This is a shot of the tide pools here in Santa Cruz. Make sure you click on the photo to get the FULL view of the image. These cliffs are quite high and are almost vertical. And that Reversed-C shaped area of raised rock are where you would find the Tide Pools. Those small puddles you see are the pools, and can house a small world of tiny sea creatures.  Anemones, crabs, small fish, sea urchins, it is truly fascinating to walk on those rocky stretches and look inside those small pools.

It is while doing just that my heroine Cassandra Elliott hears the panicked cry of a sea lion pup in trouble. Rushing across the raised rock area, she comes to this reverse-C shaped area of beach.  Keep in mind those raised areas with the tide pools are 7-8 feet tall, so while a human could climb up to safety, a marine mammal would find it near impossible.

Here’s a sample of the scene:

             Cassandra had just reached the edge of the rocky outcrop and immediately spotted the trouble and gasped.

            Cornered up against the rock of the cliff a sea lion pup cried out to its mother who was under attack.  Strange iridescent tentacles, like that of a jellyfish had enveloped her lower half.  Frantically the poor animal struggled to free herself but already her strength was fading.   

            As she watched in horror a familiar network of pulsing veins started popping up all over the mother’s entangled frame.  Before her very eyes the blubber-rich body began to shrink visibly.  

            The sea lion let out a cry that no human had ever heard such an animal make before. 

            The sound had been so terrifying that Cassandra found her body turning to run away from the scene before even she realized it.  If it hadn’t been for pup’s sudden scream she probably would’ve bolted.  But the anguish in the tiny animal’s voice sounded almost childlike in a way.  She quickly realized the little creature knew its mother was dying and was calling out to her.

            Unable to look away, Cassandra watched in growing horror as certain areas of the mother’s body were collapsing in on itself as if the blubber and insides had been siphoned out of her.   

            Dear God, it was just like what she’d seen in the dream.

Movement off to the side caught her attention and she looked to see what it was.  More of the strange tendrils had slithered out of the ocean and were snaking their way towards the pup whose back was literally against the wall.

             Grabbing the handle of her walking stick Cassandra gave it a savage twist as she pulled out a silver-white blade.  Then without thinking, she jumped down onto the sand and rushed towards the cornered mammal, slashing savagely at the offending appendages as she went.

Hope you enjoy this entry.  Have a great week.  I’m still sharing my laptop with my wife so I’ll try to post at least once a week.  Take care and leave comments below please.  I love feedback, it helps let me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong here on the blog.

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