Million Dollar Monster
Copyright © 2013 by Steve Peek
all rights reserved
Rupert Campbell opened another tin of tuna, bent back the lid and set it beside his folding chair. Admiral Nelson, Rupert's one-eyed cat, quit twining through his ankles and hunched greedily over the banquet.
"There's a good lad, eat it up, less for me to carry home." He spoke pouring an inch of malt scotch into a dirty, iceless glass.
Rupert sipped the drink in the starlight, surveying the dark body of water. The moon, bright enough to read by, slipped behind mountains an hour earlier. Now there was only the starry night, Admiral Nelson's excited chewing, the quarter bottle of malt and the water -- the frustrating, disappointing water.
It began on water, Rupert thought, sipping the drink; it's only fitting it end on it as well.
Rupert Campbell's life was the Royal Navy, or at least it was until he retired with thirty years a decade ago. Most of that life was spent at sea as a warrant officer in charge of bomb loader crews on HMS Victorious.
In May 1965 while cruising off Gibraltar Chief Rupert Campbell saw something. Standing on the port catwalk smoking a cigarette, watching dolphins race alongside the massive ship, he saw a sea serpent.
He looked in disbelief, as swimming in the opposite direction just below the surface, the fifty-foot, eel-like creature rippled past. A long dorsal fin broke the ocean several times making the dolphins veer. Rupert's eyes locked on the head. Too far below the surface to present clear details, it was long and triangular, sporting knife-length teeth protruding from a down-turned mouth. Behind and above the mouth an unblinking giant eye stared back at him.