Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both
The ceiling shimmered with silver. Clarice knew that there were fish hiding there, their silvery sides blending with the sun. However, it wasn’t the fish that drew her attention, it was the shadows. The dark spots were almost as long as she was and they flapped their tails in strange ways, never sinking far below the surface.
This shadow was very large, the size her mother had taught her to avoid. Nothing preyed on sharks, except those shadows.
Curiosity had always gotten the better of Clarice and she inched nearer to discover what the shadow hid.
Justine hauled back on the rigging, tightening it into place while her brother tied the line off. She looked over the side of their boat, looking at the flashes of silver below, fish scales. They were so close to the surface. It was no wonder fishermen had frequented here, dragging their nets and raking in spoils.
She wasn’t fishing today. This stock was still recovering from decades of exploitation. She was getting ready to plunge down with her air tank and her waterproof camera. She didn’t wait for Dylan, he’d be right behind. Sliding over the side, she sunk her height and half again before the buoyancy caught her.
She found herself nose-to-nose with a shark.
Clarice startled at the odd creature in front of her. She wasn’t like the other fish, her shape all wrong. Sniffing, she found it didn’t smell like a fish either. What strange creature was this?
Before she had a chance to find out, a second joined the first and both raced to the surface, clawing their way into the ceiling.
Clarice followed, curiosity unsated.
Justine screamed and Dylan scrambled up the side of their boat, tugging her after. The shark surged up beneath her and she wriggled, wanting out of it’s way. Instead, she slipped free of his hand and sunk back beneath the waves.
Resigned now, she tried to hold still, hoping the predator wouldn’t be attracted to her. That was foolish, of course it was interested in the large piece of meat. Was that all she was now? A meal?
The shark came closer, circling. It bumped Justine with it’s nose and tail, not biting at all. Curious, she stretched out her hand, running it over the great nose.
Clarice heard the splash at the same time as the strange creature from above the ceiling. She kicked up and took hold of another shadow, which pulled her away.
Swimming down in search of another meal, Clarice wished she’d found out how it tasted.
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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, and it's sequel Duty and Sacrifice. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com