Without the daily rotation of day and night I am unaware of how long, exactly, I have been in the belly of the whale. With only the glaucous glow of phosphorescent seaweed to provide light, circadian cycles break down more quickly than you’d expect.
Early on, I found an old crate and, for the period I call day, I sit on it, staring at the walls of the whale’s belly. In the seaweed’s glow, they appear a wet and foetid purple. Occasionally, the walls pulse and writhe and my own stomach heaves in time with them and I think I’m going to be sick.
I never am.
Other than these undulations, my accommodations appear, relatively, inert. I feel no movement as the beast traverses the oceans, which I assume it must. I can, however, hear its moans–those who call it whale song have not listened from an internal vantage.
The whale’s belly has its own fauna. At night, strange and skeletal bat-like creatures fly from unseen recesses and buzz about my head. Their wings are diaphanous–beetle wings, really– and they have no eyes. In truth, I can’t really consider these creatures nocturnal as the seaweed permits only perpetual twilight but they tend to come most active when I am asleep. More than once, I have woken to find a number of them on my face and hands, clinging with tiny, keen teeth to me, feasting on my blood.
Once, when hunger drove me to it, I returned the favour. Insubstantial, sardine-bones crushed between my jaws and thin, dark liquid spurted. It tasted like pennies and seawater and I drank it down greedily.
I wonder if I am a prophet. I wear sackcloth and try to believe in God. I kneel by my crate sometimes but find nothing about which to pray. I consider my sins but deem them insufficient to worry a god and meriting little atonement.
I atone anyway.
I drink the blood of another bat creature and I think of the sun. The whale moans in torment.