The Big Swimmer – The Monksville Chronicles #97

“After all the days I’ve spent afloat on the Monksville Res’, I thought I’d seen it all,” says The Giant from his boat as he unknowingly watches the back end of the subaquatic chaos unfold. “I always knew my muskellunge was big, but that? That right there is the big swimmer if ever there was one.”

The Giant watches the black bear maul the water as it frantically swims to the shoreline, leaving a massive trail of bubbles in its wake. The waves soon hit his boat and set it rocking again, but this time The Giant does not close his eyes and duck. He can’t, he’s utterly unable, for he now sees from what the black bear fled: two dead black masses, about the size of giants, float up to the surface and linger there half-submerged.

“Well they can’t be breathing, whoever they are,” The Giant mutters as he takes the oars in his hands. Once the bear climbs back onto the shore and lumbers off into the forest, The Giant paddles almost leisurely over to the two floaters. When the smell hits his nose his face crinkles, but still he presses on. A terrible, ominous feeling wraps his gut in the very wire fishing line which removed his hand last winter, and it only tightens as he gets closer and closer to the cadavers. Finally The Giant pulls up next to the bodies and drops the oars to wretch over the side of his boat, but he does not lose last night’s supper. The Giant is strong, not impervious but strong nonetheless. It only takes a moment for him to steel himself.

He was right about one thing – the masses are the size of giants, the bodies the same, too: two arms, two legs, a torso and a head, except their skin is black, even blacker than the bear’s coat, blacker than the starpool on those rare eerie nights where the clouds are so dense they block out even the moon’s ghostly glow. Their fingers and toes are webbed with a thin white membrane, as are the gaps between their arms and torsos, as are the gaps between their legs. They float mercifully face-down and The Giant feels no urge to flip them over, not that it would make any difference. The faces of the monks were shrouded the day his tribe met them in this valley, and though he will never know what they looked like, somehow he knows these two bodies wrapped loosely in their dark cloaks are the empty husks those foreign giants left behind.

The smell of putrid death soon becomes too much to bear. The Giant grips his oars and splashes them, noticing how disturbed the water’s color is, feeling that metal wire tighten evermore around his gut, feeling the dread oozing within him.

The Giant paddles off fast and hard, putting as great a distance between the waterlogged corpses and himself as possible before he can contain himself no longer. Floating high above the long-drowned Wanaque River, The Giant leans over the edge of his boat and hurls with a force into the water, the murky green water, water which shall soon be soiled by whatever sick poison seeps from the veins of those things which floated cold from The Dome.

This has been the fourteenth subchapter of the last chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:

The Monksville Chronicles

I’ve written a few other books, too. Even fixed the link. Click here to see the list.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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