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An Ocean’s Dream
By Richard Dani
(Pg-13 for some adult themes.)

As the sun inched down, the last minutes of the day were reduced to dabs of orange, red and purple on the ocean’s western horizon, white billowy clouds were lost in the impending darkness as Michael paced toward the water’s edge. He was desperate to taste the salt on his lips, but when the teenager was only a few steps away from the waterline he glanced out over the great sea and what he saw caused him to dig his heels into the sand and stop.

The Atlantic laid out before him like a gigantic blue-gray bedspread with only an occasional swell or ripple in its fabric. The ocean’s surface rose and fell as if it were breathing and it was these slight undulations that sent water to kiss his bare toes. Still, as tempting, and as soothing as the water was, Michael did not venture in because out where the ocean ran deep and cold, the silhouette of a long slender arm was waving.

Michael blinked and reasoned, “Could be a gull or a buoy.”

The woman’s oval shaped head appeared to be decorated with long straight locks but her facial features were lost in the shadows. Now and again, she would rise up out of the water to flaunt her athletic and seemingly naked upper body. He was still wrestling with his doubts when the shadow called to him with a voice as melodic as a siren’s, “Hey, wanna come out and join me?”

The female hadn’t waited for a response. Instead, she leapt from the water and plunged back in allowing her slim hips and legs to take precedent over the beauty created by the setting sun. If she wanted to bait him, it had worked. Before her legs disappeared, Michael had waded in up to his knees. By the time her head had reemerged, he was swimming full force in her direction only lifting his head to breathe and to make sure that he was still on course.

Michael, like most teenage boys, rarely made decisions based on logic. Instead, he allowed his hormones and base urges to guide his choices. Because of this, the boy never stopped to question why a woman would be swimming at dusk or better yet, what she would want with him once they met. If he had entertained these thoughts, perhaps he would have turned away from the water and walked home where he would be safe. Instead, he paddled against the incoming tide and allowed fantasies of swirling, floating intercourse to drown his better judgement.

Stroke after stroke, the distance between them was shortened and Michael’s breaths were coming in quick, deep gasps. The boy pulled up and treaded water a few feet from his prize. At a closer range, her hair no longer looked straight, but tangled and knotty. The size of her head startled him, as did the length of her arms. If the rest of her body was in proportion with these few visible features, she would stand about 7 feet tall. Already, having doubts about this chance encounter, Michael glanced inland. The houses that lined the beach appeared as distant dark squares that were decorated with small white lights. The teenager was surprised by how far away they seemed and worse yet, how close the woman felt. Her face was a dark, blank silhouette but occasionally, he’d catch her profile as she floated in the inky water and he was concerned by how flat her nose appeared. It looked like she barely had one at all.

“What’s the matter? You afraid of a little water action, huh? Don’t you worry, I can swim all night. I’ll take good care of you… I promise. Nothing’s better than sex at sea.”

While the water chilled his skin, her words froze his soul. It was obvious that she was trying to bait him, but why? The boy had no answer but knew that he needed a few more moments of rest to swim back in. He answered, “Just give me a minute to catch my breath. I’ll be right there. What’cher name?”

She ignored his question and said, “If you’re that tired, I can come to you.”

Frightened by the idea, Michael shouted back, “No, no that’s okay. Just one more second…”

She hadn’t waited for him to finish the sentence. Instead, she had dived beneath the surface sending small ripples in his direction. About ten yards had separated them, but she closed it with in seconds. Michael felt her long oily hair brush against his ankles as she passed beneath him. Then, she exploded from the water behind him and he let out a scream. Her hands fell on his shoulders and the feel of her flesh sent chills up his spine. Her skin was rough much like that of a fish and when her breasts brushed against his back, his flesh was laced with small incisions.

“How do I feel?” she cooed into his ear, but he did not respond—at least not verbally. Acting on instinct more than reason, Michael leaned forward briefly and with all the force he could muster, he shot his elbow back into her face. The impact caused hard pointy objects to dig into his arm and the beast disappeared into the water. Michael knew he couldn’t out swim her, but still he tried. With his arms and legs flailing, he turned and headed for the shore.

With each stroke he waited for her cold, rough hand to clamp onto his ankle. With each breath, he anticipated the bite of short pointy teeth. He didn’t have to wait long. From beneath him she had approached and like a hungry lover, her arms and legs had wrapped around him. In a spiral he was pulled down into the depths of the ocean and as they spun he had lost all sense of direction.

Michael’s oxygen was spent and as a result, his lungs burned. He could fight no longer and he reluctantly gave into her embrace. The boy felt her hands claw his back and shred his swim trunks from his body. Now as naked as she, he felt her body brush against his and felt her lips press tightly to his mouth. The rough nature of her flesh scraped the tip of his nose raw and his lips felt like they had been sanded.

This would be his last kiss—his last intimate moment. Michael was certain of that. He opened his eyes and through the murky water, he saw her yellow irises staring back—Not with anger, but with longing.

And with that, she had let him go. The last thing he felt was her palms against his chest when she pushed away. Then, the water had receded and he found himself lying on the shore coughing salt water from his lungs between the waves that washed over him.

Naked, scraped and bruised, Michael clawed his way to dryer sand.

“Raped.” The word had popped into his head and it fit. He looked to the dark horizon where the vast ocean met the endless sky and the solitary figure that swam there, and while he couldn’t justify her actions, in some ways he at least understood.

Then, the tears came. They mixed with the ocean that still beaded on his cheeks and deep down he felt dirty, in way that can never truly be cleaned.

If you have no questions or fears about your abilities, then you will learn nothing from your mistakes and know nothing about your limitations.

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The following comments are for "An Ocean's Dream"
by Richard Dani

Mr. Dani, I salute you. This would have been a passable and entertaining story, no matter what you did with it. It is the last 50 words or so, however, that make this story exceptional. If Michael had died, if she had killed him, it would be just another horror story- but she doesn't! And that makes all the difference.

( Posted by: Beckett Grey [Member] On: September 1, 2002 )

re: Beckett
Thanks for the props. I had started this story for Rogan's "Summer Challenge" but I've stymied by the ending all summer long.

This is actually the third different conclusion I've written for this story and I'm still not sure if it's right. It's one of those that I think some people will like but others will hate.

But the fact that you liked it, bodes well.

Thanks again,


( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: September 1, 2002 )

Excellent work on this one. In fact in some ways I think this may be the best piece of your work I've read. As Beckett said the fact that you took the ending to an unexpected place makes it more than just a well written piece. Exceptional job, and the role reversal of a "male" rape victim works oh so well.

( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: September 4, 2002 )

first story
This was the very FIRST piece I ever read on this website. I loved it. I was suprised by the ending because I was expecting Michael to die -- the predictable outcome for horror genre.

Very well written and thought out.


( Posted by: appleblossom [Member] On: September 4, 2002 )

This one got under my skin pretty good, 'cause a few weeks back at the beach I hooked up with a girl and we...uh went to the beach and the know what I mean.

It was pitch black out, the lights on the boardwalk and hotels were too far away to reach the shoreline, but there was lightning behind some clouds that would light up every so often (I know, that's really stupid and dangerous, but I was horny and had just turned 18).

Eh, anyway, reading this and thinking about that experience just scraped a nerve somewhere. I had to turn a light on.

Thanks =)

( Posted by: direb0y [Member] On: September 6, 2002 )

Nightmare in the water
This was exceptionally well written. A male rape seems odd, but very creepy, esp. how you portrayed the scenery and emotion involved. Good stuff.

( Posted by: JM HELUK [Member] On: December 19, 2002 )

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