Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leviathan: A Dream Fragment

Extra Casolaro related material. This is not directly related to the 64 stories, but represents the beginning of a second chapter after those stories. 

Dr. Erik Vondeer, acclaimed marine biologist, known for his seminal papers on distribution of sea kraits on the Great Barrier Reef and the evolution of chondrophores in the Indian Ocean among other works, hunter of deep sea creatures, surly lonely old man that some were now calling kook landlocked at a mid-sized midwestern college known more for basketball feats than what its grizzled old professors are conjuring up with their stale labyrinthine minds, woke from his recurring dream, ready to bounce from his lonesome bed over to his bedroom desk and write notes in his journal, as he’s been doing for years now, the “journal” itself not just one book but a collection of them, the ever-expanding library of what has been his life’s thoughts and dreams.  His recurring dream was as such: he’s on an expedition boat somewhere in the seas, the landscape changing from, in no particular recurring order, the icy cliffs of Antarctica, the sunny smooth surface of the south Pacific, the raging cold waters of the North Sea with oil platforms the statues of modern civilizations off in the distance, the green and rocky Grecian coastlines with the ancient crumbling buildings and monuments secluded on hilltops or partially hidden by untamed green growth and some of the residue of dead civilizations still lurking beneath the waters, the Galapagos Islands a litter of rocks like a mouth of broken teeth, generic night time waters that could be anywhere, a full moon illuminating eerily still waters that suddenly erupt into tossing storms, the very stability of the ship called into question, the craft itself on the verge of being shattered into thousands of shards and scattered in the waters.  He’s the captain of the ship, and he’s surrounded by dozens in his crew, the faces constantly changing; and in some iterations of the dream, the crew are not providing physical boat assistance but rather are reading passages from the Book of Job, may those who curse days curse that day…can you fill his hide with harpoons…here is the ocean vast and wide, teeming with life of every kind…and Melville’s tome, the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, from hell’s heart I stab at thee, all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain.  Eventually bodies go flying off the deck into the sea; voices say, where is the great—don’t say it, he’ll scream, catching a mouth of salt water, don’t say the word, and then what will appear to be a land mass springing from the ocean’s floor, bursting through the water’s plane will become the thing he has long sought, the thing that has many appearances, many faces.  A massive shark, a prehistoric megalodon launching itself in the air with a cave for a mouth; a kraken with dozens of tentacles that are whipping in the air, snagging hapless crew members and tossing them about, itself posing for an early nineteenth century type of drawing that would be used in a natural history treatise; a sea serpent, a serpentine dragon with evil red eyes that rises high above the ship’s mast.  A unique, gigantic prehistoric monster that has managed to survive eons in the depths, or a mythological creature that is real and is an eternal dweller in the seas, or a variation of a presently existing marine apex predator that is afflicted with some sort of gigantism, or a heretofore unknown species that, despite being one of the largest creatures on the face of the earth, has escaped detection for centuries.  The thing that he has been searching for his entire life now, both in his academic work and mind, and that he believes must be out there in the world’s seas somewhere lurking in its darkest depths, the vast terrain not yet explored.  This iteration of the dream presented something new; whereas usually he stands on the ship’s deck, frozen in awe of the emerged creature and waits as if a sacrificial virgin to be destroyed by the attacking beast and waking just before it happens, here he waited and the beast spoke, saying in a roaring metal-grinding growl, “I’ve been searching for you,” just before he woke. 

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