A novella in 30 chapters

Stingaree Bay: Chapter 22

Lost

Steve Fendt
Serial Stories
Published in
3 min readMay 31, 2024

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Large shark in deep water with a shaft of sunlight from the surface. The shark has a spearshaft through its left pectoral fin, trailing a length of rope
‘Wounded Hunter’ by Steve Fendt

The cacophony was relentless. So much noise.

Born in the kelp forests of the swift Agulhas Current off the Cape of Good Hope, she was a creature of the open oceans. Her ears were accustomed to the steady pulse of the long rollers, exquisitely attuned to the thrashing of wounded prey.*

For eighteen summers she had roamed the vast waters of the Australian Bight, from the black depths of offshore canyons and the dusky twilight of kelp forests to the oxygen-rich spume of storm-tossed breakers.

She had plucked fur seals and sea lion pups from offshore reefs, ambushed basking elephant seals, crunched the shells of turtles. She had smashed through shoals of silvery tuna with the force of a breaking wave. She had shadowed a stricken humpback for two thousand miles until the mother whale could no longer defend her calf. She had wrestled giant squid in the eternal frigid night a mile beneath the waves.

Now, here in the shallows, she knew distress for the first time. Strange new sensations assaulted her senses from every angle. Churning, throbbing, pounding, shrieking, creaking sounds. Odd, rank smells.

She had never meant to be here.

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Steve Fendt
Serial Stories

https://stevefendt.substack.com Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.