Was it a fight to the death,
Or was it…something else?
It all began in the murky depths,
Surrounded by sharks and
Waving fronds of kelp.
The sperm whale came,
Cutting through the ocean,
Vast blue gray body a solid wall
Displacing the waters in its wake.
How could the squid but notice?
The massive challenger crossed
A boundary in the sandy ocean floor…
A burst of speed,
like a great harpoon,
A fleshy torpedo, the squid flew,
Flashing red through dark blue-green.
Spitting brine, beak clattering
It barreled forth,
Aiming true, for one giant eye
Set into the massive wall of gray,
Winking slow codes into the dark sea.
The Kraken hurtled forth,
To spear the eye it could not help
What message had it missed
In the mad rush toward destiny?
For it had been foretold
By scores of generations
That Kraken and Leviathan
Must battle unto the ends of time.
That only one could triumph
And that victory would cast order
Upon the oceans
For another hundred years.
But what if all the stories
Passed from ancient squids to younger
Had been wrong?
What if that winking eye held
Secrets longing to be whispered
Until the sound of them pressed up
Against squid’s ruddy flesh?
The thought was as quick as the squid itself.
So quick that Kraken couldn’t stop.
And didn’t know if it wanted to.
The pull of destiny was strong.
It’s too late to change course now,
Thought the red squid just as…
Red flesh slammed into unyielding gray.
A massive maw expanded wide
Grinning it’s predatory teeth,
Teeth that won, despite the scarred gray hide.
Tentacular arms wrapped, again and again,
Around the firm jaw.
Teeth nicked at rubber flesh.
Welcome home, clicked gray Leviathan.
You know me? gasped red Kraken.
Time paused there, in the briny depths.
Giant squid and whale suspended…
A dance, it was. Slow motion.
I have watched you, spoke Leviathan,
For many heartbeats, and the shift of tides.
I have seen you darting to and fro, hunting,
As kelp beds grow and diminish,
Diminish and grow.
Tentacle by tentacle,
The squid released its grip.
Swimming slightly back,
It gazed into one giant eye.
Astonished. It was simply…
Would you care to swim?
The great whale said.
To linger for awhile through
Coral forests and shimmering schools of fish?
This wasn’t how the story went,
The squid was sure of it.
Grandmother squid had spoken only of
Blue green waters stained with ink and red.
Leviathan and Kraken were sworn foes.
But the great whale was acting as if…
It wanted to be friends.
And maybe even something more.
Red tentacled arms waving,
A shiver ran through its strong and supple form.
Are you asking for a date? it finally said.
One mighty eye snapped shut.
The waters shook and trembled.
The red squid strained to keep its place.
With a quick flash of anger,
Kraken snapped its horned beak.
It would not be mocked. Should not be
Toyed with in this way.
Squid poised itself to strike.
The huge gray maw opened before it.
The vibrations in the water increased.
The sound pressed itself
Against the red squid’s skin,
Barely familiar. Laughter.
What is so amusing? Kraken asked,
Half indignant, and half curious at the sight.
Around them, waters slowly calmed again.
A school of silvery fish skirted by.
It has been years since…
The eye fixed upon Kraken,
Piercing the red squid still
In the ever shifting sea.
Kraken barely pulsed. Waiting.
If you would be so kind, then yes, said the whale
It is a date.
Tracing one tentative frond of an arm
Across the vast gray face,
The red squid slowly pulsed in place,
And then responded,
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