i was driving my yacht when i saw the man, arms flapping wildly in the water. he couldn’t have been anything but drowning. gripping my wheel i turned as sharply as i could, veering the vessel towards his cries for help. as soon as i was close enough i ripped the keys out of the ignition and, without a second thought, dove headfirst into the freezing waters. i let instincts take over as i powered towards him, knowing that every second i wasted could be his last. after what felt like forever i reached him, pulling his arm around me so i could keep him afloat. i began paddling towards the direction of the yacht, and as i did he began coughing.
"thank god you got here when you did. i can’t swim."
"neither can i," i replied.
"wha-" he began coughing again.
"ahaha i’m just fucking with you dude," i quickly assured him. "don’t have a heart attack."
"you damn near killed me after saving me," he sputtered.
we had reached the yacht by then and i quickly pulled him up as fast as i could. coughing, we both collapsed on the floor and after a while we were both laughing.
"what the hell were you doing out here without a boat?" i asked after we caught our breath.
"i was hunting," he replied.
i glanced around at the water surrounding us. it seemed to go on forever. civilization was miles away. i slowly turned back to him. something about the way he looked back didn’t seem right.
"hunting?" i asked. "around here? what exactly is there to hunt out here?"
suddenly he lunged at me, letting loose an inhuman scream. i felt every fighting chance i had fly out of me as he barreled into my torso. i saw stars as my head slammed against the floor. pinning both of my arms down, he threw his head back and screamed again, triumphant.
as my vision cleared, i got my first real look at what i had saved. its skin was no longer the tan color it was just moments ago. instead it had taken on a bluish tint, with faint scale-like indentations growing more and more visible with each passing moment. its eyes were completely pitch black, gleaming as it let out a throaty laugh.
"my family will wonder where i went," i gasped.
"they’ll find my boat."
it snarled. i opened my mouth to try and reason with it again but before i could it threw open its jaws, shooting out a barbed tongue. i screamed as it sank into my left shoulder. i could feel it hitting bone. adrenaline kicked in then, sending me into full survival mode. i shot my knee straight into its midsection as hard as i could and was rewarded with a grunt of pain. it ripped its tongue out of me and i swung my good arm right at its face, feeling it go numb as i connected. it rolled off and i scrambled to my feet.
i knew if i stayed on the boat i would die, which meant there was only one way to go. ignoring the searing pain in my shoulder i ran to the railing and threw myself off. for the second time that day i felt the freezing cold water surround me as i struggled to remain afloat. my left arm was completely useless, which meant i had to swim using only my right. the water stung my wound, and as i chanced a look back i could see the trail of blood i was leaving behind. the creature had gotten its bearings now. i heard a scream rip through the air as it climbed over the railing and dove into the water.
suddenly it hit me that i would die, if not by the hands of that thing then by blood loss. i had always wondered what i would do if i was faced with death but now that the moment had come my mind was completely blank. all i could do was watch as it swam closer and closer. i was in a pool of my own blood now, my vision swimming as i grew weak. it reached me then and i closed my eyes, preparing to feel its jaws sink into my flesh. suddenly i heard another laugh.
"i’m just fucking with you dude. i only eat shrimp."
the last words i heard before i blacked out were “don’t have a heart attack.”