I lay beside the female of my species in our love nest, stroking her swollen carapace with a tender tentacle or two, watching our young squirming in their translucent egg sacs. I thrill with anticipation! Perhaps we will have so many that I can give a few away as gifts to those noders that were present to assist with the quickening! I hope they don't mistake them for mermaid's purses when they arrive in the mail. Or, horrors, spring rolls. Anyhow, duty calls; I rouse myself and head out.

The humans call this place "Poulaphuca", or Puck's Hole. We may have been the cause for the name; surely this burrow has been used by our species, off and on, for over 600 years. Before it even looked out onto a lake. It's still a lovely place to raise children.

The lake feeds a hydroelectric dam; the strong currents near the turbines forbid swimming, but there's always a few who try. Drunk or fools or both; it matters not. It's very convenient for us.

For instance, tonight. A travelling salesman has stopped in the car park atop the cliff to admire the scenery. He's fat and pudgy like a well-fed caterpillar, barely able to reach the steering wheel with his prolegs. But he wants a bit of air to improve his sobriety before driving again. He waddles up to the overhanging edge, past the fence and signs shouting DANGER NO SWIMMING and the DANGER UNSTABLE GROUND in their wasp-like yellow and black.

A quick look around at the otherwise abandoned car park. A quick yank at the chocks I've placed in the overhang, and down he tumbles, in a flurry of mud and a sliding, drawn-out scream. I'm on him before he can orient himself and I slap the back of his head with nematocysts.

It takes most of an hour to drag his paralyzed corpse up the hill into the cave, and another hour to sweep away the tracks, and to pile his clothes at the water's edge, in the manner of someone tempted by a midnight swim.

I love you so much my babies.

inspiration partly from In The Love Nest of Har'akki
and The Night's Plutonian Shore: The 2007 Halloween Horrorquest
Update 7-11-2007: Jellybaby is here, and is a girl.

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