Titan

Nancy faced the bow as Adrian steered the motorboat over the rough Aegean waters towards Helios Island, a rocky projection with a small village settlement across it’s upper side.

Tracing the shape of the rock formation, she grew fearful and nauseous. The southwest region of the island sloped like a shoulder, and there was a deep crevice along the side, like the space between a chest and an arm. The westernmost extension of the island narrowed distinctly and then bulged again, like a neck and a head partly submerged in the ocean. But this head, this monstrous and impossible head was the width of a hectare.

“I want to go back!” she cried. “I can’t bear to look at it!”

“Get ahold of yourself,” said Adrian. “That formation is eight million years old. The only threat it poses is a hazard to navigation.”

“You don’t understand,” she muttered, turning away.

They drifted in the inlet west of the shoulder, the head which towering above them.

“Watch out!” shouted Nancy.

The boat collided with a rocky protrusion below the surface and skidded up onto it. Nancy fell to the deck. “We’ve run aground!” shouted Adrian.

“Nancy, look at this,” he said as she was getting up. She followed his line of vision across the water, and noticed three areas of turbulence curving off into the distance.

“We’re resting on the knuckle of the middle finger,” he said. “Those are the other knuckles. At this scale, I’d estimate that each finger is fifty yards in length.”

“They know,” she said, looking up at the cottages along the upper crest of the shoulder. “They must have figured this out long ago”

“We’ll just have to ask them,” he said.

The provincials were shy and evasive when confronted by the visitors speaking a halting, accented version of their native tongue. Adrian was finally able to obtain directions to the local constable, but that gentleman would comment on nothing except to refer him to the parson. When asked for the location of the church building, he replied only “Nape.”

“It must be at the bridge between the main body of the island and the head,” said Nancy.

They set out for it, hiking the main street which ran lengthwise across the center of the island, successively peaking and dipping as if traversing the ridges of a gargantuan spine. As they passed shacks and small cottages, the predominant motif was oversized body parts– a garden shaped like an enormous footprint, a sculpture of a mammoth hand, an immense eye painted on the side of a barn. The residents knew, Nancy was certain of it.

At the western end of the road they saw it, the old church poised at the nape of the island. Shaped more like a Greek temple than a Christian church, its front doors were opened, and as they approach a lone figure stepped out.

“As it was prophesied, you have finally come,” he said.

“Can you answer my questions?” asked Adrian. “Has the island always been shaped this way? How is it that no outsider has noticed it before?”

“The Gods cast shadows over their eyes. But the island is changing shape, returning to its true form. It is later than you think.” He looked past them and they turned. A large mob of villagers were hurrying up the road towards them. Nancy cried out and suddenly was knocked to the floor by a violent tremor.

“Come!” shouted the parson to the crowd. “We must get to the shoulders!”

Nancy struggled to her feet and followed as he sprinted across the terrain. The very ground trembled and shifted. A horrid clamor erupted from the village below as it suddenly collapsed and was swept away in an avalanche.

Great winds arose as the ground seemed to turn beneath her. She was immersed in a heavy mist and then lifted above it, lifted above the clouds. The Aegean archipelagos stretching out into the distance. Her ears popped in the hazardously thin air. An immense shadow cast across the ground. Looming over her, the vast incomprehensible head, its luminous eyes upon her.

 

Nancy awoke with a start. Another nightmare. Four AM. She turned to Adrian, sleeping soundly beside her. His head was buried in the pillow, the covers bunched up along his back. She studied the crevice between his arm and his side.

Tomorrow they would take the boat to Helios. She lay thinking about it for a moment. Then she went back to sleep.

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