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Great [Monster] Journey

RSanon Nov 9th, 2013 7,853 Never
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  1. The tip thrust into the air, a beacon, shining even in the dimming light. A symbol of power, of majesty! Gleaming, it defied gravity, defied doubt, defied darkness! It soared through the sky, rising ever higher, hopeful, magnanimous in its—
  2.  
  3. “You’re not going.”
  4.  
  5. The sword tip drooped, defeated by the statement, sinking from the great heights it once knew, yearning to feel them again.
  6.  
  7. “But you said anything!”
  8.  
  9. A relentless warrior, noble and proud, fought for his cause, his dream. The beauty of determination shone strong in his resolve, unbroken, unbent.
  10.  
  11. “This is not included in that ‘anything’. You are not going on an adventure, you are staying right here!”
  12.  
  13. Galen’s sword fell to the ground with a resounding crash, his chest deflating much as a filled water skin bleeds when ruthlessly punctured. The great smile he once wore sunk to a morose frown.
  14.  
  15. “Dad, I have earned this, haven’t I? I want to see the world across the sea! I want to fight monsters and discover hidden treasures like the adventurer in your tales!”
  16.  
  17. Galen’s mother rested her hand on one of his father’s broad shoulders. “Dear, I think we could at least consider it. He has learned how to use that sword.”
  18.  
  19. “Under Faltho, who’s never used a sword in a real fight before and knows nothing of how to teach true swordsmanship. Plus, Galen hardly has the build.”
  20.  
  21. Hearing this, Galen puffed up, planting one foot atop a rock and flexing his muscles to exacerbate the pose. “I can fight! Look!”
  22.  
  23. His father winced at the display.
  24.  
  25. “He’s light on his feet,” said Galen’s mother.
  26.  
  27. “And the monsters are lighter, some not even restricted by feet. It’s not safe, in fact it’s downright irresponsible. How would you even get past the Kraken, anyways? It hasn’t allowed anyone past the fishing waters for decades,” said his father, spinning around and heading back inside. “Oh, and sheath that sword and put it back. The celebration is in an hour, when the sun sets. You shouldn’t be all muddy when it comes around.”
  28.  
  29. The poor water skin lost its remaining water. Hanging his head, Galen grabbed the sword and sheath, dragging his feet as he headed toward the house. This was supposed to be his day! He’d been looking forward to it for years. Each time he heard those incredible stories of a brave man defeating the odds, gaining respect, powerful artifacts, and invaluable experience, he’d picture himself there. Away from this island. Today he was supposed to have set out for the mainland and started his journey to come back with tales and wonders. He even knew where he’d start.
  30.  
  31. His father had told him all about monsters. While their island was empty of such beings, the mainland was full of them. Mysterious creatures, all women, almost all very powerful. Some lived in the cities, but many enjoyed prowling the land, adventuring on their own, or perhaps living out of a den and caring for their young. Galen’s father said all men needed to steel themselves to the temptation of pleasure in order to keep their wits. They used their power to capture or rape men, and that any wanderer without skill or strength would surely fall victim to their wiles. With this in mind, Galen had trained, both under Faltho, the village master-of-sword, and his father.
  32.  
  33. But without his father’s approval, his preparation was all for naught. If his coming-of-age day wasn’t good enough for his father, who could tell what would be? Many years might pass before he could leave the island, and even then, he might not be permitted to go alone. The heroes in his father’s tales didn’t have babysitters, they had powerful allies. Monsters of virtue! Warrior veterans of a thousand battles!
  34.  
  35. Holding up his sword, he looked at his reflection. He’d polished it just for today, too. Staring back at him was another man, a stranger, one drained of fire and life. His hand tightened on the grip. No, he couldn’t give up. Not yet.
  36.  
  37. “Galen, dear.”
  38.  
  39. Galen looked up at his mother. He saw a familiar pain in her eyes. She put her hand on his shoulders, squeezing them while she beheld her defeated son. Galen’s father was a tough man, she knew it. That’s why she had planned for this.
  40.  
  41. After taking a quick glance toward the door, she reached under her billowing dress to reveal a backpack. She pushed it against Galen’s chest and he grabbed it on instinct, looking between it and his mother in confusion.
  42.  
  43. “I knew what you would ask for today, and I suspected your father would object. But I know you. You’re my son. If you go out on a journey, you’ll come back safe. You might think your father is being strict, but he’s only so protective because he’s proud of you.”
  44.  
  45. Galen squeezed on the backpack, blinking at his mother and at a loss for words. With each word she spoke, his eyes widened further.
  46.  
  47. “He doesn’t want to lose his precious son. And that’s how I know you’re ready.”
  48.  
  49. “B-but, the Kraken! Dad’s right!” His voice started to quiver. Even he had begun to doubt.
  50.  
  51. “You had a plan already, didn’t you? I believe in you.” She pushed him away, toward his journey. Holding up her dress to keep it from dragging, she scurried up the hill to their house. Before going inside, she paused, turning back to Galen. “Hurry! You’ll only have so much time before he notices! The pack has three days’ worth of food and water and a change of clothes. That will get you to the first city on the mainland, but it’s no good if your father catches you before you’re out past the fishing waters! Now go!”
  52.  
  53. The fire relit, Galen nodded. With a rigid wave and a smile that fought to break into sobs, Galen bid his mom farewell. He slung the backpack over his shoulder and ran.
  54.  
  55. His heart was thumping like mad before he even hit the main route out of town. With the town being as small as it was, there were no roads, instead just worn, dirt paths where the earth was too thoroughly trampled for grass to grow. Galen ran faster and harder than he ever had, each step hitting the dirt with a resounding thud. He ran with a grin on his face, doing all he could to keep his heart from fluttering out of his chest. His legs felt like as strong as iron, his chest as light as air. He floated across the town, catching gazes and waves from everyone, shouts of congratulations for his coming-of-age day and jovial greetings following him on his sprint.
  56.  
  57. He made sure to etch each wooden home into his memory, make note of every clothesline and garden, every thatched roof and animal pen. He burst through a gathering of chickens, scattering them like leaves to the wind. He hollered out an apology, but didn’t stop or slow. He couldn’t have if he tried.
  58.  
  59. Soon he came upon the beach his town called a harbor. Several long wooden piers cut into the sea, most accompanied by a boat or two. With the sun about to set, the fisherman had about all called it a day. Galen went straight for the furthest pier, his grin growing when he spotted his trusty boat. It wasn’t as impressive as any of the fishing boats, but it had what he needed: a sail, rudder, and oars. At ten feet long, it wasn’t for any more than two people, but Galen almost never brought anyone out with him. His father had joined him on its maiden voyage, a short trip around the bay, but after he was sure Galen knew how to navigate, he was allowed to go out whenever he wished as long as the sun was up.
  60.  
  61. He paused on the pier, staring at his boat, ‘Treasure’. Today he would be breaking that rule, too. The sun would definitely be setting before he found the other side of the sea, but if he kept momentum and the wind was with him, he could make it to the mainland in a day. At least, that’s what the villagers suspected. No one had been to the mainland in many decades. The knowledge of exactly how far out it lay had fogged over the years. Galen curled his hands into fists and hit them together. What was an adventure without breaking rules? Besides, he had much greater things to worry about than curfews.
  62.  
  63. His heart burst into flame, the same sort of flame that danced in his eyes. Time to go.
  64.  
  65. The boat was undocked and pushed out before he knew it. With his sprint over, he had a chance to catch his breath. The sun behind him, he looked over the small village he called home one last time. He said his thank-yous: to his friends, for giving him joy in the little things. To his teachers, for giving him a bit of knowledge about everything. To his mother, for being there when he needed it, for being gentle or harsh when the situation called for it, and for making this trip possible. To his father, for teaching him how to be a man, for giving him dreams, for looking out for him. He would return one day, that was certain. He’d return a true man, grown and wise, with his own stories, but about real adventures this time, instead of the imaginary heroes in his fathers’ tales.
  66.  
  67. “GALEN!” His father yelled at him from the end of the pier. He could hardly make him out. Only from his father’s voice could he tell who it was for certain.
  68.  
  69. “DAD! I’m going to be a real adventurer! I’ll make you proud!”
  70.  
  71. “Come back this instant!”
  72.  
  73. Galen clamped his mouth shut, setting down the oars and standing up, withdrawing his sword and thrusting the tip into the air. “This is my dream! Who am I without a dream?”
  74.  
  75. “You’re my son!”
  76.  
  77. Taking a big breath, he belted out his last words as loud as he could.  “No! But I will be!” His father’s son was someone he could be truly proud of. A seasoned ranger, a man his own.
  78.  
  79. The last syllable echoed throughout the bay, among the waters, through the harbor and across the village. Galen stood tall, sword in the air, staring at his dad staring back at him
  80.  
  81. Galen lowered the sword, slipping it back into its sheath before collapsing back onto his rear. Him and his father were too far to speak now, but they could still see each other, small specks in the distance only growing smaller. They watched each other as long as they could, but eventually Galen couldn’t make out his father from the rest of the pier. It was all just one black blip. Swallowing, he fought back a tear, digging into the oars as he went out. The sea was gentle tonight, leaving most of the work to Galen’s arms. Hopefully further out he could rely on the wind. Tonight he wanted to get past the fishing waters at the very least.
  82.  
  83. The barrier wasn’t far out, and Galen soon found himself nearing the floating markers. Shortly after the Kraken first appeared, the fisherman realized they needed some sort of visual reminder of the furthest they could venture from the island. After the sacrifice of several boats and some clever know-how by a couple specific fisherman, they’d come up with a method. A large steak, made of metal, dropped down to dig into the sea floor and tied to a plank of wood with a flag of sorts atop it. The markers shifted back and forth with the tides, but the steaks did their jobs of keeping them mostly in place.
  84.  
  85. Galen shook with glee as he approached one. This was the real beginning of his adventure, journeying out further than anyone else in the village had for decades! His hope was that one small boat, setting out at night, would go unnoticed by the Kraken. She tended only to appear for the larger boats, often only when manned. Treasure was less than half the size of most fishing boats and only had one crew member. Letting out a long breath, Galen surged the boat forwards with a heave of the oars. Just like that, he was past the markers.
  86.  
  87. He set the oars down to punch his fists together again.
  88.  
  89. A low rumble arose from the depths, gripping Galen not with fear, but exhilaration. The boat rocked back and forth, threatening to toss Galen overboard, but he had stable enough sea legs to keep himself steady. The rumble grew, gradually at first, louder until Galen was sure the source was upon him. For a second, everything calmed. Not a sound within miles, nor a sight beyond the shrinking view of Galen’s home island.
  90.  
  91. The water exploded a short ways out, a great geyser spraying Galen and ‘Treasure’ with seawater. He shielded his eyes with one hand. The other went to his sword. Hopefully he wouldn’t need to fight, but his dad always told him to be ready.
  92.  
  93. The creature emerging from the sea rose up and up, at least ten feet over Galen. It wasn’t massive, but certainly larger than Galen and his little boat. When the seaspray died down, he could make out the form. From the waist up, it was a woman: two lithe, lengthy arms, crossed under an impressive set of breasts, ones like Galen had never seen on his home island. Her slim build supported a slender neck and hardened face, though the jawline and cheekbones were undeniably feminine. Her eyes were narrowed down at Galen and the longer they settled on him, the more mischievous they became. Atop her head lied a bed of gorgeous grayish-white hair, somehow unbroken or unfrayed by the constant assault of salt water. Usually Galen associated gray hair with olden people, but this creature’s form was anything but aged… at least in appearance. Her smooth stomach flowed into wide hips, accentuating the rest of her curvy body, but from the hips below were a great number of tentacles. Squid-like and grey, they squirmed and writhed about, feeding into the sea.
  94.  
  95. This was undoubtedly the Kraken.
  96.  
  97. Galen began to wonder what she was doing with those tentacles when several emerged from the water around his boat. ‘Treasure’ was wrapped up within seconds and taken a few feet out of the water. The lurch made Galen stumble and this time he lost his balance and flopped over, but instead of hitting the deck, a tentacle met him halfway, coiling around his chest and pinning his arms to his sides. Galen was about to thank her for catching him when he realized she wasn’t letting go. As the tentacle tightened and took him closer to her feminine half, two more took hold, one wrapping up his legs and the other holding his head steady where the Kraken could inspect his face. He stopped only a foot from her.
  98.  
  99. He took the opportunity to observe her up close, something probably no one else ever got the chance to do. The way the seawater flowed over her silky human skin and leathery tentacle skin entranced him. It was like a hundred tiny waterfalls on her tentacles, but on her human skin, it dripped much slower, as if the flow itself wished him to stare. Eventually, he wretched his attention upward to her face, finding it just as curious in him as he her… though there lied a definite hint of fervor in her motions as well.
  100.  
  101. “A young lad, coming so far out to sea. It has been a while since one of you has tried to leave. Are you lost, little one?” She laid her sweet voice on thick like honey.
  102.  
  103. “Nope! I’m going on an adventure!” Galen grinned. A sunny disposition was the best way to make friends, he found.
  104.  
  105. “Are you?” She glanced down at his boat. “A bit small for venturing the sea, don’t you think?”
  106.  
  107. “Not at all! I know I can get to the mainland in Treasure!”
  108.  
  109. “You sound sure of that, but here you are, your adventure hardly started, and you’ve already been wrapped up in the Kraken’s tentacles.” She ran the top row of her teeth slowly across her lower lip. “It’s been so long since a man has ventured out into these waters, too.”
  110.  
  111. “Ah, but you can just let me down and I’ll be on my way now that you know I mean no harm or malice! I’ve got lots of things to experience on the mainland. When I come back, I can tell you all about them!”
  112.  
  113. The Kraken’s tentacles began slithering over Galen’s body, slipping under his clothes to explore his skin. They slid across his body easily, leaving some sort of sea slime in their wake.
  114.  
  115. “Woah! Hey! Those are really kinda ticklish, aren’t they?”
  116.  
  117. The Kraken’s tongue slipped out, giving an exaggerated lick of her lips as she bore down on Galen. “They can be ticklish or… other things.”
  118.  
  119. Giggling, Galen squirmed in the Kraken’s grip, small bursts of laughter coming forth when her tentacles groped his sides. “W-well you’re just the curious sort a-aren’t you?”
  120.  
  121. He felt the tentacle on his chest start to drop down and the one on his legs move upward, but just when he thought they would reach his waist, they withdrew. Disappointment flashed on Galen’s face. He wondered how they might feel if they had gone a little further.
  122.  
  123. The coy smile on the Kraken’s face degenerated into a sour frown and she placed Galen back on ‘Treasure’. His head spun from how quickly her demeanor changed.
  124.  
  125. “Uh, so, are you done inspecting me? Can I go now?”
  126.  
  127. “No.” He voice was no longer sweet or thick but rather flat and unassuming.
  128.  
  129. “Can I change your mind? I have some great food from—“
  130.  
  131. “No. You need to go back.” She brought up a tentacle to rest her elbow on, then leaned her head on her arm, regarding Galen like a faraway treasure forever beyond her reach. “If she just allowed me a little taste every now and then…”
  132.  
  133. “Wait, who?”
  134.  
  135. “Poseidon. Or Poseidoness, if you want to call her that way. It doesn’t matter to her. She rules the seas.”
  136.  
  137. Galen cocked his head. “And she told you no one could pass? Or that you couldn’t have a ‘taste’?”
  138.  
  139. “Yes, it makes things rather dull around here. It used to be boats would come through with no interference from her and I could take and give as I wished.” She grinned. “Maybe a bit more ‘taking’ than ‘giving’.”
  140.  
  141. “But it’s not that way any more? Why?”
  142.  
  143. “I wish I knew. I’ve asked her countless times why I must stay here and patrol this boring part of the sea. There are much more productive things I could be doing.” Her eyes feasted on Galen again. “More scrumptious meals to be had.”
  144.  
  145. Galen rubbed his chin. She kept giving him the weirdest looks. But that wasn’t important at the moment. He had to get by. “Do you think you could let this one little boat by? For me?”
  146.  
  147. “Oh, believe me, if I thought I could get away with it, my tentacles would be much busier doing other things at the moment.” She gave Galen that weird look again. “But nothing happens without her knowledge. She likely already knows you’ve passed the fishing waters of your island and that I’ve come to stop you. In truth, I should be destroying your boat and leaving you to swim back on your own, but you’ve given me the pleasure of something to do besides mindlessly wander the ocean, so I’m feeling forgiving.”
  148.  
  149. “What if I could find out why Poseidon is making you do this? What if I could get her to change her mind?”
  150.  
  151. “Oh?” The Kraken brought her feminine half lower, near Galen. “And why would a human like you care about the lives of monsters?”
  152.  
  153. “Well, for one, I want to continue on my journey, but if I can change her mind, the people in my village would be able to get back to the mainland and you would be able to go back to your exciting life!”
  154.  
  155. “Poseidon is not easily convinced of anything. Not even I haven been able to get through to her.”
  156.  
  157. “Then I’ll just have to try harder!”
  158.  
  159. The Kraken cupped her chin, tapping her fingers on her cheek as she considered. “Hmmmm.” Her eyes went down to Galen’s crotch and she subconsciously licked her lips again. “You are rather green, but I do miss the taste so, and who knows if I’d ever get a chance like this again?” She lowered her hand and grinned. “Alright. I will let you pass under the condition that you seek out Poseidon and attempt to sway her.”
  160.  
  161. “A quest? Already? This is fantastic!” Galen whooped, jumping into the air and pumping his fist.
  162.  
  163. “When you find her, do not attempt to reach her the same way you have me. ‘Trying harder’ and using nothing but determination won’t work. You must find out why she is opposed to travel here and use that. Do you understand?”
  164.  
  165. Galen swallowed. He’d been letting his gusto get the better of him again. His father always told him to cut that back. “Yes.”
  166.  
  167. “By the way, I would not mind if you returned with all those stories of your ‘experiences’ on the mainland.” A tentacle coiled around his leg, creeping up his pants. Galen’s arousal flared up again. “I promise to be a good listener.”
  168.  
  169. “You got it!” Galen said, shaking his leg. This must be those ‘wiles’ his father had told him about. He felt pretty good about resisting them. Plopping back down into his seat, he grabbed the oars and readied to sail again. The Kraken, however, did not put ‘Treasure’ down. “Um, so, are you going to let me go?”
  170.  
  171. “There is a slight complication here. You see, if I simply let you down to sail across on your own, not only will Poseidon know of my disobedience, but another creature of the sea would stop you before you made it to your destination.” More tentacles rose from the sea, gripping ‘Treasure’ in various places. “But if you were to somehow make it there very quickly, without touching the water, Poseidon would assume I had dealt with you and you could go about your quest uninterrupted. So I must improvise.” She brought the boat up, close to her upper body. Galen looked at her, curious. She reached out, grabbed the sides of his head, and kissed him straight on the lips. Galen’s head spun, trying to figure out what to do, but the Kraken withdrew before his senses returned. “Good luck.”
  172.  
  173. She threw him, boat and all.
  174.  
  175. Had Galen’s grip on the boat not tightened in response to her kiss, the boat would have flown out from underneath him. He ripped through the air, face shifting from shock to a ridiculous grin. He ate up miles in seconds, flying only a few precious feet over the water. The mast buckled and shook and the body of the boat shivered as if it would burst at any moment. Her strength blew his mind. He knew she was a monster, and that monsters were powerful, but her lithe form was awfully deceptive. On the journey back, he’d definitely have to thank her.
  176.  
  177. The mainland came into view at a startling pace, going from a blip on the horizon to a discernible heap of land before he realized what it was. The Kraken had throw him with speed to spare. He wouldn’t be landing on water at all! Galen, however, the brave adventurer he was, withdrew his sword, pointed it to the air, and shouted,
  178.  
  179. “Great Journey, begin!”
  180.  
  181. He hit the ground with a resounding crash.
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