It was a foggy day when I fatefully unroped my puny dinghy from the sole crumbling dock of Springett Harbor, my depraved seaside town where recent harsh times had sent the whole town spiraling into unmatched poverty. I was ready to begin anew and never return, having seen the horrors of desperation born with my scarred eyes. Springett was a past chapter of my life — miserable death at sea was to be the next and final chapter, drowning away the foulness of Springett before at last I could die in holiness.

Watching the smoldering lighthouse vanish in the mist, just after the decrepit and smoking coastal buildings, I closed my eyes and imagined that I was already lost beyond all hope of return; surrounded on all sides by a limitless expanse of open water, too deep to measure and too unfathomable to define. When I opened my eyes again, that was very much the case. Around myself I could spy nothing but sedately churning waves, dim gray as reflecting the dull sky. My hands clutched the port and starboard sides of my dinghy, the dry wood splintering my flesh.

I loosened my grip and sighed. Drawing my knees to my chest, I retracted my hands from the sides and gazed over the openness of the sea. My mind produced false imagery of dancing forms under the waves, coming tantalizingly closer with promises of wicked salvation. Amorphous and free, they skittered around and bumped my dinghy, bobbing it from side to side and nearly dumping me down to join them, my body melting into the ocean; alas, they were mere phantasms, and I was safely stable.

My head pounded.

A terrible rumbling emanated from the waves before me, with powerful vibrations traveling through my dinghy and into my body. Clinging to the wooden sides, I watched in awe as an island emerged from the sea — it rode atop the back of a crawling and shambling colossus under the waves, standing again after crouching in slumber for centuries innumerable. Its form I can hardly describe, and still I cannot explain a definite detail aside from its hulking limbs vanishing into the depths of the gray sea. The island on its back, awash with the festering remainders of dead sea life, was the host of numerous towering structures — yet they were not towers, or anything artificial for that matter.

Helucciak, my mind told me.

My fascination was drawn, but the moment that my eyes focused on the tops of the towers, meeting the gaze of something resembling a huge, quivering eyeball itself, I found myself sitting in my dinghy back at the crumbling dock of Springett, my hand firmly placed on the rope. I was putting it back into place.