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Oceanic Absurdity: An Account of Nautical Horror

Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

A bestial tentacle breached the surface with a tremendous display of aquamarine power. The resultant shower of water rained down in a torrent upon the deck, drenching the observing passenger. A groan, impossibly deep, reverberated from the waters; an ancient guttural bellow that shook the three thousand ton ship.

At near full erection the tentacle towered over the vessel at an imposing four hundred feet in height, with a width of about a sixth of that, and a thickness of proportion equal to several of the ship’s decks stacked together. The colossal appendage weighed no less than several thousands of tons, and if brought down on the ship, would surely bisect it from sheer weight alone, regardless of how much force was applied to its descent. If the physical proportions of the anomalous creature adhered to those of its lesser sized yet scientifically-classified kin, it would seemingly exist on a scale beyond even fictionally fathomable extremes of cephalopod life.

Three columns intersected by innumerable rows of relatively small suctioning protrusions extended from the meaty colossus. Though no sound could be heard, each bowl shaped nodule clenched and unclenched in excitement, or possibly thirst, while the great appendage to which they were attached merely swayed with apparent disinterest at the vessel it dwarfed. Observing with a sense of near-maddening fear from the railed topmost deck—an elderly man, dwelling in the blurred twilight between sixty and seventy—conjured a scene of lovecraftian quality: The tentacle, obviously an extension of a greater body, would probably at least maintain a proportional reality consistent with its presented immensity. Despite the horrific nature of it, there had yet to appear any suggestions of a paranormal origin, leading to the conclusion that nature had simply produced a terrifying anomaly. Going by this strain of logic, the man then speculated—with a summation based on the observation that only half of the full appendage had cleared the water—that whatever creature existed below the surface, probing the waterless realm, held claim to a truly monstrous immensity. Its body would have to weigh countless tons, possibly of comparable weight to the surrounding water its presence displaced. For sustenance it would have needed to feed on either a genocidal amount of exponentially smaller beings, or a few like-sized ones. The nightmarish contemplations strained the wizened mind of the near-centennial, and he soon fell to a defeated heap on the deck.

As if sensing its effortless victory over the will of its audience, the tentacle began writhing in morbid excitation. The nodule-ridden underbelly began undulating in a rhythm that suggested the regurgitation of some substance, but no mouth existed for a projectile to exit. Instead, to the horror of the helpless onlooker, the tentacle lowered towards the ship, gradually shadowing the entire surface. Stopping just inches from the wooden paneling of the flooring, and mere centimeters from the man’s face, the tentacle seemingly froze with an unexpected rigidity. Stunned by both fear and relief, the man remained under the claim of the once-encroaching tendril. After what felt like an aeonic passage of seconds the tentacle—in a truly disgusting dematerialization—lost what could only be described as structural integrity; of a biological nature. Instantaneous cellular decomposition plagued the thing, degrading its entire form with a rapidity never before seen in an animal of land or sea. It simply diffused into an almost gaseous suspension of particles before dispersing to nothingness by wave-borne winds—an estimated weight of thousands of tons evaporating into ether by divine intervention or some inexplicable agent of physiological deconstruction.


“Oh thank God, thank God almighty!” exalted the man, saved from the colossal horror once set on besieging his ship. Although still afflicted by the subsistent tremblings of trauma he had regained a comfortable sanity. He rose to his feet and approached the railing, curious not only of the fate of the creature, but also if any salvageable parts floated to the surface for collection and presentation. At that moment the concepts of optimism, happiness, and a man-dominated world were immediately ejected from his mind.

Through the partial transparency of the water he witnessed an enormous fang detach from a dissolving form. After a few more seconds of diminishment the waters were completely clear and brought a bleakly grave elucidation. Below the creature that planned to destroy the man’s ship existed a much larger thing. A grand horror that did not even care to abide by a general anatomical framework. A mass of absurdly large limbs, features, and inexpressible tangents of body that seemed to only serve a lethal purpose hovered below. At its center—which spanned a diameter around the vessel of comparable ratio to the earth set in the center of the sun—sat an eye embedded in a cavity of abyssal darkness. The pupil, a red sun of dismal focus, gleamed with a fiery luminescence that would shame the greatest conflagrations of Hell. A staggering heat radiated from the depths of the water yet did not cause it to boil; a hatred transcending the once-stark barrier of ocean and air. Whether he came to the conclusion of his own cognition or by the indoctrination of that impossible entity, it is not certain, he conjectured that this Aqua-God was the true Procreator of all earthen life. If the academic’s claim of life arising from the primordial organisms of the sea held any merit, this creature could reasonably have been the progenitor of those azoic lifeforms. Beset by a dismal recognition, the man surrendered to the sovereignty of the God—as if resistance was even an option—and allowed his mind to unravel at the obscene morbidity before him.
As unconsciousness dawned he laughed to himself when a final irony became apparent to him: The first threat, the mammoth octopus-like thing that reared a lone appendage, was probably the prey of the abysmal abomination beneath it. A foe that could rival a conglomerate of naval fleets was mere food to a much more sinister entity. Just when you think you’ve seen the apex form of horror a greater depravity trumps it. This momentary lapse into humor gave the man a grim peace of mind that allowed him to ignore the growing intensity of that already fierce stare. In those last moments of existence he expelled a deep, resonant laughter as the visible horizon of ocean instantly evaporated and was replaced by a rising hellscape of sanguine flame.


Credit: Bryce Simmons

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14 thoughts on “Oceanic Absurdity: An Account of Nautical Horror”

  1. Beautiful writing, it flows like the ocean itself. I’d 10/10 read more of your work and much longer pieces too. Perhaps knowing more about the man would be interesting in much the same way you got to know the explorers seeking the giant squids in Attenborough’s deep water documentary series.

  2. Is this site called creepypasta or hpypasta, cause I’ve read two stories so far and they’ve both read like Lovecraft wannabes.

  3. I really liked this story. Very nice work! I like the “there’s always a bigger fish” theme. Looking forward to reading more of your work!

  4. I loved this pasta. The tastiest part for me was the use of the larger words. I’ll admit I had to read a few sentences more than once, but it didn’t feel forced and gave the story a more professional feel. 10/10.

  5. I am happy I didn’t let myself be put off by a relative low rating. You dared greatly, and I, for one, was enticed by it. You could abstain referencing Lovecraft so literally as far as I’m concerned, for it is obvious where you got your inspiration, and for me it’s on par. You went all the way ‘style’ and for me, with effect. Someone else rightly remarked such an endeavor can go badly wrong, but – although some sentences might improve through careful revision – you went gloriously right. Wordsmithing at its finest.

  6. I would say that it read more formal than emotional, which kind of takes away from feeling the terror of the deep, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t very well done. I thought it was a pretty darn good micro story, especially in the style you chose, which can go very badly if done wrong; good job!

  7. You have some really beautiful language woven throughout. And I like the kind of bait-and-switch you pulled with the creatures. Threw me off a bit, making it more enjoyable. That said, I feel like the language became more important than the story, so it was not really a story I could fall in love with. The polished, descriptive (at times overly so), formal language of it all made it feel so much more distant. It was all observed rather than felt, if that makes sense. The plot is rather meager; in a sense, it is more a snapshot than a story. I think that can work very well, but it has to connect and have an impact on the reader beyond the events. For me, the style kept it from connecting, due to the aforementioned concerns. If you were to revise this, I would peel back some of the cosmc descriptions and connect more with the character. The elderly man could be the catalyst for building up more tension and emotion. How did he feel and think in those moments? The brief paragraph about his thanks and returning sanity was my favorite of the whole thing because it felt realistic and terrifying. You certainly have a way with words, but I personally would have found the story more enjoyable if you had used those talents to show the effects of this on the man and spent less time describing the monsters. You tend to describe the appearance of things, but state the emotion. I think it would be interesting to see how this reads if you reversed that pattern.

    It’s cleanly written with unique and interesting descriptions. The style kept me at arm’s length, which ultimately prevented me from enjoying it as much as I could. But you are certainly talented. I’ll be keeping an eye on that facebook page, because I certainly want to read some different pieces from you! Happy writing!

  8. The opening of the second paragraph, “At near full erection…” should probably be rephrased. It made me think of boners and anime tentacle porn. Immature I know, but I doubt I’m the only immature person on this site. Other than that it was a decent story, but that one line took it straight from horror to comedy.

  9. Author here, the link is to my Facebook page, which is “under construction”(unpublished) while I edit some content. Should be view-able in a few days once I’m satisfied with it.
    Any feedback provided on the story would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

    -Bryce Simmons

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