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The Fin

Posted by James Bell (Collaborator)

The Fin

The Loose Limpet was one of the finer seafood restaurants in Coastal City, so it came as a surprise that a horrible murder was committed there, as opposed to a chain like Captain Guppy’s.

It happened in the wee hours as assistant head busboy Jep Feemer cleaned up after a night of exceptionally vigorous shellfish shucking. He had just dumped a pot of unwanted fish parts in the alley, according to stringent health department guidelines, when an ominous sliding sound caught his attention. Jep squinted, trying to see what might emerge from the darkness. When it did, he screamed…. It was to be his last scream at a monster.

Government man Newcott Waikes of the Department of Touristry had seen repulsive leftovers in his line of work, but these seafood-related mutilations really took the crabcake. Six in three weeks, all in one city, seemed more than coincidence, and if tourists heading to the shore were robbed of their fine-dining privileges, well… then he didn’t even want to know an industry like that.

Newcott needed to consult an expert, and in this case renowned gastroceanographer Dr. Leeka Marl. Beyond the fact that all the victims were killed by something sharp and fishy, she needed more evidence, so it was decided the two would go undercover as typical tourist couple, the Mottersons, and take in Coastal City’s seafood restaurants.

They started at Tres Bon Squid, which Newcott figured meant the Happy Squid, and went with several interesting choices, including the popular flaming eel and chocolate-covered clam.

They tried several more over the next few nights. All was quiet — if filling — until they dined at the Diamond Barnacle. After trying half the menu, including the clubbed salmon and muscle-capped herring, they decided to head back and compliment the chef.

They opened the kitchen door and immediately froze. There, impossibly, was what appeared to be a shark passing by on the other side of the counter. They quickly saw it was not a shark beyond the counter, but a single fin, atop the counter.

It slid with a repulsive squishy sound on the part at which it had been dismembered. The entire kitchen staff lay sprawled, hacked to pieces by the rampant fish part.

Newcott drew his government-issue Department of Touristry automatic (the Sightseer 26) and blasted away, but the beast’s hide resisted. It jumped to the floor and scooted toward them with a piercing scream like a buzz saw. Newcott and Leeka parted just in time as the finny horror flung itself between them and into the restaurant. They dashed after it, but it smashed through the glass of the front door and into the night, so abruptly a nearby diner spat oysters.

Dr. Leeka Marl had identified the culprit as the detached fin of a particularly large sawshark (pristiophoridae). Better still, she had retrieved a sample that she could study and run tests on. And there was no more satisfying scientific monster-hunting coup than studying and running tests on something.

Leeka was able to determine, somehow, that the rogue fin had been processed at Slim Chance Seafood, a plant on the outskirts of the city, run by a man named Cartorn Hippens.

Newcott and Leeka approached an ominous facility overlooking the ocean. They saw no workers in evidence which seemed odd for such a large structure. Inside the entryway they were met by a thin bespectacled woman, Miss Goods, who offered to give them the tour.

She proceeded to take them to an enormous processing room with bubbling vats and then turned to them and said, “Well, there it is, thank you for coming.”

“I’m afraid to tell you, Miss Goods,” said Newcott, “we’re here on official business… though I’m not really afraid.”

Miss Goods stammered that they’d need to make an appointment with Mr. Hippens who was presently unavailable. A sudden noise from somewhere startled her.

“That sounded like something falling over,” offered Leeka.

“Things are always falling over in the seafood industry,” said Goods. Then she cried out at another noise. “You must go. You fools. Don’t you see? Before it’s too late.” And with that the terrified woman bolted, her footsteps echoing among the vats.

Newcott and Leeka had no intention of leaving and crept among the big vats in the dim light from the very high windows.

A shrill cry cut the air. Miss Goods. Followed by a familiar squishy sound. Newcott and Leeka rushed to find her dead, an elderly man crouched beside her.

In his office, haunted fish processor Cartorn Hippens explained his obsession that led to the monster he’d created.

“It’s time I unburdened myself of this…. Long had I dreamed of the perfect canned seafood… Fish parts that could move of their own volition….”

“How is that a good thing?” asked Leeka.

“I finally achieved it using the fin of a sawshark. It was able to move about, to destroy….”

“Still not sure of the reasoning but please continue,” muttered Newcott.

“I soon realized how wrong I’d been. The fin — my brainchild — was the fin of my own subconscious. It took revenge on fancy restaurants it perceived to be my enemy. Now, even I can’t control it.”

Suddenly there was a loud bang on the door.

“It’s coming to destroy you,” said Cartorn. “It perceives you as enemies. There is no way to stop it.”

“There might be one way,” said Leeka, mixing several vials the talented gastroceanographer brought with her. “This is a powerful, fast-acting tartar sauce that just might do the trick.”

With a smash, the door caved, and in flew the horrific fin. It landed on the floor and began inching its way towards Leeka and her vial.

Before it could reach her, Cartorn Hippens grabbed the vial, doused himself liberally with sauce and lunged at the fin.

It was a terrible sight, fin and creator; the latter perished in a frenzy of cuts while the former dissolved, destroyed by the basic enemy of all seafood.

I gott say, I've loved all of the fiction that we've shared. Larry Blamire is hilarious.
I gott say, I've loved all of the fiction that we've shared. Larry Blamire is hilarious.


Thank you everyone for sharing your love of this project and spreading the word to help recruit additional backers! We've got just over 12 days to go and 631 Backers have joined in so far. With more Stretch Goals ahead and an exciting few weeks in front of us, there's lots of opportunity to keep the momentum rolling!

And, if you're voice is getting weak from spreading the word yourself, here are some cool videos you can share that'll give you a temporary reprieve from doing all the talking while still getting your point across:

The Gentleman Sea Captain's Guide to Threats! from Beneath the Sea!

Caffeinated Conquests actual play of They Came from Beneath the Sea!

They Came from Beneath the Sea! Beginner's Guide from The Botch Pit 

Please watch and share with your friends! Together, we can resist the undersea invaders...

(I think I may be switching sides!!)




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    1. James Bell Collaborator on

      @Shawn - once you fall into this world, you just want to go deeper and deeper...

    2. Shawn Carman

      What... what just happened?

      Even more importantly, why do I want more of it?