Archive for August 26th, 2013

Sharknado: Prologue and Chapter One

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks, since Andy Shaffer bemoaned a lack of a Sharknado novelization on Twitter. Since it’s still on my Tivo, and I’ve got some extra time…why the hell not?

Sharknado, the unauthorized novelization.
By Thor Davidson
Based on a screenplay by Thunder Levin.

Prologue – Sharknado

The storm turned sky and ocean into a single slate gray as rain pelted the swelling waves. The water was cut and churned by dark gray dorsal fins. First pairs, then dozens and hundred as sharks rushed ahead of the storm. Behind them, pushing them, compelling them, a waterspout connected cloud to water. The suction from the great cyclone pulled at the ocean, and from it plucked the sharks, one by one, forcing them skyward.

The fury of nature and the fury of the predators merged into a single entity.

They were now a sharknado.

Chapter One – Fins To The Left

Twenty miles off the coast of Mexico, in the still grayness of the overcast Atlantic, a fishing boat bobbed on gentle waves. The crew pulled the nets in, and with them dozens of small sharks, which they laid out over the deck of the ship. In turn each was butchered, their bellies slit open from jaw to tail, GPS trackers carved off when found, and their fins stacked in two piles. Large fins to the left, smaller fins to the right.

“Toss ’em and bag ’em!” shouted the crew chief, his face covered in a week’s stubble and topped with a gray hat.

Palmer was clearly out of place in these surroundings, dressed in a smart gray suit with a gray shirt.  He’d been wearing the outfit since they’d left the coast three days ago, and was now starting to smell rather like the sharks being brought to the knife on the deck above. However, it matched his general gray personality.

Palmer was on this boat for one reason. He wanted those fins. The captain of the boat, Santiago, entered the small galley in which Palmer was waiting. It was utilitarian but stunningly clean for its duties. Palmer was seated on a bench behind a long table, light gray with dark wood trim. He was, in fact, surrounded by light gray with dark wood trim.

Santiago produced a small bowl of soup and dropped it in front of Palmer with a sneer. “Enjoy.”

Palmer picked up the bowl, and toasted the captain, before taking a long sip from the soup.

“It’s good,” he lied, returning the bowl of swill to the table and meeting the eyes of the captain as he sat across from him at the table. “Seeing as you are a business man, Mr. Santiago–”

“Captain!” Santiago interrupted with a sneer, not wanting to be shown up by a mere passenger on his ship.

Palmer laughed at the correction, but obliged Santiago. “Captain. My associates and I are willing to negotiate a reasonable price. Let’s say one hundred thousand.”

Santiago laughed a slack-jawed laugh at the offer. His face then turned dead serious as he slammed his fist on the table. Silverware, which had not previously been set, went flying. “One million for the entire take,” Santiago sneered in an indistinct accent, “not a penny less.”

“Steep price for a small catch,” Palmer returned.

“A pod of twenty thousand sharks is migrating in this direction. When we’re done, one million will look like a buck.”

Palmer considered these words from the captain, especially as many of them hadn’t made much sense. He adjusted his glasses. “Five hundred.” His company trusted him in these negotiations as his face conveyed no emotion during tense talks. Or at any other point.

Santiago pushed away from the table with a sharp breath. He pulled a gun, cocked it, and rested it on the table. “If you’re looking to negotiate, Mr. Palmer, look for an insurance salesman.”

Palmer’s eyes moved from the gun and back to Santiago. “I do believe we have a deal.”

Santiago grinned.

On deck the crew scrambled and shouted. At the horizon, above the gray waves, gray clouds were forming and an ill wind pushed their course. “Get the captain from the galley!”

“Captain!” One of the crew called down the gray stairs leading to the galley. Santiago turned at his title. “There’s a north wind hitting us fast. You need to get up here.”

Palmer pushed a brown metal box across the table. “I think this is for you, captain. A deposit.”

Santiago opened the tackle box. Within were bundled stacks of crisp $100 bills. Not the new ones that are so colorful, but the older ones. Not the really old ones, but the ones in the middle when Franklin’s head got bigger but the bills were still green. Yeah, those. Perhaps if Palmer was willing to come on board with so much money, he wasn’t as stupid as he looked, Santiago considered. Perhaps he was, in fact, much stupider.

Santiago looked from the money to Palmer with a sneer. “You know the most important thing I learn out here?” he asked. “We shouldn’t be afraid of the sharks. They are the ones that should be afraid of us.” He lifted a tin gray coffee mug. “Salud.”

Palmer returned the toast.

Outside the weather was getting rougher. The sea was now a dark gray, reflecting the sky, and sheets of gray rain poured down. The boat lurched, spoiling the toast as Santiago and Palmer lunged across the galley.

“What the hell was that?” Palmer asked, mood unswayed by the situation.

“That is called ‘waves.’ They happen from time to time.” Santiago sneered again as Palmer watched him leave the galley with a blank expression.

The ship crested a fresh wave as Santiago arrived at the wheel. “Storm’s too strong! We’re going to have to go around it!” his helmsman warned.

Santiago yelled at the helmsman, an angry yell of words so accented and buffeted by the wind and rain as to make them incomprehensible. Something about the course. He then returned to the galley with a sample of their catch, but Palmer was gone. As was the tackle box of bills. Santiago drew his gun and pulled back the hammer with a sneer.

As the waves buffeted the boats, fresh sharks were pushed out of the ocean and landed on the deck. One of the hands shouted down the gray stairs, “Captain!” but couldn’t finish the thought before a shark flew across the deck and tackled him. Santiago rushed back up the stairs, reaching the deck in time to see his crewman disappearing into a shark’s jaws. It was the damnedest thing he’d seen in his time on the sea. Sharks typically only flopped around when on deck, slowly drowning in the air. This one, however, was still alive and hungry. The crewman screamed one last time before dying.

Palmer surfaced on deck with his gun and tackle box, looking for a place to hide on the small ship. Or, perhaps, a place to escape. His face betrayed no motives. He ducked behind the bridge and fired off a covering shot as Santiago turned to follow him. Palmer stepped around the gore of sharks and men on the deck, hurrying for the aft of the ship.

Santiago rushed along the deck, then ducked back as Palmer squeezed off two more shots from the cover of the nets. Santiago closed the remaining distance. The two men circled the massive wince at the aft of the ship. Palmer stopped, leveled his gun, and waited for the captain to reemerge. Santiago did so, gun first, so the two men now faced each other in a Mexican standoff standing off the Mexican coast.

“Change of plans, captain,” Palmer said, flatly, “I’m going to take the money, the cargo, and this fucked up ship.”

Santiago sneered at Palmer’s threat, and calmly put a bullet through the man’s gray suit pants and into his leg. “I don’t think so.” The tackle box dropped to the deck and the stacks of money blew apart in the wind.

Palmer grappled at the wound. A shark then leaped from the ocean, grabbed the business man in the suit around the chest, and pulled him back into the gray water.

Santiago sneered down at the water, watching man and shark vanish into the gray. He considered his next move as the sharknado pressed against his boat. Santiago sneered and cried out as first one, then two, then a third and fourth shark bit at him from the improbable storm, each grayer than the last. Finally he was dragged off in a cloud of red that broke up the grayness of everything.

No Comments

%d bloggers like this: