cw: claustrophobia, dub con, chained-up man fucked to death by crustaceans in total darkness, very unerotic egg-preg
The rocks are impenetrable, impassable. The darkness, total.
There are no voices from beyond. He will die here, chained to the iron rings, starving in the wet sand.
Deeper in the darkness, something stirs. It is May, the season is turning, and the seawater warms. From within the tunnels and passages of the salted chalk, antennae and feelers seek hormones and pheromones, tasting the musty air for prey and partners.
The mating dance begins in the dark.
The segmented bodies rise, feelers waving. Each segment is encased in a horny outer shell, stippled rough like rock and dark algae-green, spotted white along the sides. The soft bodies inside are a tender, translucent meat, with pear-drop faces that grey, uncooked colour, two round orbs for eyes on short stalks facing forwards. They have small mouths that open and close in silent fish-kisses, and long tube-like antennae that rotate and probe. In the dark, they could be mistaken for ghostly, hooded aliens, little greys peering out from beneath their crustaceous bonnets, so nearly mammalian, so close to humanity, and yet… so very far.
They have thick tails, like lobsters, and claws, four in all, two for fighting and two for delicate pincer movements, and their legs number six in total along the stippled, spotted sides.
They are trapped in the cave, too.
But biological imperative is strong with their kind, and it is May, and the temperature is right, and the water is the way they like it. They begin in the darkness, clicking out of their holes to swarm the rocks, finding weaknesses and pushing their way through to the beach. Warm soft bodies, raw and dripping beneath the shells, find another warm, soft body, whimpering and straining against his manacles.
The females are in heat, as mammals can be.
They search for a sperm packet, to be deposited against their bellies. Tens of them move over each other, over the chained figure, who moves against them in the dark and writhes in a clumsy manner they can only interpret as inviting.
Short stubs like fingers probe his soft sperm sac. It is different, for he is unshelled. Perhaps in some cruel accident, or perhaps he has shed. He is big, bigger than the other males they smell, and that’s the important thing.
He begins to think there are worse fates than this one, for now he realises what they are. Merfolk, hardshells, pretty little things. He has not lain with one, not yet, but he’s heard stories. He’s heard they know what to do with a man.
On discovering the sperm packet has not been released, the merfolk, for their part, attempt to retrieve it. There are orifices to probe, some obvious and open, eliciting moans from the unshelled one as feelers sink deep inside and begin to tease, to explore, to shaft. Others are hidden and secret behind folds of skin, skin which ought not to be broken, and are fondled cautiously, either side of the sperm pipe. The eye of the sperm pipe itself is explored by one, but briefly.
Eventually, he ejaculates.
The mermaids collect this effusion on their undersides, where their egg packets hang in clusters. Then, they find his moaning, opened mouth, and pump the fertilised eggs into the belly of the father.
The young will take hours to gestate, and nourish themselves on the way out.
The rocks give way as the dance is done, and the merfolk scuttle out into the shallows to mate again, and again, and again. They leave behind the unshelled thing, egg-bound in the cave, and soon to be a nurturing feast for their young.
Day 5: The Tentacled Beast is an unfinished experimental scene that takes place between The Crows and Thirteenth, so contains spoilers for the end of The Crows. I’ve posted it only to Ko-Fi, so you can read it there for now for free, then after 31 May 2023 will become a member/supporter-only piece of extra content.