Managing To Sleep

“It is a curious thing,” he thought, “when someone is unable to sleep.”

He had been dozing fitfully in the blue whale’s ear for nearly two weeks now, and yet the funneling effect in the auditory canal of this titanic mammal meant that even a tuna’s whisper became amplified to sibilant marine death plots.

He sincerely wished he could have found a more conducive bit of real estate, but well, parasites can’t be choosers – not those that survive long anyway.

And so he stayed, now and then he would suck a bit of blood from the ear tissue, being careful to stem the bleeding with his claw, just so the blood didn’t pool, ruin his host’s hearing, and cause it a deadly accident.

No point crashing the boat if you’re a stowaway after all.

And so, the weeks, and months wore on. Time embedded in sticky brown ambergris, lighting tiny candles every twenty nights (can’t harm or alert Richard to his presence after all), just so he could scrawl a few more letters in ear wax as he composed his autobiography.

At last it was finished, coinciding with the blue moon. He knew – could finally see it, stretched before him in wax cuneiform as the whale breached and stayed above for a brief gasp and light streamed down …

It was beautiful… it told of the history of his species, predatory without being carnivorous, dependent if not symbiotic, struggling to eke out a dishonest living, yet seeking, yearning, wishing to do more, to rise above on a crimson wave as it were, to discover higher ways of living…-

And then the whale had dived deep deep down into the abyss, shutting out the glow before he could read and admire another paragraph. In frustration he stabbed down on the ear flesh and felt the beast tremble before, below, all around, a tremblor of fear, momentary anguish, subsumed by a wave of annoyance.

And as soon as it was felt, it was gone.

Hunting season was on. Squid’s eyes, staring – large as dinner plates – lit up the darkness like UFOs, glancing at the massive titan diving, hunting in their territory for their larger, slower kin.

And so It dived, and the hunt began.

Ahab the flea sharpened his fleshy claw and prepared to pen another chapter.

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