I was down here in the dark water before any of you were born. I was here when you crawled down out of the trees and scrambled to the seashores to fish. I was here when you first ventured out on the skin of the waves, and when you grew fat with self-love and turned the seas brown with your engines. I will be here after you die.

Over the years you became aware of me. The fear in your blood changed its taste, from the limpid clarity of shock to the dull funk of recognition. I acquired a name, then many names.

Once in a long while I rise close to the surface and do what I must. I try to make each one last. Don’t imagine that I enjoy the screaming, the snapping bones, the hatred in the eyes of the survivors. I hate the taste of human flesh on my old tongue. But a hunger exists in this world, even older than I, and it is the father of all our deeds.


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