continued from previous
Jonathan noticed the ship’s engine get louder and louder. It roared and moaned, as if it was struggling against an obstacle. But he couldn’t possibly think of what that obstacle could be. He was out and about in the open ocean on a calm evening, tens of miles away from any natural obstacles, reefs or landmasses for that matter.
“This better not be a malfunction.”
He went up on the deck to check on things. The sea looked perfectly normal, but the ship was still sluggish. Turning off the engine, he took a heavy-duty flashlight with him and headed for the back. The blinding white light became soft and fuzzy as it diffused into the water, through an almost opaque, murky orange-brown ocean.
“This is probably a good spot to take another phytoplankton sample”, he thought, once he sorts out the engine trouble. But as he got closer, he noticed a movement in the sea wherever he would shine the flashlight. It was the biggest, thickest jellyfish swarm he had ever seen. The entire volume of the sea was literally taken up by the jellyfish, everywhere and anywhere he would look. No wonder the ship had struggled to move through this. It was like sailing through jelly.
He ran downstairs to check the sonar. If what he was seeing on the screen was correct, the ship was on the cusp of a massive jellyfish swarm that covered half the screen on the radar and continued beyond, for god knows how far. Starting up the engine again, he begun to turn the ship around. If only he could get out of the swarm with his engine intact, then he probably had his work cut out for him for the next few days. Another ocean mystery to solve, another batch of samples to get to Olivia. In the meanwhile, he sent an alert along with his coordinates to the local authority and any ships approaching the vicinity. It initially read “giant jellyfish swarm”, which he quickly crossed out and replaced with “giant swarm of jellyfish”. Yup, that was slightly more believable.
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George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books