• Nadya Sayre

The Insult

Avchak's Mistake was all based on a prompt Sea Monsters Hate Lighthouses. But I figured it didn't really get the feel of the prompt, so I wrote another one that same week. I've finally remembered where I stored it, so here it is.


The Insult



Suryan gamboled through the waves with her cousin, Oreen. Above, below, through, space has no meaning for a creature of the ocean. A storm raged above the ocean, lightning flashing, sending illumination even to the depths. Below, the ocean echoed the storm, tossing and turning.

Suryan regretted the lack of ships. Storm-time was the best. Listening to the little humans’ cries and dismay, though as she recalled this area close to shore had calmer humans than in the deep ocean, which is strange of the little creatures.

Light flashed above their heads that had nothing to do with the storm.

“Did you see that?!” Oreen cried.

“Yes!” Suryan spun, trying to spot the source. “I can’t believe it, though!”

“Nor I! Such rudeness when we don’t even know-”

The light flashed again.

“What did you say about my mother!” Suryan screamed. All play forgotten, Suryan swam rapidly through the ocean, her urgency such that she used her arms, fingers spread wide to utilize the webbing there. “Come back here, you little shrimp! You bottom feeder, how dare you!”

The light continued to flash rudely. This was even worse than the lights shown by the fishes in the depths! At least those ones you could see plainly, and you knew who you were fighting.

Finally, Oreen and Suryan approached the coast, rocks occasionally rising above the ocean. “There!” Suryan shouted, pointing. “You see that little bastard up there, lighting away!”

“I see it,” Oreen said, nowhere near as fazed by it as Suryan thought she should be.

The light flashed atop a tall, conical thing. It was the same color as bare coral, or even sand, though it had a strange, smooth look. The light spun, sending out its insults regularly. Clambering over rocks now, Suryan began to leave the ocean behind.

“Uh, are you sure you should do that?” Oreen hung back uncertainly.

“You saw what it said about my mother,” Suryan never slowed, her body scraping over the rocks, determined to beat that little slug. “Come over here and say that to my face!” she shrieked.

Around the light, tiny humans raced, screaming, their flimsy arms flailing around as they saw her crawling rapidly over the ground.

The light flashed.

“Oh, yeah? Wanna go, then, you rigid excuse for a kraken! Come on, I’ll eat you whole!” Suryan was confident she could take on the Light. Its entire body was barely larger than her, tail and all.

Beneath her, the rock turned weird, all soft and itchy, with hard, scratchy kelp rising up in odd clusters. Her body left a track in the soft rock stuff as she dragged herself forward, determined to reach that insulting bottom feed- Actually, calling it a bottom feeder was too good for it!

“You pathetic excuse for a land creature! AAaaaahhh!” Suryan screamed at its latest insult. “I’m going to-” She lashed out, fingers curled into claws, raking at the Light’s base. Her screams changed, anger switching to pain. “You ripped out my nail!”

She thumped it with her fist while the puny humans above wailed, and shrieked. This hurt worse than before! The light wavered, but never ceased its insulting flashes. Twisting around, she thumped it with her tail. That always finished a fight, but not this time. The light merely swayed, and Suryan gasped, hand to her chest, webbing clearly displayed.

“How-how dare you!” She thumped it with her tail, wincing at the hard impact. Nothing she’d ever fought could withstand two whumps with such aplomb and continue delivering insult! Her third attempt was aborted when her tail spasmed, leaving her thrashing on the ground.

Oreen grabbed her cousin’s wrist, dragging the injured creature back toward the safety of the ocean.

“No! Oreen, don’t you dare! That stupid land grubber hasn’t paid for its insult! I-” Suryan thrashed ineffectually in her cousin’s grasp, spitting her fury.

Once they were safely in the ocean, Suryan limped around, her tail unable to work as fluidly as normal.

“I hate that thing!” she hissed, glaring balefully at the light. Slowly, painfully, she surfaced. “I’ll get you for this!” she screamed, shaking a fist it and the humans it sheltered. “You’d better not set out on the ocean again! I’ll be waiting for yo-” she burbled as Oreen dragged her down once more.

“Oh, calm down,” Oreen chided her. “It’s not like it accused your mother of things she hasn’t actually done.”

“But how does it know?” Suryan wailed. “The only way it could know is if she- if it was with her!”

“Uh huh.” Oreen shook her head. So that’s what this was all about? Shame that Auntie had been fooling around with a land creature.

“You’d better not tell anybody about this,” Suryan muttered, giving the light one last look over her shoulder. “That mother may have actually canoodled with that thing,” she shuddered.

“Come on, shark,” Oreen took her hand, gently pulling Suryan home, “I think we’re done for now.”

“Only for now,” Suryan hissed. “I’ll be back to make sure nobody else sees that thing.”

Oreen merely sighed. Sure, it’s rude to call someone’s mother out like that, but when it’s true…? She just couldn’t see why Suryan would be so touchy. Except it’s Suryan, and she had exactly two modes – playful and Fight Me.

Though Oreen herself decided she wouldn’t be returning. Who knows what that thing might say next? And she had a few things she’d rather nobody else knew, so best to discourage the others from coming out this way in the future.

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