Excerpt from a Rough Draft, 2005: “Anthony on the Great Lake”

This is a story I was working on last in 2005. I liked it enough, but the story was pretty unpolished and lacking any real theme or coherency. I’ve had it shelved for eleven years, but decided to take a look at it earlier today. It really does need a lot of work.

One of the things I’ve learned since then is not to tell your readers what to feel, make them feel it with the circumstance and the story. In this excerpt I use “frightful” to describe something directly to the readers, which is a marker of immature writing.

– Frank Ormond

The serpent had a strange mouth, with a beak in the front and two sharp points on the sides of its mouth. The most frightful thing about the monster was its large eyes. When the eyes gazed into Anthony’s, Anthony froze. He dropped the sword he was given, and stood there motionless. It seemed as if its entire eye was one, large pupil, gazing into his very soul. Anthony could hear the creature speak, though its mouth never moved. He could hear its sinister thoughts, though he didn’t hear it through his ears. The creature filled Anthony’s mind with millions of prideful thoughts at once. At the moment Anthony received this information, He doubled over in pain, grabbing his head. Gemini hopped down and hissed at the creature, which paid her no attention.

Anthony processed all the thoughts, and soon stood up on the rocking boat. The air was silent as Anthony’s mind was filled with hundreds of prideful thoughts. The night was quiet, as his mind was filled with Chaos. The creature spoke without speaking, telling Anthony that he should jump into its mouth. It told Anthony that he was powerful, and invincible, so if he jumped into the monster’s mouth he could not be destroyed. To Anthony, it was logic. He was strong, he was powerful, he was mighty, he was brave, and brave men never run from a challenge.

The creature lowered its head to the boat. It opened its beak and looked at Anthony expectantly. It saw Lobo and Sara cower in fear, shrieking in terror as they all felt the creature hot breath. Gemini, however, was a different story. She was the creative one, the mind, and the one who had a level head in any situation. She realized the creature’s plan as soon as it opened its mouth. Anthony realized his new goal, and that was to enter the monster’ mouth and prove his own strength. As Anthony stepped forward, he asked it its name. The creature replied with it’s own voice, a female one, saying, “Rahab. I am Rahab.”

He approached the creature. He was close to it, and Gemini saw her only friend steps away from certain death. She tried to think clearly, though so many things flew in at once. She had forgotten to warn Anthony about this thing, so she felt it was her fault. If Anthony went down the hydra’s throat she’d never forgive herself. Gemini thought more, and Anthony took another step.

He was now one step from the creature’s mouth.

The creature was lazy and waited for Anthony to take his final step. Lobo and Sara gasped, and turned their heads, fearing for their friend’s life. Gemini realized that there was only one thing she could do. She knew Anthony’s trance had something to do with the creature’s gaze, so she did the only thing a tiny cat could do against a monster. Anthony raised his foot, about to plunge into certain death. Suddenly, Gemini jumped into its eye. When her claws and fur grazed the large eye, the creature let out a roar that could be heard on all sides of the island. Anthony fell backwards in the chaos, and Gemini fell on top of his stomach. The creature Rahab kept its left eye closed, and began to whimper. It was a coward. In all the years of swallowing men whole, it had never been struck against. It never realized that a tiny cat would be its own undoing. It continued whining, yelling out the last thing it had said, “I am Rahab! I am Rahab! Rahaaab!” It made the waves rough, and the wind blow, as it crept below the sea.


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