Of Seals and Surfers

February 6, 2008
By Taha Attari, Jeddah, ZZ

Sleek and powerful, she cruised confidently through the cool blue ocean. Her immense body effortlessly demanded respect, forcing all else out of her path. Shy remoras darted about her, hoping to scavenge stray morsels from her next kill. Gentle movements of her immense scimitar tail buffeted the timid tailgaters with shockwaves of water. Her tall dorsal fin, jagged with the wounds of bygone battles, sliced through the white-gold sunbeams which crisscrossed her path like a slim dagger.
The boy, tall and gawky, struggled to push his way into deeper waters. Taking advantage of dangerous rip currents he slid between two sandbars off the shallow green coast. Although not the ideal place for surfing it commanded an excellent view of a nearby seal-covered island and had huge waves. The thrill of his quest augmented with the lure of the ever-forbidden fruit. Unheeded warnings of dire consequences slipped through his memory but the burning smell of salt water filled his nostrils, pulling him further into the sea’s grip.
Her acute senses, so finely tuned to her ocean’s habits, detected the rapid, jerky movements of a living creature straining to hold on to life; in her realm. She pinpointed its location, close to the rocky outcrop bursting with succulent, blubbery seals, an easy kill.
The boy paddled through the broken rollers trying to reach the awe-inspiring crests of white foam, those massive walls, which promised an incredible experience. His thin arms strained to push his surfboard over the shattered forces of old waves pushing him back.
Subtle heat waves slid over her toughened hide as her body warmed for the attack. Her huge muscles tensed along the slender length of her gargantuan two-ton body. Ruthless hunting instincts, passed down through generations of natural selection, fueled her hunger, already awakened by the seal’s death throes. She focused her energy.
He stopped in the trough between two large waves watching as slowly but surely one moved towards him, its slow metamorphosis from a lump in the sea to the immense blue-green half-pipe which filled the horizon amazed him, but not as much as its size.
The seal was right in front of her, it would never survive.
He was overjoyed at his timing, perfect!
Old and careless, she felt the seal had lived too long.
He was at the exact point where the wave would break!
It was moving, it had sensed her presence, she would have to make it quick.
The wave filled his vision, he turned around and prepared.
Her entire mass was concentrated at that one point.
The highest point of the wave was above him!
The sea would fill with the blood of her prey!
Its shadow stretched above him!
Kill! Kill! Kill!
The wave was imminent!


And in one, beautiful explosion of raw power; she burst forth from the sea. Her jaws closed with devastating force directly, on its head, an instant kill.
A great white shark, its body a skyscraper of dark gray and lustrous white, erupted from the depths of turquoise in a halo of shimmering foam, its eyes hidden by a pale membrane, its teeth an assortment of gleaming scalpels. They sliced through the sturdy fiberglass-coated surfboard like a spoon through heavy red jelly. The boy had been lying close to the back of the board when this vision of wanton destruction hurtled into the air; inches from his face. The very air hissed with pain as it was shredded within that terrible maw. He realized that that wasn’t all that had been shredded. Soon the sinister glint of spurting blood disappear red into the roiling sea.
A stupid waste of energy. Her head shook violently as her muscles cooled, trying to dislodge the plastic chunks embedded onto her teeth. Not a seal but inedible garbage, disgusting debris dim-wittedly discarded in her domain, the domain in which she reined supreme! She set a course for the island, hoping there was a fat seal out for some late hunting.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book