The Manta People and Their Grokloc

As the giant shark attacked, the Manta People fired back at her. Beams of red and green light fired from their guns. The shark grabbed a Manta Person and bit off the top of its body, then moved onto the next one. Three, four Mantas wore torn to shreds. But the Mantas kept firing and the Shark retreated. It turned and tried another attack, but the Mantas scared it off this time.

The surviving Mantas regrouped and began carrying me away. We went on for quite a while until land appeared beneath us. It was like a desert with small outcroppings of vegetation. We came upon their village with houses made from corral where hundreds of Manta People stood and watched me be brought in. They followed behind us as we came to the center of the village where my captors presented me before their King. “This will make a great sacrifice!”

Sacrifice? To who? To what? What were they going to do to me? “You can’t! I’m a human being! You can’t just kill me!”

The King looked right through me, as if I hadn’t said anything. “Take the sacrifice to the medicine woman! It must be prepared!” I was dragged toward a hut where an old Manta Woman waited. “No!” she cried, bursting out the door. “You cannot bring that thing in here!”

“It is the sacrifice,” one of the guards said.

“I know what it is better than you, boy!” she growled. “It is empowered with evil magics! If you bring that thing into my hut, we will all be killed!”

“But the sacrifice!”

She cackled. “The Grokloc will want to eat this raw! Take that thing from my home before it corrupts everything!” As they started dragging me away, she yelled “Begone foul creature!”

All the villagers watched from a safe distance as I was dragged in front of a large cave. Its entrance was massive! The entrance was big enough to fit twenty elephants through at the same time. I was sure this Grokloc was not anywhere near that size. It couldn’t be. Nothing was that big.

And then the ground shook and trembled. Another shake, one after the other. A cheer rose up from the Manta People. I could see the King step forward. He raised his hands up the “Grokloc comes! It comes to accept the sacrifice!”

There was a loud roar that shook the ground beneath me. I looked back at the massive cave and the Grokloc appeared. It was larger than I could ever imagine. The Grokloc took up every inch of the cave’s mouth, replacing it with its own. It’s mouth was all teeth and darkness. It’s bicuspids were bigger than I was. I was no meal for this monster, just a quick snack. It could swallow me whole.

I tried to stand, but the net was too small. I tried to move but it was too restrictive. I tried to tear it apart, but it was too strong. I was stuck. I could inch my way away, but that could never be fast enough. Not even running would have gotten me far enough away from this monster.

Then the Manta People began to chant. “Grokloc! Grokloc!” The giant beast roared. The people were getting worked up and so was the monster. The monster opened its gaping maw, pools of saliva dripping down its mouth, but then one of the Manta People let out an outraged scream. I didn’t dare turn, but the lone scream led way to more as the chants died down. They raised such ruckus that it even drew the Grokloc’s attention. Only then did I dare glance back and I was surprised by what I saw. We were being attacked by a swarm of sharks!

The Manta People began to panic. Many of them ran away, but not all of them. There were more than enough left to fight the sharks. Unfortunately, that still left me with the Grokloc. It roared again and a took a thunderous step forward right toward me. Once more and then it was right on top of me. My heart stopped as I looked up at the creature’s mouth. If it snorted and I would fly up its throat.

But instead of swallowing me whole, the monster continued onwards. It roared as it chased after the shark swarm. I dove away as its house-sized foot came slamming down besides me. And then came its next set of feet then its third pair!

And then the Grokloc began moving back and forth. I had to get out of there or I’d be squashed flat, but I was still in the net! I couldn’t run fast enough to get through. All I could do was try to avoid them. One would slam from one way, then another would come the other. It was only a matter of time before I was accidentally squished beneath the behemoth’s toes, but then I saw my time was up. A shark had made its way past the monster and now it was coming right for me!

I tried to run, but I was still trapped in the net and even if I could run where would I run? The Grokloc’s feet were stomping all around, whichever way I went I could me trampled on. Not that I had much time to think, the shark was coming at me quickly with its mouth wide open. I could see it’s rows of sharp teeth as it got closer and closer. And then it was upon me, its mouth almost engulfing me. All I could do was squeeze my eyes closed as the giant shark bit down.

to be continued…

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