Extraction Blog Tour

Excerpt:

I look up. The green lights are brighter now, lining silver cages on either side of me and above. Some of the cages are giant, while others are small. They float throughout the pit, some so near, we must've swam right past them. My heart beats in my fingertips.

Inside the cages are the animals of the sea.

The fish are easiest to recognize, since I've seen pictures of ones like them before. In the smaller cages, they're only as big as my fist, but fatter. One has eyes that change color and stringy tentacles like whiskers. Another has something like wings, the color of lead, but they're floppier than krail wings and not made of feathers. The fish makes a screeching sound when it opens its mouth.

I smile to myself.

"The most interesting ones are over here." Beechy swims past the smaller cages. I follow him.

Beyond the last small cages sits a giant one. The creature inside seems almost human. It has two legs, two arms, and one head, but its skin is a clear color, looking like the consistency of gel. Where it should have ears, it has gills, and its eyes are fiery red with no irises or eyelids. It curls the only three long fingers of each hand around the steel bars of its cage and watches us, unblinking.

My eyes widen.

"What is this?" Ariadne asks.

"We call it a 'vool,' v-u-l, after the explorer who discovered it." Beechy reaches into his pocket and removes a small, round tin. He swims closer to the creature. I bite back my instinct to tell him to stop.

The vul reaches through the bars and takes the tin from him. It doesn't seem frightened.

"This one's the last of his kind," Beechy says, swimming back a few feet until he's beside me. "But he's been alive for decades."

I stare at the vul, my heart beating unsteadily. The creature lets go of the cage bars and unlatches the tin's lid. Inside are a number of tiny, squished fish the size of my pinkie. He picks one up and chews it with teeth sharp and yellow.

"He's so...human," I say.

Beechy nods. "Sometimes I wish we hadn't enslaved him."

"How did the others die?"

He grimaces. "I'm afraid it was our fault. When they were first discovered, there were only a few left. We scared them, so they attacked. We had better weapons."

 

 

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