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The Emerald

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Outside, the air was misty and damp. It was just the way Arthur liked it. He plopped his hat upon his head and hurried toward the dock. The raindrops sprinkled down on him like bees on the attack, and the sound of lightning crackled like roasting chestnuts. Arthur grinned at the thought of this. To him, it was a perfect day to go sailing. This kind of weather wasn’t something he hadn’t experienced before. It was pirate weather, and like a pirate he believed he would emerge through the storm victorious. However, belief does not necessarily lead to certainty.
Arthur leaped upon the hull of his boat with a sword in hand. He never actually found a chance to use it, but he felt a sense of security with it at his side. The boat seemed to be fractious that day, and it would not start up. After ten minutes of goading, Arthur had his boat on the move and off into the sea. The rain continued to splatter down and the wind started to wail. He began to chuckle again. If these were the conditions Mother Nature had planned to overwhelm him with, she was in for an unpleasant surprise. However, she had something much more significant lurking ahead.
Arthur carefully scanned his surroundings. His boat was completely surrounded by water. A layer of fog had crowded itself neatly on top of the sea, and it was becoming more and more difficult to see ahead. Right when the fog appeared almost to strangle Arthur and his boat, he saw an object in the hazy distance. It was a lush and green, and looked as rocky as a riverbed. It was an island. Arthur shook his head in disbelief. He had come to know this part of the sea like the back of his hand, and there wasn’t supposed to be an island here.
Bewildered, he slowly made his way off the broken ship and onto the island. The land was sharp and piercing. Arthur had to carefully adjust his feet every step to avoid a painful calamity. He surveyed the land and deduced that the island couldn’t be more than a few yards wide. He stumbled over a few more rocks and eventually reached the very top of the island. The rain pelted him even more heavily now, and this started to frustrate him. Right when he was about to turn back for his beaten down boat, something cucumber green caught his eye. After he adjusted his eyes to it, he was astonished. He had found an emerald.
Only as he positioned himself over the jewel did Arthur realize it was enormous. He laid his fist above the emerald and that was not large enough to shield it. He gazed into its shiny surface, and despite the raindrops clustered on parts of it, he could see his reflection clearly. He was captivated by the stone, and now was determined to take it for himself. At first, he began scooping at the ground like a squirrel, but then found that method to be of no use. He then instead tried to jab his sword into the ground, hoping to dislodge the stone. However, this was only followed by a monstrous scream from deep within the island. Then, it began to move upward.

The island rose like a rocket aimed toward the heavens. Arthur felt his body give way, and slipped into the cold and callous water below him, abandoning the gem. He was completely underwater now. Shivering with cold and fear, he thrust himself up, hoping to perhaps reach his boat. When he reached the surface, he froze in horror. Towering above him was the most terrifying thing he had ever set eyes upon. It was a sea serpent.
The sea serpent was hideous. In fact, it only barely resembled a land serpent. Its body was rocky and rather beige and colorless. It was at least twenty feet tall, had wild and bloody red eyes, wriggly yellow fangs and a surprisingly cubic head. It slapped the water and let out another blood boiling scream. It scanned the water for any signs of life and quickly spotted Arthur. It lunged at him like a freight train, and it made Arthur’s adrenaline start to flow. Instinctively, he hurled himself backwards, narrowly avoiding the serpent’s crushing blow. Bewildered that it had failed to crush anything, the serpent ducked its head back underwater and hoped to attack Arthur from below. It spun up, and launched Arthur into the air like a rubber ball. He fluttered down, only to be met by his delighted predator.
Arthur found himself tangled in a bundle of serpent. It was trying to crush him. The serpent would sporadically squeeze him tighter and tighter and would then let go. It was as though this were all a game to it, and that Arthur was the toy. Right when he felt as though his body was about to crumble, Arthur spotted his chance. The serpent had let go once again, but this time it blundered; its grip was no longer strong enough to contain Arthur. Taking no time to think, he thrust his arms out and burst free. He plunged down into the freezing water once again, but now was not the time to complain. Weak and weary, he came up with a final plan in his mind. Now was the time to put it into action.
The sea serpent was furious at Arthur for making a fool out of him. Like a wall of bricks, it started to slam its head in every direction it could. Raindrops hit the water like bullets. This was a war zone for Arthur. Cautiously, he approached the hull of the boat. He bumped the side loudly, and turned around in horror. Hearing the noise, the serpent had thrust itself at full speed at Arthur. It was ready to finish him off. Terrified and at the same time pleased with himself, Arthur, with the little strength he had left in him, popped headfirst underwater. Shortly after, he heard the noise of splintering wood. His plan had succeeded.
Arthur rose up to find a dazed and embarrassed serpent. When Arthur disappeared, it had crashed headfirst into the boat. It was not hurt, except that it had acquired a few rather large splinters, but it had been drained of its energy. It lay flat faced on the water, and didn’t move even when it saw Arthur approach. He held out his sword, and pointed it straight toward the serpent. The serpent cringed and shut its eyes. It was afraid. Arthur was touched, he realized even beasts as large and as ruthless as this serpent could feel fear. Instead of stabbing it, he took the sword and motioned for the serpent to go away. At first it didn’t leave, it just opened its eyes and stared deeply at Arthur. Then, it went off, splashing towards the now rising sun with the emerald still lodged in its back. Exhausted, Arthur dosed off into a deep sleep and simply floated over the now calm and cool waters.
When he woke up, Arthur found himself back at the beach where he had started. He got up, brushed himself off, and then stumbled over a rock. Annoyed, he was about pick it up and toss it into the sea when he stopped in astonishment. There lay a token of obeisance from the serpent. It was an emerald.



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