OLD RED

imagine tha most hideous a monsters. ugliest a beasts. things weth gills from ear tah ear. rows and rows of teeth sharper an barnacles. arms, arms full a suckers that'll suck tha blood right through yer flesh. things that got tha strength ta pull a whole ship down under tha sea. imagine all that, and OLD RED is worse.
Jesus Christ. Ah'd rather rip mah eyes out weth fish hooks. Rather get keel hauled in tha Artic. Shit boy, Ah'd rather have hemmoroids and eat a belly full a clam shells. How tha hell can yah ask a question like that? What do yah mean what's tha big deal weth Old Red. Ah shit son, yer just like Colin. Yeah ah was on a ship weth a lad like yah once. Dumb as hell. We all knew it. Too curious. Went and did everythin we warned him against. Hope yah have tha brains to stay otta 'er way. I'll tell ya tha same thing as evey other sailor in here. Watch out fer Old Red. Keep yer guard up. That's what happens. She waits for ya ta turn yer back, that's when yer sensitive and all. That's when she gets good men like us. She's out there. Lurking under those waves. Terrible. Yah've heard tha stories an fantasies. Things like Moby Dick, Thousand Leagues. Them are stories. Fables. Things yah can make up and scare yerself weth. But they ain't real. Old Red's real. She's real and she's crossed many a men in er tonight. Yah can see tha scars on them fer proof if ya need it. Yah just stay away yeh hear me. Imagine tha most hideous a monsters. Ugliest a beasts. Things weth gills from ear tah ear. Rows and rows of teeth sharper an barnacles. Arms, arms full a suckers that'll suck tha blood right through yer flesh. Things that got tha strength ta pull a whole ship down under tha sea. Imagine all that, and Old Red is worse. More powerful. More dangerous. Tha kinda stuff that'll scare tha shit right inta a man trousers just thinkin 'bout her. Men 'ave nightmares 'bout this kinda stuff. All yah can do is keep yer guard up. Yah'll know her when yah see her. Yah can sense her comin. Tha skin on yer scrawny bones 'el start to tighten. Tha hair on yer head 'el start tah suck back inta yer scalp. Yah 'll feel her close. And then, if ya don't get tha hell outta there, yah'll be face tah face weth her. Tha ugliest godamn thing tha sea has ever seen. It don't matter how big a boat, or how many men yah got standin behind yah. She'll take tha lot of yah down and yah 'll never know what hitcha. Think ahm still jokin? Think ahm still full of tha shit, aye? Take a look at this. Finish yer drink. Finish it, then ah'll show yah somthin. Gotta feel tha booze in yer blood before yah see this. Let me tell yah 'bout Colin. True name was Colin, but we all called him Easy. You can guess it all by his name. He was a big kid, an we all knew he was an easy target. Always curious 'bout Old Red. Askin' questions, talkin tah men who'd seen 'er. He's tha kinda sailor yah just know is gonna get et from Old Red. Always tha curious ones. Sure enough, one morning we're out there hauling lines. I'm yellin at Easy behind meh tah reel in tha jib and ahm just watchin tha damn line flap in teh wind. Ah turn 'round, an Easy ain't anywhere near meh or tha line. Eh's not on board at all. We don't even bother throwing uh ring or searchin. No point. We all knew it was Big Red. Tha guy was just too curious. Probably caught ah glimpse of 'er an fell right in tha sea from shock. That drink hit yah yet? Yeah, good. Take a look at this. Ah don't pull mah leggin's up often, this is why, eh. Take ah look at that. That's what Old Red did tah meh. Black, all over mah flesh. Like tha skin on mah leg, just went up and burned itself. Charred, like blackened beach wood. Look at that, all tha way up tah mah belly. Like ah was dipped en tar, burned from mah guts down. Yeah, yer startin tah listen now. Can always see tha man's face change once they see tha scars. Wakes yah up. Old Red ain't nuthin tah mess weth. Tell yah how ah came tah have this beautiful black scar here. That's a scar from Old Red. Ah had a run in weth 'er once. Believe me. There's no way. Absolutly no fucking way yah can ever forget it if yah do. Yah think ahm joking. Wipe that smirk off yer face. It's nothing tah laugh about boy. Yah wait, yah wait. I was just like yah. Hell, every man in 'er was just like yah. We knew it. Grew up on a ship, just like yah . Thought we knew everything there was to know about tha sea, life, tha world. Been around tha world twice. That's right boy. We were on top of et all, in control. Could handle anyhting. We laughed at stories like Old Red. They were rumors. Old tales. Didn't exist. Like Thousand Leagues. But this shit is real, and et's gonna get yah one day, yah better be ready. Ah was 'bout yer age. Evenin' just like this. Hell it was this same tavern. Put more than a few drinks in meh that night. Good reason, yah know. Big run that day. Brought back enough tah last meh tha week. So, ah was drinkin more than ah shoulda. By tha time ah stood up ta leave this hole, ah was walkin crooked. Seein double, tripple maybe. Ah made it ta tha door. Never shooda went out. Shoulda past out right thar. Yeah, right over thar on tha floor. Would saved me hella trouble. But, ah, can't change tha past. Somehow these drunk hands pushed open tha door. An there ah stood. Face tah face weth a beautiful dawn. More beautiful than usual ah remember. Sun was settin on tha sea. No matter how drunk yer are. Always takes yer breath away. Sight of that golden sun, lighten up tha waters. All red and yellow. Beautiful. Ahm tellin yah. Beautiful an deceiving. Cause we all know what's lurkin under them waters. Old Red. Like, ah been sayin, yah gotta keep yer guard up kid. Ah knew ah was drunker 'an normal. So ah was tryin extra hard tah focus on makin mah way back to mah vessel. Puttin one foot in front ah the other like ya done all yer life. But enough of them drinks and yer two years old again. Learn'n tah walk. One foot in front tha other, one in front tha other. Yah figure yah do this long enough yer gonna make it back. Back tah tha ship, tha mates el all be asleep. Yah just gotta make it down that ladder and through tha dark galley. Don't bang them pots or there'll be hell tah pay. Just make it tah yer bunk before yer too drunk tah stand. Then yah can do all tha layin yah want before sunrise. Sun's disappearin fast, moon's takin et's place. So ahm walkin, and if ahm rememberin right, ahm walking pretty fast cause ahm thinkin about how nice that bunk feels 'bout now. An ahm tryin mah hardest to stand once ahm on that dock. But ahm only yards away. Yards away boy. Shit, if ah coulda only made it ta tha boat that night, ah never woulda had tha scare a mah life. But yah know how this is goin. An ah guess thar's only one real way tah learn. Ah couldn't make it. Too many drinks. Too many. They all hit meh at once. Last time ah ever drink tah a run like that. Every fuckin drink musta pounded mah bloodstream at once cause ah lost all control these legs an walked right off tha pier and into tha beautiful sea. Bobbin up an down in tha waters. That's where ah found mehself. Cold as fuckin hell. Cold enough to wake meh halfway from mah drunken self. But not cold enough to give meh control of mah limbs. Ah was havenin trouble grabbin' that wooden dock. Watchin it, come close, 'en far, as tha water took meh up 'n down. Damn boy, ah musta been only twenty feet away from dry land. That's how close she comes. Old Red. She not afraid ah nuthin ahm tellin' yah. Ahm doin mah best to grab eh plank, any plank. But mah coat en leggin's have gotten heavier 'an anything, an tha booze keeps hittin mah brain like crashing waves. Ahm givin up yah know. Just thinkin fuck et. Ahm goin down an et doesn't matter. Good thing ah had such a good run. Ah'll slip away happy. Et's dumb, tha shit yer mind thinks of when yer dyin. An ahm watchin tha wooden dock in tha moonlight pass further an further away from meh. Watchin' everythin' floatin' away. An ah start sinkin, sinkin straight down. Ah ain't makin it out, not this time. Ah sure am drunk an there's just no way ahm gonna get these limbs tah work. Feels like all mah kickin an grabbin et tha water ain't doin nuthin. But ah look down tah see where mah body is headed. Tah what hellish place ahm goin. An what tha hell do ah see? Every godamn thing 'em old sailors warned me 'bout. Every fuckin thing they said tah avoid. Tah keep yer guard up fer. Ahm tellin yah boy. Ah was just like yah long ago. We all were. An we paid no attention tah stories like this. But fucking hell. Boy ah looked down and ah'd been bit. Bit hard. Teeth were sunkin in mah flesh like nails in a ships deck. Ah'd been bitten by Old Red. Love. L. O. V. E. Cherrubs. Potion Number 9. All that shit yah hear about. Ah found mehself starin face-tah-face weth tha greatest beastly monster that lurks tha sea. An mah drunk brain didn't stand a chance in fighten it. But ah did what every good sailor does when they find themselves in tha same situation. Ah got mehself kickin and screamin just as fast as ah could. Ah thrashed, ah swung and pounded at Love. Tha bubbles came up in a furry, an Love just pulled meh down faster. Ah sunk deep inta tha dark blue of tha ocean. Ah had no fuckin clue where ah was goin. All ah know is everythin was gettin darker an colder an ah was too scared tah shit mehself. Ah looked up at tha moonlit world an saw it raisin above meh. Fast. Saw tha whole damn world disapearin. Ah was sinkin inta tha sea in Love's grasp. Tha jaws of Love. Just like those lousey old timers said ah would. Happens tah tha best of us. Ah figued there was nothin ah could do. Started sayin mah goodbyes. Tah mah ship. All mah mates. Mah old life. Ah said godbye cause Love had taken over everything. Et's jaws were now up tah mah waist. Eaten me alive, she was. All mah freedoms were gone. Ah was now inside Love. Deep in Love. Ah could feel tha teeth on mah belly. Squeezin all mah hopes, dreams an guts out. Devouring meh whole. No remorse. No sympathy. None ah that logic er understanding, just pure emotion. Serotonin's goin crazy, just like a schizo. Fuck tha booze, mah mind was getting distorted and drunk off Love. 'Er venom had hit mah bloodstream. Didn't know whether tah laugh, er cry er cream mah leggin's. Love was destroying mah life and taking over everything ah had ever wanted. Ah fell for it. Ah fell deep in Love. Ah forgot about everything that was important tah meh. Mah family, mates, goals, ship. All ah cared about now was being en Love. Ah let tha whole damn thing work on consuming meh. Let mehself slip deeper en Love. Up tah mah chest. Gave up on fightin weth et. Gave up on tryin tah do mah own thing. Nuthin ah could do tah surface an get mah life back. Love was beatn meh up. Chewing meh. Ah could feel mah bones crushing under 'er strong jaws. Ah said goodbye tah tha world. Ah started tah accept mah fate. The sea 'round meh turned a dark gray. Ah lost tha light above meh. Knew ah was comin tah tha end. Knew Love would take over everythin in mah life an ah would have control of nothin ever again. Tha world would never know meh. That thought. Tha world would never know meh. I thought it again, never know meh. Again, never know. Ah got fuckin scared. Ah thought of every thing ah wanted tah do. Ah thought of all tha places ah wanted tah see. Things ah wanted tah make. Mah mates. Mah family. Ah need tah stay alive and away from Love. Fer myself. Mah dreams. Ah looked down at Love in them eyes. Looked 'er straight in. Ah saw those dead, cold, hyptnotizin eyes ah 'ers. An did everything ah could tah fight tha fuck outta it. Kicked, squirmed in ets mouth. Punched. Ah was loosin air fast. Course ah paniced. Punches were doin nuthin. Ah don't know how this drunk old mind did et, but tha last thing ah figured worked. Ah started hating. Hating weth everything ah had in me. Didn't even know what ah was doin' till ah was doin' it. Ah started hatin' mah boat fer makin' meh walk tah it that night. Hatin' tha great run et day fer makin meh drink too much. Ah hated mah mates fer leavin' meh tah walk alone. Hatin' mehself fer bein' dumb enough tah walk eh pier when ah couldn't damn well walk tha land. Damn boy, ah nearly hated tha godamn world en universe right then en thar. Sinking inta tha deep unknown, right out inta that thar sea. An tha more ah hated all tha lousy shit ah couldn't control. Tha more Love lost 'er grip. Yeah, loosened 'er teeth on meh. Ah felt tha Love slippin' away. Ah was damn near outta breath, but this gave meh hope. Ah hated some more. Hated mah family and folks fer havin' meh en tha first fuckin place. Hated mah godamn ancestors fer invetin' ships en bullshit. An ah hated thar ancestors fer inventin tools, and thars fer figurin out how tah walk en two legs an make fire. Godamn boy! Ah pretty much hated tha sonava-bitch fish fer walking outta tha fuckin sea an bacteria fer learnin' how ta breath carbon dioxide. Ah ain't never seen anythin like et. Gettin' spit from Love tha way ah did. Ah was godamn reguritated from Love 'erself. Spit back inta tha world like a bolus durin tha himlick. Ah was free again! Free tah kick fer life an swim in a hyper-panic back tah tha surface. Ah shot outta tha sea just like one of them whales an started mah swim back tah tha shore an mah life. Godamn ah never felt so good. Mah lungs filled en tightend weth air like sails. Full eh life an freedom! Ah passed tha fuck out, too godman much ah guess. Nothin' felt better. Yah never know how good yah got it till its gone. Never realized what tha hell Old Red can do tah yah. Tah yer mind, yer perspective. Them powers she has. Ah washed up on that shore an woke tha next mornin' a new man. Free and useful. Ready tah start doin shit weth mah life again. No more chains. An thank tha fuck God ahm here right now free of Love. Yah, ah see that look in yer eyes. Yah think ahm nuts. Crazy, eh. Crazy fer escaping somethin yer lookin forward tah. Yah don't understand boy. None of us expect yah tah. Not till yahv had a taste fer yerself. Then it's all up tah yeh what yah choose. That's only real way tah learn. Ah can tell yah stories of men ah know all day, but until yah get them teeth stuck in yer thigh, yah aint gonna hear a damn thing ah say. Look at mah legs. Look at what Love did tah half mah body an life. Destroyed et. Ah waste. Et's a contast reminder, what tha Love did tah meh. A reminder that ah got half mah life back an ah need tah make up fer it. Love almost had meh, but ah beat 'er. Beat 'er good. Not many can say that, eh. Most get bit and let go. Say fuck et tah their lives. Not sure why that is? Maybe they don't got tha dreams? Tha strength? Tha will to fight back? Maybe it's just cause et feels so fuckin good once yah got yer dick down 'er throat. They say goodbye tah ther lives and ther never tha same. Havin a half black body is better than tha alternative. Look at that. That guy over thar. Look at em. He's been bit. More than bit. Chewed up, whole. Taken to tha bottom of tha sea by Love, deeper then ah ever went. See that. See that woman he's weth. He's paid fer all them drinks in front ah 'er, gonna go home weth 'er tonight. Gonna marry that lass. Make a couple kids. Work all fuckin day tah pay fer their insurance. He lives fer them now. He said goodbye tah everything he wanted tah do and let Love take over his life. I'm tellin yah, Old Red's the scariest, fuckin monster yah'll ever come across.