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Crab and Punishment

By Snaffles Blue

I noted from the previous messages on the subject of crustations that some felt that the coconut crabs and their ilk are "Terrifying".
I have a tale that will shock and sicken you to your core, and cause you to completely revise your parameters for frighteningly large sea beasts.

*lights pipe*

Settle in ye all, for the weather is rousing and ye'll not go far tonight. Come sit by Snaff's fire. I'm a harmless old seadog, and mayhap I'll entertain ye and that.

1984. Barry peninsula. That's not a person, it's a place - windswept, blasted, tainted with the sickening, warped sound of decaying arcades and the sick, sing-song bellow of a thousand Welsh scabs.
A boy I was at this time, a callow lad, whose main interests were to skip gaily o'er the rocks and outcrops and to search for crabs, which I would collect in my pail, shaped like the keep of a mighty fort.

This time though, I had tarried too long, and found myself among the lesser visited rock pools, dangerously far from the safety of the shore. The object of my fascination was a mighty stone which appeared to be barely heftable by my pathetic pre-pubescent arms. Employing a piece of driftwood, which I thrust underneath a likely spot on the boulder, I attempted to lever it with all my might in the failing sunlight.
Like King Arthur and his fabled geologically disadvantaged sabre, I struggled but failed to make any impression on the monolithic stone.

Even hanging from the very end of the wood made no difference. It was then that I noted the rhythmic influx of the waves crashed against the far side with no little force, so redoubled my efforts to synchronise with this natural impellation.

Finally, with a slithering creak, the stone inched, slid a little and flipped, with a crash into the boiling foam. Rushing forth, I surveyed what had been underneath, for I hoped fervently for some crustaceous reward for my toil. The water was misted by churning sand and in-rushing briny, and at first I was sure there was no pincer-esque action to be countenanced. So sure, that I pounded my fist defeatedly into my palm and turned to return to shore.

It was then that I felt the sand under my jelly type flip-flops lurch violently, and I stumbled forwards, splayed onto the unforgiving rocks. Turning my head, wide-eyed and with a fierce and all-consuming sense of foreboding I came face to eyes with the largest crab in Christendom. It reared triumphantly on its spindly legs and towered over me, slashing the air with its muscular claws, its mouth frothing in mute fury.

Stunned, I pushed backwards furiously with my feet, but to no avail. The vast creature whose slumber I had disturbed was now upon me, and demanding fleshy recompense for the inconvenience.
I realised with a flash that the hairy troll people of Wales had no doubt placed the rock as a cork in an infernal stopper, to prevent the vile creature from making good its escape, probably in the mists of pre-history.

The crab was nearly upon me - it thrust a claw toward me, but only succeeded in knocking my watch (a de-rigeur Casio) from my wrist. In a last desperate effort, my scrambling hands settled on something hard and pointed, and cowering I pointed it toward the brute. It turned out to be a discarded walking stick or fire poker or somesuch, fashioned in wrought iron. With a sickening crack it peirced the descending armoured forcep and silently screaming, the crab receded into the encroaching waves. I never found my watch.

I stared at the object which had saved me, and upon closer inspection, I found, stamped with a primitve naivety, an emblem. Of a huge crustacean, towering over a village.

I knew I had not seen the last of this adversary. Not by a long fooking chalk.


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