray and white had entered into view,

 

A frozen sea encrusted with the ice of broken flows,

Pale, jagged blossoms grown from seeds the deadly tempest sows.

Calm water in an open space was ringed by icy crags,

Bare, lofty, snow blown pinnacles on which the north wind snags.

 

The griffins banked and steered their course to land near water’s edge

And skidded on the hoary frost to stop along a ledge.

“Unpack your spears,” the prophet said, “before it grows too late.”

He added with severity, “It’s here that we must wait.”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken (#11)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XI.  The Forge

For months, they raised the smithy walls, the roof and furnace made,

And gathered  iron rods and bars of proper strength and grade.

The prophet said, “Convert these, now, to something that will fit

Your chosen purpose and your needs. Your life depends on it.

“The spear must reach beneath the waves to pierce the Kraken’s hide.

The handle must be stout enough, the spearhead sharp and wide.

Now make it long and tempered well before you go to sleep.

You’ll need a shaft that’s straight and strong and arms to drive it deep.

“Tomorrow, we will take the first and put it to the test,

And if all goes accordingly, I’ll have you make the rest.”

The bellows breathed. The furnace roared. The pounding hammer rang

As if beneath its heavy blows the glowing metal sang,

And when the blade with water had been tempered properly,

The finished work, in grim detail, was quite a sight to see.

To punctuate this night of toil, there dawned a morning clear.

Hours later, in the sunlight, Galen proudly showed his spear.

His mentor nodded thoughtfully as one who understands.

He checked the balance of the spear and turned it in his hands.

“What you have made is good,” he said. “It has a killing feel

And, for the pain within you heart, capacity to heal.

“As I have said to you before, you’ll need some more to take.

Observe the pattern carefully, and faithful copies make.”

So Galen labored patiently and set his fury loose

In fashioning sufficient spears and practicing their use.

 

He held each to the anvil as his hammer sang its song,

And as he built this arsenal, his arms grew thick and strong.

When sun was down, the hour befell to rectify his mind

And listen to his teacher to discern what he might find.

Rehearsing lessons written down by help of candlelight,

He lay in bed to contemplate the stillness of the night.

In righteousness, he thought to pay the grudges that he bore,

Smiled at the Kraken’s ignorance of what he had in store.

His days repeated in this way till one night he surmised

There was a solitary fact by which he’d been surprised.

In finding satisfaction with the things his hands had made,

He found he could appreciate his father’s chosen trade.

His labor substituted for a hunter’s vanity,

Each blow was struck to hammer out the past’s insanity.

With sweating brow, he put behind the sting of youthful sin

And filled his heart with humble pride, a blacksmith once again.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken #9

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

IX. The Prodigal

In horror, Galen climbed the mast as high as he could go.

It quickly slipped beneath the waves. He fought the undertow.

Then as the deadened ship went down, a living orca came

In black and white with fearsome maw. Somehow it seemed quite tame

 

Though wild and unpredictable, in nature so complete.

As it approached, it lowered first and nudged at Galen’s feet.

By faith, he clambered on its back and held its dorsal fin.

They swam out of the undertow that tried to pull him in.

 

His deadly ride with power coursed across the northern sea

And bore him toward a place of undisclosed identity.

They travelled on for many days and then for some days more

Until the orca shook him off and pushed him to the shore.

 

He recognized the rocky coast, the cottage walls in white,

The person gazing back at him with look of stern delight.

He had not seen that wizened face for seven years, at least.

From obligation to return he had not been released.

 

His misadventures of the past careened within his brain.

He’d seen enough of tragedy to drive some men insane,

And as he kneeled and fought the surf, now sadder, not yet wise,

An undetermined stare betrayed the fire behind his eyes.

 

The prophet eyed him carefully. “I know where you have been,

To take your vengeance on a beast with help of doubtful men.

There was no time to do this right the first time that you tried,

But you have failed. The Kraken lives, and you have nearly died.

 

“Despite your humble circumstance and passion long denied,

I see some future benefit. Now here you will abide

To grow in strength and courage and to train your faculties

To trust in unseen help and learn to calm these troubled seas.

 

“An unclean vessel drew you forth. A better drew you back,

Authentic in its name, supplied to give you what you lack.

I see you have sufficiently been baptized by the sea.

Instead of striking forth alone, you should have come to me.”

 

The wayward man unsteadily arose to gain his feet,

Reluctantly, respectfully, his former friend to greet.

He stood and wavered, scarce could walk, not knowing what to say,

But there was peace between them both in fading light of day.

 

He staggered forward as a child, his elder within reach,

And longed to hear the principles that wiser men might teach.

Collapsing in the prophet’s arms, his vision now in doubt,

He managed but the faintest smile then groaned while passing out.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!!

The Kraken (#8)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?) 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones, III ( check it out at Pneumythology)

VIII. Their Just Desserts

The captain was a wicked man who took his crew to task.

He kept the cheer he’d shown ashore contained within his flask,

Capriciously applied the lash to undeserving backs,

And spurred his vessel on along its chosen ocean tracks.

 

They worked the shipping lanes to find their merchandise at sea.

The Orca was a brigand ship intent on piracy.

All profits were contested first then split among the ranks,

But none would be for proper trade or kept in proper banks.

 

The holds were bare upon this trip. No raid had been as yet.

Too late did Galen know his plight once caught up in their net.

Repenting of impatience, he maintained a solemn fast

And put up the appearance of a spotter in the mast.

 

Neglecting to cry out, he spied a distant ship or two

And let them pass. It was his luck no other shipmate knew.

One day he gave a signal. There was no approaching storm,

But dark beneath the surface moved an undulating form

 

Of massive size. In consequence, they sounded more alarms.

The hardest pirates feared their fates within the Kraken’s arms.

With sails drawn slack and cannon down, the boat began to drift.

Keen eyes were peeled upon the waves to see what shape might lift.

 

The watchmen at the bow first saw the dim, primeval sign.

Two giant, round, unblinking eyes stared upward through the brine.

Just then, cries sounded from the stern in warning of a trap,

Long tentacles in tight embrace that made the timbers snap.

 

In spreading, inky camouflage, the surface waves were oiled.

With serpentine appendages, the darkened waters boiled.

So as a sword but one third drawn and two thirds in the sheath,

The Kraken writhed above the waves with twice more underneath.

 

The shattered ship was sinking low. The Kraken held it fast

And killed the crew in minutes, save for Galen in the mast,

And as the hull was pulled below, the mast alone still stood,

A crucifix above the sea, scant shelter for the good.

 

The Kraken then released its grip once filled with evil men.

Seen from above, it seemed to grow, thus fed on mortal sin,

While Galen, from his tilting perch gaped at the floating mass,

For in a coil of tentacle, he saw his true love pass,

 

A deathly pale upon her face, once radiant by day.

Her comely corpse through many years had suffered no decay.

The hair that once the wind had swept by water now was combed.

Her captor pulled her out of sight as to the deep it homed.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#7)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones, III ( check it out at Pneumythology)

VII. The Wrong Lot

 

In some odd way, impassioned youth, so hungry and so lean,

Can concentrate on final goals and miss the steps between.

Romance and proud adventure holding sway in Galen’s head,

He dreamed of reputation made and wished the Kraken dead.

 

It seems he didn’t think it out but moved instinctively

And wandered toward the siren song emitting from the sea.

As from the hills and forests green his journey led him down,

He headed not to prophet’s house but toward a harbor town.

 

A dismal place it seemed to be, as day began to fade,

Since rumors of the Kraken had inhibited its trade.

One building there was gaily lit. It’s doors were open wide.

The tavern called invitingly, and Galen stepped inside.

 

With savings earned, he purchased ale and sat down on a bench.

The barmaid came by presently, a fair and strapping wench.

She said, “The coins within your purse will purchase what you please.”

She pointed to his empty mug. “I’ll fetch one more of these.”

 

“Yes, do that,” laughed a husky voice and then another two.

“This patron bears the look of one with better things to do.”

Then Galen, turning toward the voice that he might better know,

Saw laughing over hearty brew a dozen men or so.

 

The chief among their company held forth with rousing wit

While, motioning with roughened hand, he bade the young man sit.

Gray stubble grew upon his jaw. A scar was on his cheek.

A wily look was in his eye, and, oh, how he could speak!

 

By such approach, the blacksmith’s son was quickly taken in

And joined the conversation of those rugged sailing men.

He heard their tales and sang their songs. He laughed and carried on.

The drinking followed round on round. His money soon was gone.

 

The Kraken swam within his mind till, pricked by guilt and doubt

Along with curiosity, the novice blurted out,

“How would your ship defend itself in case of an attack?”

With humorous indignity, the captain answered back,

 

“My ship has ample cannon, powder stored upon its shelves

With cutlasses and pistols. We can take care of ourselves.”

And Galen, in his addled state forgetting what he knew,

Grinned as the room began to spin and said, “Your ship will do.”

 

He next awoke by light of day upon a rolling deck,

With swollen tongue, unfocused eyes, and stiffness in his neck.

A harsher voice than he had heard the merry night before

Yelled, “On your feet, and get to work! Do what we pay you for!”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#6)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?) 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones III (check it out at Pneumythology)

VI. The Apprenticeship

The night was spent with further conversation, food, and sleep.

When morning came, the boy set out with promises to keep.

His friend called out a proverb, enigmatic in its way,

“Expected change will surely come when night turns into day,

 

“And though you think this tragedy as bad as it can get,

If you will hearken to me, you will come by comfort yet

To know the situation isn’t what it seems to be.

The Kraken can obscure, but never feed on, purity.”

 

As Galen walked back toward his home along the stony beach,

Though none appeared, he thought he heard a flock of eagles screech

A cry unbound by space and time, its timbre sharp and shrill,

Much like a trumpet’s battle call when sounded from a hill.

 

He turned to face the rising land, his back against the tide.

His winding path led through the hills and to his father’s side.

The good man chuckled at the news delivered by his son

That, of the trades he might have tried, he’d settled on this one.

 

Not knowing whether such a choice was by the boy’s device,

He said, “We’ll both give this a try, but start with this advice.

Though I don’t know the final goal on which your hopes are set,

Be durable and sure of hand. You’ll make a blacksmith yet.”

 

Comparing to his father’s build, his own was rather small,

But, owing to inheritance, he’d grow both broad and tall.

For seven years, he labored hard to learn his father’s trade,

And, with the passing of each one, the prophet’s words would fade.

 

By rambling thoughts of gallantry was Galen much amused.

About the daily sweat and toil he seemed much less enthused.

One day, while working at the forge, his father’s arms went slack.

He turned and spoke these solemn words while straightening his back,

 

“My son, you’ve grown and served me well. Regardless of your plan,

The time has come to make your way. Go forth. You are a man.”

He paid his wages, hugged his neck, but neither of them knew

That, once the son was gone, the father’s life would soon be through.

 

The end would come while Galen was constrained upon a ship,

Commissioned by mistaken choice, a nearly fatal slip.

With freedom gained and body strong, it’s typical that he

Forgot the prophet’s sayings of what he was meant to be.

 

A little truth can lead astray such youthful confidence.

He still retained his childish zeal but wanted common sense.

His pockets full of silver coins, away from home he turned,

From father’s trade and prophet’s way, from skills and lessons learned.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#5)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones III (check it out at Pneumythology)

V.  The Prophet’s Home

Far up the coast, a cottage stood, white-walled beneath the sun,

And though the boy did not know why, he broke into a run.

Some hidden force had drawn him forth and drew him faster still.

He moved by sense of atmosphere as children often will.

 

He slowed his pace once he approached that house along the shore,

Stopped, then, proceeding cautiously, peered through the open door.

This place was curious, he thought, to see the sum of it,

A dwelling marked by common things, but some things didn’t fit.

 

A garden uphill from the surf provided meager fare,

And flocks of sea gulls combed the rocks and drifted in the air.

The domicile had hearth and bed but neither trough nor stall,

Nor any horse for miles around, yet saddles on the wall.

 

Beside the hearth, an old man sat, his eyes reflecting flame,

And since the boy had stared awhile, looked up and did the same.

A studied look was on his brow. In thought, he stroked his beard.

At length, when he addressed his guest, his countenance was cheered.

 

“Please state your name. Your face is strange. Your look I think I know.”

“My name is Galen,” he replied. “I know not where to go

Or what to do. Since days ago, my heart with grief is torn,

An empty ache within my chest, not felt since I was born.

 

“My eyes still redden with the tears, distraught by what they saw.”

He next relayed the incident in trembling and in awe.

The old man listened carefully, then once the lad was through,

He nodded contemplatively and smiled as if he knew.

 

“I lead a life of solitude. I wait on man and God,

Complaining not and wanting not, nor should I find it odd

That, of the great men of the earth, a lad should come to me.

Come in. Find solace by my fire, and learn the prophecy.

 

“This curse from undersea proves such a complicated test.

A simple and courageous mind will learn to solve it best.

With love denied, yet naught to lose, and fierceness in his heart,

A boy will grow into a man to learn the sacred art.

 

“All tangled problems must trace back through branches to their source.

Their tentacles join but one head. There concentrate your force.

Then morbid love revives again beneath the warming sun.

Make strong your arms, and count the cost to be the chosen one.

 

“Tomorrow, homeward make your way. Obey your father’s will.

Despise no task. Explore each path that finds your feet until

You come to me by his own leave with arms and pockets full

That I might try the character abiding in your skull.”

 TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#3)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones III (check it out at Pneumythology)

III. The Maiden By The Sea

Embodied now in flesh and blood, the lovely sight excelled

His prior expectations and opinions that he held.

His eyes had never looked upon or even understood

Such lithe and graceful comeliness, such perfect womanhood.

 

Her features bore the radiance of clearest northern skies

With hints of sunrise in her hair and sea mist in her eyes.

Cold winds had neither blown upon a form so pure and fair

Nor sung so strange a melody as played within her hair.

 

With nimble steps, she walked the shore, an enigmatic sign,

A creature so impossible to label or define.

Was she a common villager, one born of humble stock,

Or manifest divinity with secrets to unlock?

 

Such questioning consumed his thoughts. Her presence moved him so.

Her look reflected mysteries impossible to know.

Some sort of understanding passed from woman back to boy.

His reason searched for older words his ardor might employ.

 

The silence grew unbearable. The tension left him weak.

The maiden looked with furrowed brow as if prepared to speak,

But her expression then went blank. A faint smile crossed her lips.

She looked down contemplatively, her hands upon her hips.

 

Her suitor took a timid step, as awkward as could be,

And she, in turn, moved back a bit, although reluctantly.

So then he stopped, and so did she. This funny circumstance

Proceeded back and forth awhile, a cautionary dance.

 

Her gentle shoulders shrugged a little every now and then

She smiled at him and looked away, but soon looked back again.

He sensed her recognition then and loved her more because,

This lady had accepted him despite how young he was.

 

Still glancing back, she turned away, still silent as before,

To wander several feet from him, now drawn by ocean’s roar.

Upon a rocky point she stood, ten feet above the waves.

The white caps peaked like headstones marking long-forgotten graves.

 

Not far offshore, but twenty yards, the sea began to foam.

Then, instantly, a web of flesh broke surface like a dome.

Dark tentacles, like living whips, shot forward with a crack,

Enclosed the maiden in their coils, and quickly drew her back.

 

Her fading cry to no avail, she flew away from shore.

The moment lasted but a breath and not a second more.

She disappeared beneath the waves while, running to the bluff,

The only witness was this boy whose best was not enough.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)