Not so rare and not endangered but I hope you like this one. If you’re interested in finding out more about the A to Z blog challenge look here.
Jellyfish filled the sea, surrounding him everywhere he looked. Their bodies were difficult to make out in the deep afternoon light that filtered through the water. Salt was stinging his eyes but he blinked hard and focused his camera. They were beautiful, moving slowly around him. One or two bumped against him but their tentacles had no grip on his wet suit. Until one of them did.
There was a strong pressure around his leg. Something that felt more like another person, grabbing him for dear life. He twisted as fast as he could, but there were only jellyfish behind him too. He glanced down; there was nothing on his leg. The pressure was gone. Inside his helmet he could hear his heart starting to race. The only sound that he could here. He shook his head, bringing the camera back up to his face.
One of the Jellyfish pressed into his back, tentacles swirling around his face. He panicked, stretching his arms out, twisting and turning away from it. There shouldn’t be any jelly’s in this swarm big enough to cause him harm. When he was certain he was free of tentacles he turned. There were only small ones, like he had seen. Everywhere he looked tiny jellyfish filled his vision. He paused. Took a moment to breathe.
He had been warned that sometimes being surrounded by such a large amount of animals could trigger hallucinations. His guide when he had first started to learn diving had told him a story. One in which he had been swimming with a school of fish, but had sworn that out the corner of his eyes he could see a large predator. One that lurked just outside of safety, just beyond the glittering scales of the tiny fish.
There was something on his arm.
He was careful not to look at it, only raising his camera to his face, watching out the corner of his eye. There was a hand on his arm. He took a deep breath, his oxygen tank wouldn’t last him if he started to panic. He looked back. Yep, still there.
The hand was unlike any he had ever seen. It was translucent and soft, no fingernails or knuckles, the fingers just curved around him. The only reason he knew it was there was because of the pressure it put on his muscles. Not tight, but noticeable, like it wanted to see how hard it had to grip before he reacted. Just as he was thinking that, it tightened. He kept calm and turned.
This time the creature had no time to hide, obviously not realising that he had felt it. It had become more daring, and now he could see it. The whole being was transparent, blending in and out of the water like the jellyfish around him. It had an almost human structure, there was clearly a head and shoulders but the torso and legs were tentacles. Long drifting, swaying tentacles, they moved the creature forward. He looked back up to its face; two grey almond shaped eyes were the only part of its body that weren’t clear. There was a darker shape below that could be a mouth, but it led deep inside the body and he shied away from thinking about what that could mean.
It watched him watching it. Slowly he moved backward, the grip on his arm released and he took a shaking breath. However, now that he had seen it the creature seemed reluctant to leave. It circled him and watched as he pulled his legs up to avoid its tentacles. As it came back to his face it twisted them to float of behind, seemingly intelligent enough to realise that it could hurt him. He raised his camera, trying to keep his breathing steady even as his pulse raced.
It looked straight into the lens, eyes clouding over for a second. He took the camera away, puzzled at why the lens had fogged up. The creature watched him twisting it back and forth, and when he looked up at him, its eyes clouded again. He took a sharp breath that wasted some more of his oxygen. But he couldn’t help it. The clouding was the creature blinking, it was more human than he had considered. A human like jellyfish, for it must be a jellyfish derivative.
A human jellyfish.
He raised the camera.
A human fish.
He took several photos.
He lowered the camera, stared straight into its eyes and watched it open a mouth full of teeth.