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It was raining a lot at the beach in those days. That might have had something to do with the mysterious sea creature which had been responsible for a number of deaths. It seemed to be amphibious, coming up onto the shore and biting off people's arms and legs. Most people were avoiding the beach. At County Community College, which was situated right on the beach, signs had been posted warning of the danger.

At the nearby university, a highly regarded institution that specialized in marine biology, department head and world renowned marine biologist Dr. Herbert Shule was studying the creature and its behavior. He was a 78 year old man and had delayed his retirement because of the creature. It was his great white whale, the final adventure of an old man who knew all there was about the sea but had just discovered there was something new. He was tired, spending long days in his lab and at the beach trying to understand what this creature was and why it behaved the way that it did.

I was an advisor to students at County Community College.

There was a particular student that had caught my attention. Meredith was failing out of classes, mostly because she never showed up for them, and I'd heard reports that she was drinking excessively and even that she was doing drugs. She was a rebel and a loner and I was concerned about her, so after a long period of time in which no one had seen her at the college, I went looking for her in town. Eventually I found her sitting in an old lawn chair on the pier at the beach. She was alone there, with it being both off-season and because of the terror of the limb-eating sea creature.

"What's going on, Meredith?" I asked her quietly.

"Just watching the tide come in."

"Quiet out here," I remarked.

"I'm looking for something," she told me. "Do you think there really is a sea creature biting off people's arms and legs or is it some psycho like the papers think?"

I shrugged. "Whatever it is, it isn't good."

"Do you want to fuck me as much as I want to fuck you?"

"That depends on how much you want me to fuck you. I'm unable to arrive at any kind of answer that will be reliable in any way without first knowing that information."

"You go first."

"No, you go first."



We kissed for several minutes, despite how wrong it was, and then Dr. Shule showed up. He was carrying a picnic basket filled with ceramic cups and one tuna fish sandwich.

"If I were you two," he told us, "I would have committed to abstinence a LONG time ago."

"Sure thing, grandpa. You probably haven't even felt a tingle in the jeans since 1972."

"Oh, more than a tingle, I'll tell you that. Now, about this sea creature. Have you seen any evidence, young lady?"

"Not so much as a whiff of a clue."

"Damn, this feller sure is a tricky one."

"Are we sure it isn't a serial killer who is making it look like a sea creature?"

"This isn't a Godzilla movie, Tom. This is real life."

We nodded in agreement on that thought and got into the little boat we had for going out on the sea. This craft was a rowboat we stole from a local church camp with the best of intentions. It was far too small a boat to go out on the ocean in, especially when looking for a sea creature with a murderous streak.

Day turned into night and both the tuna fish sandwich and the ceramic cups were gone by sundown, along with the compass. None of us had the least bit of seamanship ability, and we became hopelessly lost at sea.

Several days later I woke up on the shore. The police discovered me, half-conscious and muttering about tentacles while in the fetal position on the beach. They took good care of me that night and I was soon home and in my bed, knowing that one day I would certainly kill again.

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