Crab was completely still.
He looked, really looked, at the Sea for the first time in a while.
Next to him was a gaping hole surrounded by a broken ring of pebbles.
Where the stones had fallen away myriads of tracks came out and made a straight line south until they faded away into the Sea....
For countless days Crab had guarded the Turtle's nest, only leaving every two brights to restock the water in his can and find something to eat.
There was a nearby rock with a large pool of water in it's middle. There we're many small sea dwellers trapped here, left over since the vaguely remembered time when
the Sea God had attacked the Land God when even the crags which the crabs made home we're flooded.
The Crabs believed that the Land God must be keeping secret food from The Sea God for only for such an important reason would merit such a ferocious response.
Many we're lost to the constant battering of water, currents making sure they we're never to be seen again. When the attack suddenly stopped the area had changed so completely that crabs were always turning wrongly to fall into the Sea and made fun of by the other, more careful crabs.
It was not far from the dune sea so Crab could easily return to the nest with his new supplies.
At first it was hard for him to find the specific patch of sand amid the dune sea
(He only found it because of the distinctive mark his can left)
so after much searching and thinking he had dragged a rock on it.
But that looked too like any other patch of sand so he brought a second rock.
And then a third.
Eventually he had formed a large ring of rocks around it which not only made it easy to find but had the added added advantage of keeping out some of the pesky sand bugs that tried to dig at the nest.
Many creatures assaulted his fort.
Most came because they thought it would be easy food.
Some of them wanted to leave parasitic spawn to feed off the hatchlings.
Then again some just wanted to dig holes.
Crab let nothing pass.
He poured water on the sand to collapse the tunnels of the tiny sand burrowers.
He patrolled on his pebble Fort, his shining form scaring away all but the most daring foes.
He even managed to scare away a giant Land creature which had made awful loud noises but had become nervous and fled when Crab's claws had come close to his snout.
After that encounter, Crab sat to watch the Dry-Bright fall into the Sea, far deeper than he had ever gone.
As he wandered where the dry-bright was going, quite exhausted and deafened by his close encounter with the creature the nest erupted and one of his stones flew away.
Fearing a new type of threat Crab sidled closer but no sooner than he had gone halfway that the Turtle poked it's head out.
The Turtle that Crab had briefly met was enormous, it's head quite larger than Crab .
This one was rather smaller only half his size.
Nonetheless, with energy surprising for a newborn the turtle launched itself out of the hole and was quickly joined by several more of it's brothers and sisters.
They all looked around with their still-myopic eyes, spotting the brightest light they could find and starting running towards it.
(Since the dry bright was gone this would be the now sparkling sea reflecting the small bright in the sky. However one little turtle spotted the Lights of the object makes and headed that way but Crab did not see it and it did not see Crab so that will have to be a totally unrelated story.)
Sometimes you have to:
He had tried to stop them.
He klaked at them about the danger of the Sea, about the dangerous Sea Dwellers that lay in wait or about the Great White Flying killers that lay above but they did not, could not perhaps, listen as they charged towards their destiny.
Their powerful little flippers moved in a frenzy picking up speed, already the first one had reached the Sea.
Without hesitation it plunged into the dark waters and vanished.
Crab sidled as fast as he could but he could not keep up.
In desperation he pushed one back and overturned it but it was so scared and helpless that he put it right side up. It quickly ran to catch up with the others.
And then, as suddenly as they had appeared the last of them vanished into a coming wave and when it drew back there was no sign they were ever there, even the tracks fading away...
And sometimes you have to:
Crab turned and looked at his little fort. He regretted leaving it but it served no purpose now. He only hoped that the little ones would be okay and that maybe one of them would remember the Crab that had looked out for them.
He turned and headed deeper into the Dry...
The land around him had turned strange, filled with odd green pillars coming out of the sand. They looked slightly like the trees of the Seaweed Forest but they were not...underwater.
Crab had not seen any water around but he did not think of turning back.
Already he had done and seen so much. He would not regret a thing if he was petrified right there and now. How many crabs had build something or guarded turtles?
No, he was not thinking of turning back.
But what he was thinking of was knocked out of his head when he saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Crab sidled as he had never sidled before.
To Be Continued...
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