Howie was headed to work daydreaming about fishing. He didn’t mind his clerk’s job at the Island Souvenir Warehouse; it was an easy walk from his house. All of a sudden he felt the ground beneath his feet shudder. He half turned expecting to see a semi trailer or a steam roller on its way to a construction site.
But the only thing on the road was a dune buggie. He shrugged and turned back.
After two more steps, he felt it again. There was no mistaking this. It was a wide rolling movement that caused him to instinctively fling out his arms and half crouch as if he was on a surf board.
A network of cracks exploded in the ground ahead of him radiating into the parking lot. The asphalt started to bulge as if someone was inflating a balloon underground. Within minutes it was as big as a car and widening into a triangle.
Without taking his eyes off what was happening in front of him, Howie started edging backward. As the mass grew level with the roof, the asphalt started to split and fall away.
Out emerged a fish the size of boxcar. After poking his head through the parking lot, it took a deep breath, heaved up his body and flipped his tail free. His skin was mostly matte grey, his eyes were spaced a good distance apart, and he had a great mass of pearly white teeth and ruby red lips.
“Oh,” Howie said, “you must be the new guy, I’ll tell ’em you’re here.”