The Vampire Squid From Hell

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Hell’s ninth circle,

Cocytus,

was very different from the previous eight-

marked by eternal darkness,

freezing cold,

and pervasive lonesomeness.

Denied contact,

denied comfort,

denied death,

all within are peers,

with Earth’s

worst-of-the-worst,

as even the Devil himself

shares this fate.

In the ocean,

in depths so great,

not even light reaches,

lives Vampyroteuthis Infernalis:

Vampire Squid From Hell.

Black Sheep of the family

Vampyroteuthis’ environment

Demands no siphon,

Demands no camouflage,

Demands no color,

but, nevertheless, they make due,

and use the familiar deception,

to get by.

Bright blue,

pulsing photophores,

at the top of its head,

and tips of its tentacles

bring light,

to its dreary life,

and dissuade the monsters,

lurking in the shadows,

from attack.

It wraps,

its tentacles around its body,

exposing the bristles underneath,

to keep more brave beasts at bay.

But when it’s in real trouble,

it squirts ink,

thick and glary,

alive with dazling bacteria,

and closes the glowing “eyes”

on top of its head,

to foster the misconception,

it has gotten away.

The Vampire Squid,

cares little for your perception,

because what’s in a name?

It uses the hand it’s dealt,

and finds its daily bread,

by any means necessary.

Submersible

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The SONAR tone bounded aimlessly through the massive expanse all around us, but all signs said “nothing to write home about.”

The captain sighed softly while everyone else tried to bury their loneliness in productivity.

The disparity between the nuclear-capable, inescapable, matte-black shell that shielded us was somehow more obvious with a glance through the periscope.

Even if you’re neither agoraphobic nor claustrophobic, being packed sardine-like at the bottom of the ocean can coax both out in short notice.

Ping… ping… ping…

“I see a huge object at 8 o’clock, sir” said the navigator.

So many bloodshot eyes stared in his direction at once.

“Properties,” the captain asked.

“30 feet long, moving toward hostile waters,” the navigator listed.

“Let’s investigate,” said the captain.

The vessel turned slowly, deliberately, to find the object.

“It appears to be diving,” said the navigator.

 The captain commanded coldly “Arm the torpedos,”

We all looked at each other at once itching for something to do, not forgetting that a hole in the hull the size of a quarter would let in a jet of water that could slice a man in two.

Ping… ping… ping… ping…

We were approaching now.

The captain pulled the periscope down.

“On my command,” he said holding his arm up.

Just enough light filtered through from the surface,

To show a sperm whale corpse slowly falling.

“Captain Ishmael?”

“Don’t call me that.” 

The navigator apologized profusely, and asked for information,

“Our worst enemy, another false positive,” the captain said dejectedly.

Each bloodshot eye fell back to its station,

In silent disappointment.

Giant’s Causeway

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“Fee fi fo fum,”

Standing on stepping stones,

Overlooking the ocean.

Ancient and irregular,

Interlocking hexagons,

Standing shoulder-to-waist,

Crown-to-knee,

Washed by the sea.

Uneven scutes,

On a tortoise’s armor,

Lying on it’s belly,

Beached long ago,

Sacrificed in service,

Of those who watch the waves.