As he pedaled uphill on his rusty bike, cars zoomed past. Humidity stuck to his skinny, half-naked body. Sweat trickled into his mouth. Its saltiness made him thirsty, but he wasn’t going to stop.
There was no official sign to mark the spot just a long, stone wall and a plastic trash bin. Jai dropped his bike beside the container.
The trail was steep and slippery. Hundreds of sneakers and sandals had walked the path; he hoped that Portlock Point was empty. As soon as Jai reached the rocky cliff, he felt like a warm breeze brush his face.
With the waves thrashing against the cliffside and a blue horizon as straight as a wood plank. Jai felt as though he were aboard a pirate’s ship. He walked to the edge to see the thirty-five-foot drop. Water splashed and bubbled as the caves suck in then spit out ocean water. So mesmerized by the motion, he hadn’t noticed the wind picking up.
A gust hurled towards him. Jai couldn’t keep his balance and fell feet-first into the ocean. The warm water tousled his hair. He frantically swam to the surface desperate to take a big gulp of air. A wave crashed into him. Wave after wave buried him beneath the water. It was as though an invisible hand were pushing him into the ocean’s belly. The harder he fought, the more tired he became.
The underwater caves had sucked Jai deeper into the ocean’s depths where the sunlight dimmed. It was now when he felt a soft, squishy thing graze his waist. The thing gently pushed him to one side. He squinted at the hole trying to make out a shape. The sunlight moved like a flashlight to reveal and enormous eye staring back at him.
Its tentacles were longer than any ship Jai had seen, and its body was as massive as a whale’s. Somehow it had managed to coil itself into the underwater cave. Face face reflected on its giant black pupil.
With his heart racing, he swam to the surface. This time there was no resistance. He pierced the surface and caught his breath, then swam to the side of the cliff. Once there, he scratched nervously at the rock.
“Help!” he screamed to anyone who could hear, “It’s going to eat me!”
Suddenly, a thick tentacle slapped the side of the cliff; it landed just a few inches from Jai. Droplets of water splashed onto his face. The octopus slowly rose to the surface. If Jai didn’t move quickly then octopus would swallow him whole. His only option was to climb the tentacle.
It was squishy and slippery like seaweed, but he was able to find a grip and pull himself upward. He reached the end of the tentacle, but he was still too far from the top. Suddenly, another tentacle slapped against the cliffside. Jai glanced down to see the Octopus’s massive body protruding from the ocean. Its body budged from the ocean like an orange sore. Jai climbed up the second tentacle and made it to the surface.
He ran from the cliff’s edge then turned expecting to see the octopus, but there was nothing. He walked back to the side of the cliff and saw the giant descend back into the ocean. As its tentacles disappear beneath the bubbling waves, Jai wondered if it was really was trying to eat him.