In the Belly of the Whale

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.