In the Belly of the Whale

I was too surprised to resist. Before I even knew what was happening, I splashed down into Willy’s stomach, which was wet and slimy and hot and smelled of rotting fish. I coughed and sputtered in the close air, trying not to get slime in my mouth.

“What was—that for?” I gasped.

“It was for me, ground-dweller. I was hungry, and your kind has taken enough of ours to owe in return.” His voice seemed to rumble from all around me, but I could still understand it.

“But—all that talk of waiting for me for centuries—”

He expelled a burst of air through his blowhole in a cetacean snort. “Do you know how few of you we can lure into the water with us?” He sounded smug. I felt him tilt forward. He was diving.

“Let me out! I need to get back to my wife!”

“Would you like her to join you? That can be arranged—I still have room.”

“N-no, ah, thank you…” I mumbled.

“Relax. Sleep, and become a part of me.” His deep voice, combined with the heat, was somehow soothing, hypnotic. Unable to resist, I slid into a deep sleep…

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