Once upon a time, sharks flew across the sky and what a sight it was!
Hue — the painter produced the finest painting of his life while Click — the photographer captured an inspiring shot. Bard — the poet crafted the most memorable couplet of his life.
Finally, Cloe decided that something must be written on the beauty of this view as well and Cryptr was hired to write an awe-inspiring piece on the magnificent scene.
In short, everyone was so busy in imprisoning the moment that they failed to notice the happenings that unfolded next. Had it not been for a small girl standing on the shore, the vanishing act of the sharks would have remained a secret. However, as it so happened, Zaph — a 6-year-old, inquisitive girl witnessed and reported the incident.
“MYSTERIOUS VANISHING ACT OF FLYING SHARKS, REPORTED BY A KID”
The headlines of the newspaper next day were definitely far from routine.
“Mommy, where did they go”, asked the little girl from her visibly shaken mother.
“Now, now dear”, her mother had replied, “Sharks do not simply vanish into thin air. I wish you had not inherited that ghastly imagination from your father’s side. Sometimes you talk exactly your Aunt Muriel and God forbid she is 26 and unmarried. What a disgrace!”
Hogwash, thought the little girl, the sharks had definitely gone to some place fun and mommy just simply do not want me to go there. I will find the place though.
20 YEARS LATER at THE SHARK’S CLUB
Shuh shuh shuh
A woman with a perfect hourglass figure was swimming in a corridor that was full of water. Suddenly she stopped in front of a room as a tingling sensation engulfed her. She inhaled and an acrid metallic smell welcomed her nostrils.
Blood… raw blood. She realized.
I will probably just throw up, she thought but she could not give up now. She had waited and worked for 1.75×10^5 hours to prove to her mother that all of it had been real and she was not going to let it slip through her hands now, even when what she saw was more disturbing than her mother’s demeanour. The scene was shocking enough to rob anyone of their senses — a group of sharks were playing poker in one corner while the others were tangoing. The dancing made them look even scarier than their usual appearances.What really made her hair stand on end was what they were eating — steaks — human steaks! She knew this was the place the mysterious sharks had come to when they had vanished 20 years ago. She could see a portal in the room and every now and then, sharks were zapping in and out of it..
She fumbled with her shapeless bag for her digital camera and found it after a while. It was waterproof. Holding tightly on to it, she took several shots. Some were vivid enough to serve her purpose and satisfied by her efforts, she decided to call it a day and swim away from the lair of danger. Her oxygen/nitrogen mixture was depleting fast and she knew she must hurry up to reach her crew in time in order to avoid detection by the shark bodyguards protecting this mysterious underwater club.
However, before she could so much as take a step, she saw 50 rows of teeth. She was tempted to swim right inside her.
Is that a smile or…? Her thought just trailed off as she heard the deep manly voice.
“Henrie I smell a human”, declared the most handsome Shark sitting on the throne, “Catch the prey, bring me some fresh food and do not forget to play with the prey!”
She was caught and tied soon. You cannot out swim a fish, for god’s sake.
“We are about to eat you, Miss”, said one of the sharks.
Now they are stating the obvious, thought Zaph. Finally, they told her to sign a document, which was written in proper English. This was an educated lot. She read the document. It was an undertaking:
Dear future Homo sapiens,I, a breathing human of my time, confess to have brought the wrath of nature upon you and myself. All your miseries are a direct manifestation of my careless liberties with the Mother Earth. Now all the creatures are raging a war on you because of my atrocities. I pray you lose.Yours not-so-truly,A loathsome human.
Zaph blinked in disbelief.
“I’m not like the others, Sir”, she began but had no idea what name to use for addressing the gigantic shark sitting in front of her. He bared his teeth giving her a clear view of his power. Struck by inspiration she said, “Sir Mighty Fangs, you are the owner of the best and the sharpest cutters in the world. May all the fine edges of the strongest swords turn blunt in the face of your fangs. Please, let me go and I promise I will work for your cause.”
There was a pause.
“She is a human and they are naturally shrewd and cunning creatures”, counselled one of the sharks.
“You should not mind planting a spy among my kind.”
“You must return our photographs”, said one of the Keeper sharks and snatched away Zaph’s life work away from her.
Reluctantly, they relented to let her go.
“Look at how your double chins are showing in this picture, boss”, chuckled the Counsellor shark as he commented on one of the photographs captured by Zaph.
That was the last she had heard of the Shark world.
A FEW YEARS LATER
“Zaph dear, eat some. It is just fish you know.” Aunt Muriel was saying.
She replied with a “No, thanks.” It has been a while since she had been declining such invitations. Every time when she even pretended to dig into any form of meat — red, white, or any other, her knife would break. Apparently, the curse was real.
Dissuading her Aunt, however, was not easy, she realized after being tempted to relish the seafood for the third time.
Zelda — a Venus flytrap was growing nearby but Zaph did not notice its presence even when it caught a spider and emulsified it with its digestive juices. The vicious plant communicated something to the cultivar thriving nearby. The news broke fast.
“So she thinks we’re delicious?” said the old Mr. Elm.
“I would love to show her my delectability”, said the Cactus.
The Story was originally published on Medium