Wednesday, 20 June 2012


by John Xero

The Nautilus II creaked disturbingly as it sank below the thousand fathom mark. Jets of salt water sluiced in where the implacable depths probed its steel armour.

Those gallant, foolish men thought the oceans just another place to be conquered. They forgot life had been born down there. They pushed deeper, on their captain’s urging, 'til the submarine's seams burst and the sea roared in.

The captain unravelled. He unfurled into a mass of thick, sinuous tentacles and at their centre a hooked beak that plunged relentlessly into the chests of the drowning crew.

Lifeblood blossomed unseen in dark waters.

Author bio: John Xero is the editor at 101 Fiction.
He blogs at the Xeroverse and tweets as @xeroverse


  1. Like the brooding narrator voice and the way you used "The Captain unravelled."

    Not sure about the second half of the "He unfurled..." sentence. Not the idea but the flow of the words.

    A touch of Lovecraft here?

    1. Yeah, I wrestled with that sentence quite a bit... In the end I settled for meaning over finesse, anything I wrote that flowed better then didn't feel right when I re-read the piece.

      It's difficult to write about ancient depths and the things that may lurk there without evoking Loveraft to some degree, isn't it? ;)

      Thank you, Pete. =)

  2. I love the mood and the imagery of this piece. Very nice!

  3. Aaaargh... Shades of that squiggly faced guy in Pirates of the Caribbean. :-)

  4. This made me shiver! I love the double meaning behind "The captain unravelled".

  5. This is like Lovecraft meets Jules Verne meets Pirates of the Caribbean in a wonderfull flow of words which sinks deep into the indigo waters of a horrific, chilling tale. Me likes a lot John!