Captain Claw: The Abyss

Retired sea-captain-turned-novelist Captain Claw lives in the San Francisco Bay.

Hangover this morning. Too much single-malt last night. Had to break it out when Johnson stopped by with the old Captain Claw record. As the needle dropped, I was flooded with emotion.

Captain Claw, Captain Claw
You sure look snappy, we’re simply in awe
Captain Claw, Captain Claw
The mightiest crab you ever did saw

We toasted memories of those days gone by—when we were still unbreakable, our red backs glowing in the unwavering beams of the sun. I was mighty. The old Captain Claw.

I thanked Johnson for bringing the record by, and he stumbled back into the deep. He’s a survivor. And a good friend.

I capped the whiskey, sat down, and confronted the blank page. Then I heard it.

It was the sound of another jumper hitting the surface under the Golden Gate. Soon came the familiar smell of blood in the water.

They always jump on the city side of the bridge, never the ocean side. That has to mean something, doesn’t it? None of them want to leap into the abyss. No, they look out at the city and see the human society they’re estranged from, and hope their fellowman will somehow catch them as they leap toward the city and fall down.

Her wallet landed on the bed of the bay. I opened it and found her California driver’s license. Beautiful girl. I added her picture to the memorial wall of the fallen.

When I returned home, I felt more hollowed out than ever. And there it was, waiting for me, the blank page. I finished the whiskey and fell into bed.

captain-claw-sig

{ Illustration of Captain Claw by Jeff Petersen. }
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